By Michelle Graff
michelle.graff@nationaljeweler.com
A knockout sapphire ring or a statement-making pearl necklace will always have their admirers (as well they should), but lately some of the wallflowers of the gemstone world are the ones drawing double takes in jewelry circles.

The flagging economy and the accompanying quest for attractively priced jewelry have benefited the color category, and lately even gemstones with names that don't exactly roll off of the tongue (labradorite and amazonite among them) are moving onto the short list for fashion editors. Keshi pearls and fire opals? Check and check: They're also gaining play.

The Jewelry Information Center's annual jewelry preview in New York last week—where classic stones and more unusual ones intermingled—made it clear that color is still coming into its own and designers will continue to surprise with fresh choices.

Here are a few of the many colored stone pieces on display at the event. Simply click on the image to enlarge and get a closer look.


Christine Brandt ice blue _091

Christine Brandt's hand-carved olive wood ring set with a large cluster of amazonite crystals; suggested retail price is $4,800.


DeJongheNecklace


deJohnghe Original Jewelry pendant features natural Persian turquoise set in 22-karat yellow gold bezel with 14-karat yellow gold and platinum settings. Accented with two round diamonds, a 0.56-carat marquise diamond and a rosebud stick pearl, the pendant is attached to a necklace made of round turquoise beads, cultured freshwater pearls and gold disks; suggested retail price is $3.700. DJOriginals.com


JewelmerNecklace
Jewelmer's "Harlequin Collection" in 18-karat yellow gold with 59 golden Philippine South Sea cultured pearls and 67 keshi cultured pearls and 22.285 carats of diamonds; suggested retail price is $75,000. Jewelmer.com


Katie Diamond Jewelry ring
Katie Diamond Jewelry's "Lalya" ring in 14-karat yellow gold with 3.8 carats of pink tourmaline and 0.22 carats of pavé diamonds; suggested retail price is $1,875. KatieDiamondJewelry.com


Pamela Froman PFFJ-RoyalCrush
Pamela Froman "Royal Crush" in 18-karat pink and yellow gold with diamonds and a crackly fire opal center stone; suggested retail price is $8,800; PamelaFroman.com




P_Exporting Necklace

The Pearl Exporting Co. akoya keshi pearl necklace (40 strands) features 35,000 pearls, 333 sapphires and an 18-karat gold clasp; suggested retail price is $14,000. PearlExporting.com








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