By Brecken Branstrator
Moonstone was one of the gemstones that was showing up everywhere at the Las Vegas shows, like these set in new earrings from Arya Esha.
After spending days walking the show floors in Las Vegas, it can be pretty easy for things to start to blend together. You feel like you’ve seen almost every gemstone and a very comprehensive set of designs.

Yet, even among the massive amounts of exhibitors, certain colors and/or gemstones always end up standing out. And just as the shows are a great indicator of design trends, so too do they show which colors or gems are going strong and which are fading.

This year, just as I saw at the Tucson gem shows and our Editor-in-Chief Michelle Graff said she saw at Baselworld, it was the blues and pinks dominating.

20160621 MisenoFrom Miseno’s new “Vesuvio” collection, this ring features sapphires and diamonds in 18-karat white gold ($6,700).
In blue hues, it was no surprise to see that sapphires were still having their day. The deep shades of the stone were everywhere on the show floors, providing accents and pave for designs, and acting as side stones for many an engagement ring.

20160621 Pamela-FromanPamela Froman’s St. Petersburg maltese cross pendant features a 5.6-carat blue-violet Australian opal center framed by diamond pave and tanzanite accents set in 18-karat gold ($10,350).
Opals, and in this case particularly black opals, also continued to dominate (and long may they reign; the industry is awash in the best versions of them.) Lapis lazuli and turquoise had a strong turnout in Las Vegas, too.

20160621 Vicente-AgorVicente Agor’s ring, made in collaboration with Anza Gems, features rough aquamarine and diamonds in 18-karat white gold ($5,970). A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this ring will support education for East African mining communities.
Aquamarine also seemed to really stand out--which is particularly exciting for a March baby like myself--in the strong, saturated shades that show the best of the stone. Many designers were delving into the beryl this year.

20160621 Ayva-JewelryAyva Jewelry’s “Rima” stackable ring features pink sapphires and diamonds in 18-karat gold ($1,250).
In pinks, there were sapphires, spinels (newly minted as an August birthstone), tourmaline, morganite and more, as the big diamonds at auction help attract consumer attention and as they benefit from Rose Quartz being one of the Pantone Colors of the Year.

20160621 Arya-EshaArya Esha’s “Linx” earrings from the Galaxy collection, featuring rainbow moonstone and diamonds set in 18-karat recycled gold ($2,600)
Meanwhile, one phenomenal stone is continuing its rise to the top. Moonstone, with its brilliant flashes and yet still-subtle look, was set in many a design.

Rainbow moonstone, from large chunks in statement pieces to smaller cabochons mixing with other stones, was particularly popular, but I also recall seeing other versions of the gem being used, like gray.

20160621 Imperial-PearlImperial Pearl’s modern 14-karat gold bangle bracelet is form-fitting (the back end lays flat so it won’t clunk around when you rest your hand) and features an 11 to 12 mm white South Sea cultured pearl ($2,895).
It also felt like I was seeing pearls everywhere this year, and not just from the traditional players.

I love what’s happening with pearls right now. I wouldn’t normally consider myself a pearl person, but in Vegas, I saw brands not known for using the gemstone bringing pearls into their design to create new looks, and pearl companies themselves creating an updated look for today’s buyers.

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