RAIN­BOW COL­LEC­TION

DE­LIGHT IN THE WILD SPEC­TRUM OF BI-COLOURED JEW­ELS

Solitaire (Singapore) - - Knowledge - By Preeta Agar­wal

From rare pink star di­a­mond to black opal, we’ve all seen our fair share of ex­cep­tional gem­stones. Yet one par­tic­u­lar kind never fails to amaze — bi-coloured gem­stone. “A bi-coloured stone is like a paint­brush loaded with more than one colour,” says Us-based jewellery de­signer Margery Hirschey, who likes to take a painterly ap­proach to her de­signs. “It’s just so much more in­ter­est­ing to have slight or bold colour vari­a­tions within one stone than a solid colour stone with­out any sub­tle vari­a­tions.” Aside from look­ing more nat­u­ral, Hirschey says bi-coloured gem­stones work pretty much on any de­sign where colour dom­i­nates.

Wa­ter­melon tour­ma­line, ametrine, and topaz are the most com­mon of th­ese un­usual stones. Other gem­stones like tan­zan­ites and sap­phires also show such ef­fect, but on very rare oc­ca­sions. “Bi-coloured gem­stones are the amaz­ing works of na­ture,” shares ar­ti­san jew­eller Wal­lace Chan. “The dual colours are like in­sep­a­ra­ble twins or lovers meant to be to­gether.”

What’s be­hind this rare oc­cur­rence is the pres­ence of more than one im­pu­rity or pres­sure con­di­tion dur­ing the for­ma­tion, which causes the stone to have mul­ti­ple colour ef­fects. With the un­cer­tain­ties that sur­round their cre­ation, no two bi-coloured stones are the same or have the same colour ra­tio. Find­ing th­ese unique mir­a­cles of na­ture is very rare and could take years. And this er­ratic sup­ply sig­nif­i­cantly adds on to their mar­ket value.

Although some gem­stones are avail­able in a rain­bow­like ar­ray of colours, there are times when un­seen colour com­bi­na­tions are also found. But th­ese are usu­ally sold off within hours, picked up by jew­ellers or col­lec­tors even be­fore they are pre­sented in the mar­ket.

Wa­ter­melon tour­ma­line got its name from the re­fresh­ing fruit, and its colours can range from deep, rich

WA­TER­MELON TOUR­MA­LINE’S COLOURS CAN RANGE FROM DEEP, RICH GREEN TO A TRANSLU­CENT BABY PINK

green to a clear pale green, and from fuch­sia pink to a translu­cent baby pink. There are also other bi-coloured tour­ma­lines where the hues can range from blue to green to teal to green­ish-yel­low.

Al­most too strange to be real, ametrine, as the name im­plies, is a com­bi­na­tion of two mem­bers of the quartz fam­ily — amethyst and cit­rine. For this type, the colour zon­ing ranges from a vivid vi­o­let-pur­ple to bright golden-yel­low. Apart from two dif­fer­ent ways of ox­i­da­tion of iron im­pu­ri­ties, ametrine also needs two dif­fer­ent tem­per­a­ture con­di­tions to bring out such lovely colours. Topaz is an­other gem­stone fam­ily that is found in a wide range of colours, and bi-coloured topazes make for stun­ning cen­tre stones. The most beau­ti­ful of bi-colour topazes range from or­ange to red, golden to blue, and at times with shades of green and yel­low.

Jewellery de­sign­ers love th­ese quirky colour­ful gem­stones and use them promi­nently to add drama to their jewellery. “I love bi-coloured gem­stones,” shares Parisian jewellery de­signer Ly­dia Courteille. “Our goal as de­sign­ers is to wake up the colours that are sleep­ing. I love work­ing with some matte ma­te­ri­als with bi­coloured gem­stones to cre­ate a con­trast.”

The stones’ or­ganic na­ture lends a nat­u­ral el­e­ment to the de­signs, and th­ese im­per­fect char­ac­ter­is­tics make each jewellery piece one of a kind. Mostly found in lin­ear forms, the stones are gen­er­ally shaped in baguettes or step cuts, ex­cept for wa­ter­melon tour­ma­lines that are round by na­ture and are thus faceted in discs im­i­tat­ing the real wa­ter­melon fruit.

THE STONES’ OR­GANIC NA­TURE LENDS A NAT­U­RAL EL­E­MENT TO THE DE­SIGNS

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP LEFT Tsar ring in 18K yel­low gold, amethyst, cit­rine, and ametrine, ANNOUSHKA Dichroma bi-coloured rings, BETH GIL­MORE Unico ear­rings, MARCO BICEGO Tsar Feather ear­rings in 18K yel­low gold, amethyst, cit­rine, and ametrine,...

FROM TOP Fish Dream brooch with a 87.35ct ametrine, fancy coloured di­a­monds, fancy coloured sap­phires, pearls, mother of pearl, and opal, WAL­LACE CHAN Brooch with carved wa­ter­melon tour­ma­line, LY­DIA COURTEILLE

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