This year, the jewelry trade is told that “Tangerine Tango” is 2012’s color of the year. This means that orange gemstones, fire opal, spessartite garnet, and citrine, are on the “must have” list. In addition, we are told that colors complementing orange gemstones–blue sapphire, emerald, zircon, diamonds and agates– will play a major role in 2012 jewelry trends.
JCK, among other trade publications, has printed this information. And, recently while in Tucson for the big gem fair, I noticed a number of dealers offering significant amounts of goods in orange hues.
Who sets these trends? Where does the industry get the type of advice that would lead dealers to make these investments? And why should 2012 be the year of “Tangerine Tango?”
In this case, the culprit is Pantone, a global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries. Pantone is what some call a “thought leader” and for more than a decade, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including jewelry and fashion, home and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design.
In December, 2011, the Pantone Color Institute announced Tangerine Tango as its pick for 2012’s color of the year. It explained its choice. “Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it. Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.”
Pantone continues: “Tangerine Tango, a spirited reddish orange, continues to provide the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward.”
But how does the Pantone Research Institute make its selections? Why orange and not, say, yellow or blue?
“The color of the year selection is a very thoughtful process. To arrive at the selection, Pantone quite literally combs the world looking for color influences. This can include the entertainment industry and films that are in production, traveling art collections, hot new artists, popular travel destinations and other socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from technology, availability of new textures and effects that impact color, and even upcoming sports events that capture worldwide attention.”
Pantone has named “Colors of the Year” since 2000. Previous picks have included Honeysuckle (2011), Turquoise (2010), Sand Dollar (2006) and Tigerlily (2004).
Amethyst is February’s Birthstone
While on the subject of color and gemstones, we should note that amethyst is the birthstone for February. It comes from the Greek word amethystos, translated as “not drunken.” Amethyst is believed to protect against intoxication and promote a serious and sober mind. Today, amethyst is considered helpful for people struggling against addictive behaviors.
Amethyst, an affordable gem quartz, is also said to quicken intelligence, guard against anger, encourage calm and bravery and help in bringing forth the highest aspirations in mankind.