Why Pantone’s Colour of the Year is the hue to watch in jewellery.

It blooms with confidence and magical warmth that intrigues the eye and sparks the imagination”. Or so says colour expert Pantone about its 2014 Colour of the Year, Radiant Orchid.

Pantone has announced an annual Colour of the Year for the past 14 years, hues that it believes will feed into fashion and design, taking global influences and trends as its source. Last year’s Colour of the Year – Emerald – made its mark with it jewel name and rich green tone that seamlessly fitted with fine jewellery design.


Fast forward to today and, only a few months in to 2014, it is evident that jewellery brands have been quick to embrace Radiant Orchid.

The colour once again represents a jewel tone, with a pink-purple tone that can be found flowing through shades of tourmaline, ruby, amethyst and in some cases pink sapphire, while leather, crystal, resin and plastic allow for designs that use the colour in their more opaque forms, creating trend-led costume jewellery.

According to Pantone, Radiant Orchid “is an expressive, creative and embracing purple – one that draws you in with its beguiling charm”.

Indeed, it is a dazzling colour and one that has caught the eye of fashion brands such as Missoni and Max Mara (above) as well as interior designers and those crafting the fine and fashion jewellery shown on these pages.

The differing stones, enamels and materials used in jewellery design mean Radiant Orchid can be translated in a number of ways. British designer Katie Rowland’s latest collection Carmilla features a rainbow of coloured gemstones, however a number of designs are picked out in this purple-pink hue. “I have always been a fan of colour and the Katie Rowland brand is renowned for its unusual colour combinations using stones and metals,” Rowland states. “As a brand we are fashion focused, so seasonal colour is important for us and our trendsetting consumers. Pink is hot for SS14 – it is a great colour for women whether pastel or fuchsia.”

Rowland has been inspired by the catwalks, designing jewels to balance the sharp tailoring that was paraded on the summer runways. “Our jewellery complements the power pink styling of this season perfectly,” she adds.

One selling point for jewellery that fits into the Radiant Orchid colour spectrum is that the hue suits most skin tones. Unlike yellows or greens, it is warmer hue that looks bright against the skin of all who wear it.

The Radiant Orchid hue also works seamlessly with the growing vogue for warmer jewellery tones, whether yellow and rose gold or teamed with brighter orange and hot pink gemstones.

As Astley Clarke, Kiki McDonough and Marco Bicego show with their purple-pink gemstone offer, yellow gold provides a rich, regal setting for showing off the warmth of the colour and the facets of the gemstones. Conversely, Philippe Tournaire’s XL French Kiss ring – a quirky upside-down Eiffel Tower design – contrasts the berry hue of tourmaline with white gold and white diamonds. The use of white gold brings a coolness to the design and makes the colour of the stone much fresher.

This coolness is carried through to the stack ring collections by Pandora, which teams purple-pink cubic zirconia brilliant cuts with polished silver for a more youthful take on the trend.

For jewellery designer Shourouk Rhaiem, who specialises in crystal and mixed-media jewellery, the use of such a bright colour comes as second nature. As part of her recent collaboration with Swarovski, Rhaiem created a statement collar with marquise-shaped crystals in hues of pale pink, deep amethyst and the bright hue of Radiant Orchid. “What I love is to mix colours together – the matt colours and opaque, and the bright colours,” she says of her creative design process. “I will spend weeks looking for the right composition of colours.”

Pantone describes Radiant Orchid as a “captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, which emanates great joy, love and health”.

Certainly, Radiant Orchid has a depth that nods to berries and fruit tones, tropical climes and blossoming florals. Pantone Color Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman explains her view on the colour and what it imparts to the designers working with it and those wearing it. “The radiance is obvious and the word orchid makes it rather exotic,” she says. “The special thing about the colour is that it encourages us to innovate because it’s in the purple family, so it’s a complex colour, which intrigues people even more.”

Eiseman describes the symbolism of Radiant Orchid as being somewhat magical. “It draws you in, it speaks of creativity, so wearing it enhances your feeling of being more creative and innovative. We’re all looking for that touch of uniqueness and this is a colour that can imbue you with that.”

Summed up in one word, Eiseman says Radiant Orchid is “beguiling”; it is a colour that truly embraces those wearing it. And the most suitable gem? “The logical coloured stone is amethyst because it changes tones, sometimes it even appears to have a fuchsia touch to it or depending on how you look at it, some absorbing undertones that really appeal,” she concludes.

This Trends feature was taken from the March issue of Professional Jeweller. To read the issue in full online, click here.