Professional Jeweler Archive: Citrus Colors

July 2000

Gemstones & Pearls/New Products

Citrus Colors

Our series on different colors heats up with sunny yellow to fiery orange

Orange and yellow gems offer warm, fashionable colors and good prices – unbeatable combinations for many customers.

The Color Association of the United States, which researches and influences color trends, predicted in 1998 orange would be the next hot color. Not only did the sun rise on orange, it took yellow along for the ride.

“These colors offer the best of all worlds – they are neutral enough to wear with just about anything and they don’t clash,” says Wendy Tabb, owner/designer of Wendy Tabb Jewelry, New York City.

For yellow, citrine tops the list, followed by lemon quartz and yellow sapphire, says Glen J. Engelbrecht, owner/designer of GJ Designs, Sarasota, FL. Padparadscha sapphire is the ultimate orange, he says, but its expense has opened the door to more affordable alternatives such as spessartite garnet and fire opal.

Here are some other gems in the yellow-to-orange spectrum to consider when stocking up for customers who want to warm up.

Amber – This organic gem formed millions of years ago when tree sap fossilized, in many cases trapping insects and plant life inside. Amber ranges from yellow to orange.

Carnelian – Semitransparent to translucent, this variety of chalcedony is yellowish orange to orangy red to brownish orange. Carnelian’s history dates to the fourth century B.C., when it was mined in India.

Cat’s-Eye Quartz – This brownish yellow to greenish yellow quartz must be cut as a cabochon to reveal the cat’s-eye effect.

Citrine – A variety of yellow-to-orange quartz that registers 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, making it a durable choice for any jewelry.

Coral – Composed of the remains of skeleton-like support structures built by colonies of tiny marine animals, gem coral comes in various shades of red and orange. The most prized specimens came from the Mediterranean Sea, but pollution has drastically limited supplies from this source.

Fire Opal – Transparent to translucent, fire opal has a yellow, orange or red body color, but not the play of color seen in most other opals. Fire opal is also called Mexican opal, gold opal or sun opal.

Hessonite – This brownish yellow to orange variety of grossularite garnet is known as cinnamon stone because of its color and its historic connection with the spice-producing country of Sri Lanka.

Malaya Garnet – Tests have proven Malaya garnet to be a combination of two garnets: pyrope and spessartite.

Sapphire – Yellow or orangy yellow sapphires are known as fancy golden sapphires. When they veer toward pinkish orange to orange pink, they are called padparadscha, derived from the Sinhalese word padmaragaya or lotus color.

Spessartite Garnet – The name comes from Spessart, a district of Bavaria, Germany, that was once an important source. The gem ranges from bright orange to dark yellow and is found as large as 10 carats.

Topaz – This gem has an exceptionally wide color range that includes yellow and orange. Imperial topaz is reddish orange to orange red and is one of the most expensive colors. Sherry topaz is yellowish brown to orange. This gem can develop cleavage – use it in protective settings and advise your customer to handle it carefully.

– by Lorraine M. Suermann, A.J.P.

14k gold and yellow

John Atencio Designs, Denver, CO; (303) 830-7733.

12-ct. cabochon citrine is surrounded by 1.25 carats of diamonds. The ring is available in 14k or 18k gold or platinum.

The Haggai Collection, a division of GoldArama Inc., New York City; (212) 730-7299, fax (212) 730-0288.

18k gold pendant features a carved 14.30-ct. prasiolite quartz with platinum prongs and 0.40 carat of diamond accents. Suggested retail, $2,800.

Kevin Kapin Manufactory Inc., Ojai, CA; (805) 646-8380, fax (805) 646-8729.

Platinum ring is set with a 2.92-ct. yellow sapphire and 0.50 carat of diamonds. Suggested retail $5,000.

C.K. Gumpert Inc./Pacific Gem Cutters, Los Angeles, CA; (800) 843-3998 or (213) 626-6531, fax (213) 627-4406,

Matching ring and pendant each feature a 9mm citrine set in 14k gold. Keystone, $561 for the ring, $300 for the pendant.

Fedra International, Rehoboth, MA; (800) 50-FEDRA, fax (508) 252-4650.

From left, the 18k gold sunflower ring has 2.66 carats of yellow sapphires and 0.52 carat of diamonds ($2,750 suggested retail). The platinum bouquet features 37.99 carats of yellow sapphire flowers, 2.24 carats of diamond petals and pearls in each flower ($20,798). The glittering 18k gold ring has overlapping bands of yellow sapphires totaling 12 carats and two circles of diamonds totaling 2.30 carats ($9,450).

LeVian Corp., New York City; (212) 575-0318.

The Signature Fit ring at left is crafted in 18k white gold set with an 8.57-ct. spessartite garnet and 0.63 carat of diamonds. Suggested retail, $14,590. The Signature Fit ring at right is crafted in 18k white and yellow gold set with an 11.12-ct. yellow sapphire and 0.80 carat of diamonds. Suggested retail, $22,630.

JFA Designs, Irving, CA; (949) 263-9909, fax (949) 263-9910.

14k gold ring has a 2.5-ct. deep orange citrine and 0.22 carat of diamonds. Suggested retail, $540.

EMG Creations, New York City; (212) 643-0960, fax (212) 643-0963.

Sterling silver drop earrings mix amethyst and carnelian beads.

Wendy Tabb Jewelry, New York City; (212) 966-5104,

18k green gold enhancer holds 0.65 carat of round yellow sapphires, 0.11 carat of round diamonds and a 7mm Spirit Sun™ Mexican fire opal. Suggested retail, $1,974.

Glen J. Engelbrecht for GJ Designs, Sarasota, FL; (941) 951-6658, fax (941) 365-2577.

14k gold slide pendant is set with a 2.95-ct. citrine and 0.15 carat of round diamonds. Suggested retail, $1,650.

Artelle Designs by Stuart Adelman, Minneapolis, MN; (800) 936-3456 or (952) 926-8163, fax (952) 926-5420.

18k white gold golf ring features a carved citrine and diamond accents. Suggested retail, $2,500.

Bibigi/ETL Advertising, New York City; (212) 840-1747, fax (212) 840-1785.

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