Professional Jeweler Archive: The Best of Both Worlds

February 2002

Diamonds/New Products


The Best of Both Worlds

There's no need to choose between the brilliance of diamonds and the saturation of colored gems in jewelry that features both


Consider it a contrast of great strength and calm when designers combine diamonds and colored gemstones in their jewelry. “Diamonds appear alive because they refract and reflect light, while colored gems are gentler because of their more saturated color,” says Margaret DeYoung, G.G., of Ernest Slotar Inc., Chicago, IL.

Traditional combinations include ruby or sapphire with diamonds. For the more budget-minded, diamonds also play well with deep peridot, royal purple amethyst or vibrant orange or yellow citrine. “Avoid pastels because they wash out against the brilliance of diamonds,” adds DeYoung.

Color drives the sale in this style of jewelry. If a customer doesn’t like yellow, don’t offer a citrine ring no matter how beautiful the diamonds. A safe bet: Suggest a colored gem/diamond combination that matches whatever the customer is wearing that day.

Single working women are a prime target for this style. Statistics show most women receive diamond jewelry as a gift while many buy colored gems for themselves. By adding colored gems to diamonds, you can introduce them to buying diamonds for themselves. These combos also are a good way for women to wear diamonds without suggesting there’s a wedding looming.

Displaying this jewelry is tricky. What works for one color may not for another. For example, black backgrounds make a diamond pop, even with a ruby or emerald added. But the same background can make a sapphire appear black. The best background option for a range of colored gems is white. If you want another background, try it first before committing to it.

– by Lorraine M. O’Donnell, A.J.P.


18k white gold heart pendant gets its color from 1.98 carats of brown diamonds and 0.74 carat of white diamonds. It hangs on a 16-in. champagne silk cord.

Rina Limor for J.R. Gold, New York City; (212) 922-9292, fax (212) 922-2992.

Ring and earrings are crafted in 18k gold with blue tourmalines and diamonds.

Christo Kiffer/Frank Stankus, Pelham, NY; (914) 738-3691 or (914) 738-8485, fax (914) 738-0096, frankbstankus@aol.com.

14k flower earrings and pendant are set with sapphire centers and diamond pavé petals. Suggested retail, $1,620 for the earrings, $645 for the pendant.

Eugene Biro, New York City; (212) 997-0146, fax (212) 764-4506.

18k white gold lace cuff bracelets feature diamond and/or sapphire accents.

Judith Ripka, New York City; (212) 355-0033, fax (212) 355-8757.

Platinum bracelet mixes 6.50 carats of rubies and 4.02 carats of diamonds. Suggested retail, $14,000.

Ernest Slotar Inc., Chicago, IL; (312) 236-7351, fax (312) 236-6456.

18k white gold ring features diamonds and sapphires.

Alfieri & St. John, Valenza, Italy. In the U.S., (888) 768-4953, fax (631) 261-6379.

18k white gold buckle ring is set with 1 carat of diamond pavé and onyx.

Gruppo Il Gioello/ETL Group Inc., New York City; (212) 840-1747, fax (212) 840-1785.

Copyright © 2002 by Bond Communications