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The Gem and Crystal Trends You’ll See Everywhere This Year

Feb 23, 2017

by Valerie Rains

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Whether you believe crystals and gemstones are meant for display or adornment, for wearing or for wishing on, there’s no denying their powers of attraction. For proof, look no further than the 50,000 folks who flood the streets (and parking lots, and hotels, and convention halls) of Tucson, Arizona, every year for the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase.

In addition to being a wonderland of raw and cut stones, just-unearthed minerals, and even dinosaur bones, the shows—all 40-plus of them—are also a prime environment for spotting jewelry and home styles for the year ahead. Here are eight gem and crystal trends that shone brighter than the rest on our recent scouting mission—and dozens of ideas to get the look. Which one catches your eye?

1. Iridescents of all kinds

Opal and rose gold ring from Anueva Jewelry, $475; opal and pave diamond necklace from Nadean Designs, $264; black opal and rose gold ring from Ardonn, $275; purple labradorite cabochon from The Glowing Stone, $84

White opals won us over first. Then we went mad for moonstones. Now we see the (rainbow-colored) light: that there’s a vast range of iridescent stones spanning the spectrum from pretty and pale to mystical and dark, and it’s the latter that are filling our wish lists (and tastemakers’ Instagram feeds). If you haven’t already fallen for fire opal, black opal, or gently flashing labradorite, prepare to be charmed.

Search terms to try: fire opal, black opal, labradorite, spectrolite

2. Blush pinks

Rose quartz earrings from Powers Handcrafted, $78; pink opal earrings from MGMetal, $155; raw pink tourmaline nugget beads from Love Actually Beads, $18.70 for a 7.5-inch strand; rose quartz air plant mount from Falcon and Finch, $30

Before it was a Pantone (co-) color of the year in 2016, rose quartz was a stone prized for its association with calmness, heart healing, and unconditional love. In 2017, the newly ubiquitous hue is poised to make an even bigger impact, edging its way forward in the fashion world. Modern, monochrome looks in “millennial pink” featured heavily in the latest runway shows from influential designers like Phillip Lim and buzzy newcomer Sies Marjan, while the emphasis for jewelry is on not-too-girly iterations: rough pink tourmaline nuggets, opaque cabochons of gray-streaked Peruvian opal, and milky masses of rose quartz.

Search terms to try: rose quartz, Peruvian pink opal, kunzite, pink tourmaline

3. The next turquoise

Larimar ring from All-Natural Rock Shop, $108; 12mm matte Amazonite beads from Golden Age Beads, $6.45 for a 15-inch strand; azurmalachite ring from Alloyd Studio, $168; kyanite and chrysocolla necklace from Alana Douvros, $110

We may never tire of traditional turquoise jewelry, both vintage and new, but there’s room in our hearts for even more Southwest-inflected stones in dappled aqua hues. A few that made a big splash at the shows this year: Larimar, a white-streaked stone mined only in the Dominican Republic; chrysocolla, an acid-bright mineral sometimes covered in a druzy layer; and green Amazonite, which crystal enthusiasts use to boost communication. More of a lapis lazuli girl? Consider giving vibrant, two-tone azurmalachite a spin.

Search terms to try: larimar, chrysocolla, amazonite, apatite, azurmalachite

4. Super shiny metallics

Pyrite cube from Hounds of Apollo, $13.98 each; pyrite cube earrings from Daimblond, $27.38; pyrite and quartz pendant from Onata, $78; pyrite crystal ring from Frieda + Sophie, $86.40

We’ve been snapping up gleaming brass and copper bar carts, coat hooks, fixtures, and figurines for a little while now, so it only makes sense for the mega-reflective metallics trend to make its way to the gem and mineral realm. Enter pyrite (aka fool’s gold): Whether it’s clasped in a simple setting as the centerpiece of a flashy cocktail ring or displayed on your desktop in its natural state—perched on a hunk of rock like some miniature modernist cliffside mansion—pyrite has never felt more right than it does right now.

Search terms to try: pyrite, fool’s gold

5. Shades of greenery

Jade pendant from Foundry and Co, $31; raw green tourmaline earrings from Happy Little Gems, $68; moss agate ring from Everbliss Designs, $20; raw peridot ring from Avello, $48

Jewelry lovers with August birthdays are probably already acquainted with peridot’s yellow-green glow (and its purported ability to bring prosperity). But now that Pantone has put greenery in the spotlight for 2017, a whole range of stones within that “nature’s neutral” color scheme are flourishing. From moss agate’s plant-like patterns to smooth, speckled nephrite, the possibilities abound.

Search terms to try: peridot, moss agate, jade, jadeite, nephrite, serpentine, green tourmaline

6. The dark side

Smoky quartz cuff links from Daimblond, $27.17; rough onyx necklace from Mercé Jewelry, $130; black tourmaline earrings from Rachel Unger Jewelry, $48; smoky quartz ring from keepityours, $30.60

There are two ways to win with this edgy trend: Go for something chunky, matte, and Flintstones-esque (like a rough-onyx statement necklace, black tourmaline studs, or beads of black jade) or pick up a crystal with a little more depth and complexity, such as smoky quartz, in rough or faceted form. (Note: The look works best when paired with antiqued or oxidized metals.)

Search terms to try: onyx, black jade, black tourmaline, smoky quartz

7. Colorless crystals

Quartz and reclaimed wood chandelier from Blue Lotus Designs Shop, $99.99; quartz pendant from Crystals on the Moon, $21; quartz point ring from Onata, $55; quartz crown from Kerry Ann Stokes, $124

From lucite jewelry and home accessories to minimalist stained glass art, this trend is, ahem, crystal-clear. Find it in boho wall hangings with dangling tiers of quartz crystals, double-pointed Herkimer diamond studs, and wand-like selenite pendants. The best part? There’s no color scheme they can’t complement.

Search terms to try: quartz, clear quartz, selenite, Herkimer diamond

8. Warm tones and geodes

Agate coaster set from gossamerandviolet, $132 for four; sterling silver and agate pendant from Jaunebleu, $225; desert jasper earrings from The Silver Workshop, $32; geode slice ring from Luxdivine, $71.25

Vendors at this year’s show saw an increased demand in the home decor market for warm-toned and polychrome stones such as desert jasper and agate, particularly in ’70s-era color palettes of ochre, onyx and oxblood. But the appeal of earthy stones doesn’t end there. See also: Givenchy’s Spring 2017 collection, where dessert-plate-sized agate slice pendants dangled from navel-length tortoiseshell chains.

Search terms to try: desert jasper, agate, laguna agategeode

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Location photographs by Grace Stufkosky.

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