By Ashley Davis
Page Sargisson’s 18-karat yellow gold ring with multicolored sapphires ($3,800)
New York--It’s not yet spring, but the saccharine hues associated with spring flowers and Easter eggs are making an appearance in fine jewelry.

Pastel-colored sapphires, light amethysts, aquamarine and blue topaz are the main light-colored gemstone varieties that have been popping up in designers’ showcases.

A cousin of the rainbow jewelry trend, pastel shades offer a more wearable and versatile take on color, which is an easier investment to make for consumers.  

20170222 Pastels litoLito's 18-karat yellow gold "Treasure Box" ring utilizes the light, transparent shade of the center aquamarine to better showcase its intricate setting. The ring is set with white rose-cut diamonds and pale pink diamonds. ($7,324 per current exchange rates)

Designer Halleh Amiralai of namesake brand Halleh has long been a fan of saturated emeralds and deep blue sapphires but has branched out into lighter colors over the past several seasons.

“I tend to gravitate toward yellow gold because of its warm metal hue,” Amiralai explained. “To embellish the softness, I’ve added purple and pink sapphires to my designs, adding a gentle, easy color, which can be worn from day into evening.  I believe this faint mix of color is flattering on all skin types.”

Several designers emphasized how pastel shades complement the wearer.

“Pastels bring out the parts of ourselves that are soft and welcoming,” said Deirdre Featherstone of Featherstone Fine Jewelry. “Everyone looks relaxed in pastels.”

Ilana Sarna Toledano, the mind behind fine jewelry line Ilana Ariel, stocks white diamond and colored gemstone versions of her most popular styles. Toledano has noticed that pastel-hued stones are resonating with her client base.

“I've recently been asked to customize some of my pieces with pale pink sapphires that I normally would make with a different color stone or just diamonds,” she said, “so I definitely see a demand for the softer hues.”

20170222 Pastels larkspurLarkspur & Hawk's "Sadie" earrings ($1,975) utilize a foiling technique from the Georgian period, in which clear quartz is placed over colored foil to refract and reflect the color. Designer Emily Satloff uses a range of foil colors in her designs, from deep hues to lighter, pastel shades, as pictured here. These are set in rhodium-washed sterling silver.

For the color-averse designer or customer, a light-colored stone can also be a good entrée into the gemstone market, both visually and financially.

Carmen Diaz Fine Jewelry’s namesake designer has primarily been a creator of 14-karat gold and diamond jewelry at a consumer-friendly price point. She has stayed consistent with her aesthetic and price range by introducing light-colored opals, tanzanite and sapphires into the mix.

“I wanted to start incorporating color gemstones into my designs and I’ve always been in love with sapphires because of their color richness,” said Diaz. “The soft lilac sapphire in my first colored gemstone ring reminds me of the colors of sunsets.”

20170222 Pastels sanjaySanjay Kasliwal's 18-karat yellow gold and blue topaz necklcae ($5,900)

Many designers cited the inherent romance in the color of pastel stones as a reason for incorporating them into their work.

“Each piece of wearable art I create is a symbol of splendor and romance that resonates with nature’s harmony and beauty,” said Ruta Reifen. “I highlight my coral-like textured gold work with pastel colored gemstones for a romantic feel.”

Toledano, who has taken inspiration from ancient cities in much of her work, cited the romance of these old, crumbling sites as contributing to her love of desaturated tones.

“My friends joke that the more decrepit a building is, the more I will like it,” she said. “Older buildings, doors and furniture tend to have faded and I think those more subdued colors are the kind I’ve always gravitated towards. The same can be true when working with color in my jewelry. I definitely like a pop of saturation, but generally speaking, I prefer pastels over brighter shades.”

20170222 Pastels ilanaarielIlana Ariel's 18-karat white gold ring with pastel sapphires ($1,300)

Ultimately, light-colored hues seem to be imbued with joyful connotations that are easiest to sell during spring and summer.

“I love playing with pastel colored stones because they evoke such a happy feeling,” said Era Jewelry designer Rochelle Gordon. “I want people to feel that when they wear my jewelry.”

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