Gemstones | Jewelry Stylist
Purple Reigns: How to Wear Purple Jewels and Clothing
Purple Reigns blog post: Amethyst

How do you feel about the color purple?  It’s one of my favorites.

Thrilling or perplexing, the color purple is capturing cultural attention.  Since the purple clothing around inauguration looked really good in the media, it’s reasonable we’ll be seeing more purple fashions.

Purple politics aside, let’s take a closer look at purple and how to wear purple gemstones and clothing in an energizing way.

Blue + Red = Purple

Regal, exotic, and a bit mysterious, purple is a combination of varying amounts of blue and red.  Purple is the color of creativity and said to have the calm surrender of blue and the sensual passion of red.

On the chart from LLC below, you can see “magenta” is a reddish purple and “violet” is a bluish purple.  We can lighten purple to create a lavender tint or darken it achieving an eggplant or mulberry shade.

LLR Purple Color Chart
Of the many gemstones available in purple hues, Amethyst is one of the world’s most popular gemstones.  Amethyst has beauty and durability, and because it is widely available (especially in smaller sizes) it is not as pricey as some of the rarer purple gems like Violet Sapphire.
Trellis Ring, Medium, featuring Amethyst
Using the color names from the chart above, there is Magenta Tourmaline; Orchid Jade, Mauve, Periwinkle and Eggplant Spinel (the ring above is Spinel), Violet Sapphire, Boysenberry Rhodolite Garnet, Iris Tourmaline and Periwinkle Tanzanite plus many more hues that can combine in unique ways to create purple gemstones.
Gemstones in purple hues

ABOVE:  There is a wide variety of gemstones in purple hues.

Amethyst comes from many localities around the world.  One of the most revered localities is in the USA:  Jackson’s Crossroads, Georgia.  More normally, Jackson’s  Crossroads produces Amethyst mineral specimens, though when it can be faceted, the finest gems show a red flashing across a slightly bluish-purple body.

If you want to be on the list for Jackson’s Crossroads Amethysts, when they become available, contact me here.

Are purple gems the best way to accessorize purple clothing? Yes and no…

Have you ever thought, “I love this Amethyst, but I don’t wear purple clothes?”  You do not have to match your jewelry to your clothing.

I tell my clients since clothing is ephemeral and jewelry has longevity, start with the jewel and build your clothing around your jewels.

A purple gem doesn’t “pop” or show best worn with purple clothing – it gets lost in the monochromatic sea of purple.

For a gem to stand out from the clothing, the two must contrast yet balance. See below how Amethyst looks with navy, chocolate, marigold, burgundy, evergreen, gray, cream or olive.

Amethyst "pops" against non-purple fabrics
Amethyst "pops" against non-purple fabrics

ABOVE: Amethyst “pops” against non-purple fabrics

Sometimes we want some restraint and not so much “pop.”  When that’s the case, layer your clothing in various hues of purple and wear your purple gem jewelry.  But don’t absolutely match the hues – show something harmoniously tonal, as shown below.  You will look creative and put together and feel powerful.
Tonal color layering

ABOVE:  Tonal color layering

The key to color combinations is to balance colors of similar strength and “feeling.”  This can be done in two ways:  combining contrasting colors of equal strength or by layering tonal hues for a harmonic, monochromatic look.

Composing your Color Symphony

Much as a musician uses musical notes to tell a story, colors are notes and color combinations are musical chords.  We can combine them in ways to generate a symphony, jazz, pop, etc. – we just don’t want our color combinations to be weakly composed.

I have a neurological superpower called “synesthesia”
where I hear colors.

I also think of color combinations as “constructive” or “deconstructive.” Deconstructive color combinations cancel each other out – think elevator music:  weak, banal and often grating. Constructive color combinations sing – they are a symphony or a song, melody or beat that increases your energy.  This energy increase leads us to feeling more powerful and beautiful.

Here’s How I Wear Purple

Here are some ways to develop your sense of combining clothing and gems. The goal is to feel fantastic in your jewelry and wear it to project your own individual style and tastes.

If you mix the vibrant or icy with the muted and dusty, the effect can deconstruct or cancel each other’s affect.  When this happens with our wardrobe, we don’t feel powerful.

Look at the colors around you.  Some will be vibrant or icy glimmering in the light; others are muted or dusty dulling the light.  Think of icy glacial blue versus slate blue or cotton candy versus dusty rose or mauve.

Combine Colors that Balance Feelings, Power or Weight

Combine Colors that Balance Feelings, Power or Weight
Certain shades of purple remind us of a hydrangea in a soft, whispering lavender; others are solid and heavy, like ripe grapes on the vine. Combining a bold, vibrant purple Amethyst pendant with a light and fluffy “hydrangea” chiffon blouse will likely mix color “feelings” in a way that drags the chiffon blouse down, like a rock in a pool, weakening the combination. Similarly, a soft lavender spinel pendant is probably lost when worn with a grape jelly purple jacket.
Purple jewelry a bit heavy for blouse color & texture; Purple-toned jewelry just right for blouse.

LEFT:  Purple jewelry a bit heavy for blouse color & texture;
RIGHT: Purple-toned jewelry just right for blouse.

Instead, pair the bold Amethyst pendant with a heavier-textured material in a russet or burgundy, as shown below, or accent the soft lavender chiffon blouse with a blue topaz, seafoam tourmaline.
The same bold jewelry ensemble from the lavender blouse shown above is better balanced with heavier fabrics in deeper hues.

ABOVE:  The same bold jewelry ensemble from the lavender blouse shown above is better balanced with heavier fabrics in deeper hues.

If you want to wear that bold Amethyst pendant with lighter color or weight clothing, choose a dress or coat because they have larger expanses of color with to balance the smaller bold pendant.
Jewelry combinations that work with the lavender blouse

ABOVE & BELOW:  Jewelry combinations that work withthe lavender blouse -notice the jewelry doesn’t all match in color. The key is to mix colors of similar depth and strength so they don’t over power each other. The first photo on the left,the tanzanite, is borderline overpowering with the light lavender blouse.

Jewelry combinations that work with the lavender blouse 2/2
Color provides for us mentally and emotionally – it is how we regenerate and gain an inner equilibrium.

When we understand color and how to wear it, we feel a power and confidence.  That’s what I want for you!

All of the jewelry illustrating this article was made by Cynthia Renee Jewels. Some is Full Custom Design and others are available in our Boutique.

CLICK HERE to see available Boutique Jewels.

CLICK HERE to Contact Cynthia about a custom jewelry project or with a question.

See Cynthia Renée's custom jewelry design portfolio here.


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