As every year, Pantone have released their color of the year for 2021, and it is the combination of Ultimate Grey and Illuminating, a beautiful yellow will be the most popular gemstone color of the year. Their website claims these two independent colors show how different parts or elements can come together to help each other, while also giving us up. A clear attempt at acknowledging the ongoing troubles which began last year and looking ahead at the future.

From Pantone

Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of Pantone Color Institute had this to say about their choice for 2021:

The union of an enduring Ultimate Grey with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude. Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a color combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit.

This quote further emphasizes the efforts Pantone are going through to spread hope of a better future and to show how, together, we can overcome any obstacle in our way. In this spirit of positivity and fortitude, Star Lanka has found the gemstones that best represent this message, and the color choices for this up coming year: Yellow Sapphire, Yellow & Grey Tourmaline, and Grey Spinel.

gemstones of the year

Yellow Sapphire

Yellow Sapphire is quickly becoming a favorite gemstone amongst jewelers, because it is available in a range of colors, from light lemon yellow, to a full, saturated and vivid yellow, to a deep orangey-yellow. Color is the single most important factor out of the four C’s when valuing a yellow sapphire, with saturated medium or medium dark tones being the most desired. It also holds a special place is Vedic astrology and was believed by the Persians to be a chip off the pedestal that held Earth. It is also the birth stone for September.

Sourced in Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Burma (Myanmar), and the USA, sapphires are famous for making great stones for engagement rings, especially amongst celebrities. However, thanks to its hardness of 9 on the Moh scale, it can be worn as everyday jewelry, and would make an excellent complement to any outfit for 2021. You will most commonly find yellow sapphires cut into oval, round, cushion, or emeralds, due to the shape of the rough stone.

Yellow Tourmaline

Yellow Tourmaline is part of the Tourmaline family, a mineral family with a wide variety of properties depending on the stone. They are popular stones amongst jewelers and can be found in a huge array of colors, including multi-colored and zoned. However, our focus is draw to the yellow tourmaline.

Yellow tourmalines are cheaper than yellow sapphires, due to their availability. Don’t let their value fool you, they are still a very prized stone. They have a hardness of 7-7.5 and can be worn as daily wear, with caution, making the perfect day-to-day stone for this year to compliment greys and lighter colored outfits.

A curious fact is that these gemstones release a smell. You won’t be able to smell it as the wearer, but the cutter can, and cutters say they like to work with Yellow Tourmaline because it smells good. They smell because the rough stones are cleaned in hot water with lemon.

Grey Tourmaline

Just like Yellow Tourmaline, the Grey colored stone is also part of the large Tourmaline family. It too can be used as daily wear, as the vast majority tourmalines will have a 7-7.5 hardness. However, taking care of tourmalines can be an extra effort, as their electrical properties means they attract more dust that other stones. Fortunately, this dust will cause no damage beyond the need of being cleaned. Cleaning should be done with a cloth and some mild warm soapy water, as using ultrasonic or steam methods can cause damage to the stone.

Tourmaline’s can be found all over the world, but some of the most known sources are Madagascar, Africa, Sri Lanka, and the USA. You will also find them in a variety of different cuts, depending on what part of the tourmaline family the stone belongs to.

Grey Spinel

Spinel has been used in jewelry for centuries, dating back to ancient times. However, it was until recently that the gemstone got the recognition it deserves. Before the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the stones were known simply as Corundum, as they were found in the same mines. Nevertheless, these minerals are both chemically different. As a consequence, some spinel stones were sold as precious rubies and sapphires, effecting the spinel’s reputation. But much has changed since then, and the stone is back in fashion.

Grey Spinel gems range in color from gunmetal grey to steel grey, through a deep charcoal grey too. They might show hints of purple or blue tones that add desirability to the stone. It is also one if the most popular gemstone colors, and for good reason, as it is beautiful.

Spinel, together with Peridot, is the birthstone for August. One of the most famous gemstones in the world, the “Black Princess Ruby” which is nestles in the Crown Jewels of the English Royal Family, is in fact a red spinel, and not a ruby.

Spinel gemstones can be found in Burma, Tanzania, and Sri Lanka. Their hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale makes them ideal day way and the perfect complement to your outfits for this 2021, regardless of the season!

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We finish of the article with another quote from Pantone regarding their choices for 2021’s color of the year. The say their choice, “highlights our innate need to be seen, to be visible, to be recognized, to have our voices heard”. So, let’s all be heard this year and wish for the best while wearing the most popular gemstones for this new year.

Gemstone Color of the Year List

Year     Color Code Gemstones
2021     Illuminating
Ultimate Grey
Yellow Sapphire
Yellow Tourmaline
2020     Classic Blue 19-4052 Tanzanite
Blue Tourmaline
2019     Living Coral 16-1546 Pink Tourmaline