Skip to main content Skip to navigation Skip to site search

Beyond Tradition: Considering Colored Diamonds, Alternative Metals and Other Head-Turning Options

We love tradition — but we also love taking tradition to the next level. Learn how to take baby steps (and more) toward more fashion-forward options.

There is fine fashion jewelry that exists in everyone’s comfort zone. A double strand of Akoya cultured pearls. A solid yellow gold cuff. A sterling chain with a pendant. Diamond studs. Whether buying for yourself or giving them as gifts, you can’t go wrong with these pieces.

But there are also ways to take your jewelry purchases up a notch — to the head-turning, conversation-starting realm. These are jewelry options that have the potential to become signature pieces because wearing them creates “a moment.”

Change it up

One interesting way to go is to choose a piece with an unusual metal look. The most common metals used in jewelry are yellow gold, white gold and sterling silver. But designers have discovered a love of rose gold (which can exist as red gold, pink gold and more), which flatters almost every skin tone. Even a classic cultured pearl or diamond takes on a more individual look in rose gold. Green gold, which is actually not “green” but a greenish yellow, is also a cool way to change up a jewelry gift.

Alternative metals on the market also include tungsten carbide, titanium, cobalt, stainless steel and palladium, commonly used in men’s wedding bands. One of the newest metals used in the jewelry industry, tungsten carbide, is resistant to corrosion, four times harder than titanium and very dense. If you’re looking for a metal that symbolizes strength, you can do no better. These metals are usually seen without diamond or gemstone accents, because it can be difficult to impossible to set stones in these harder metals.

Color gemstones

Nothing is more personal than our response to color; some say it’s even magical. Throughout history, color gemstones have been used as protective talismans and amulets, mental and physical therapeutic aids, predictors of the future and an essential part of religious practices. Gems with deeper meaning can imbue hidden messages in the jewelry, known only to the giver and/or the wearer. While you may prefer to buy jewelry for its intrinsic beauty, how much fun would it be to keep or share a hidden message with your choice of gem?

Some examples:

Gemstone color Meaning
Yellow Action, wisdom, joy, happiness, intellectual energy
White (Colorless) Purity, kindness, wholeness, completion, openness, truth
Red Life, love, action, vitality
Blue Calm, inspiration, sincerity, spirituality
Green Balance, nature, fertility, life
Black Mystery, restful emptiness, stability
Gray Security, maturity, responsibility, dependability
Orange Endurance, vitality
Gold Prosperity, wealth, wisdom
Brown Solidity, naturalness, dependability, comfort
Pink Love, beauty
Purple Royalty, magic, mystery, purpose

Twisted tradition

Untraditional elements in traditional pieces of jewelry create new excitement. For instance, some of the most common pieces of jewelry include diamond stud earrings, stainless steel watches, gold and silver cuffs and strings of perfect pearls.

Instead of white diamond studs, what about yellow diamond studs? Or maybe you’ll be drawn to black diamond studs.

Many watchbands are simple metal, leather, plastic or ceramic. But the design of the band can make the simple more meaningful. Like a watch with a bracelet featuring the Open Hearts® design in the silver bracelet as well as on the mother-of-pearl dial.

Charm bracelets are back, and your choices to twist the tradition are endless. You want to make a choice that reflects her interests. Sailors and boaters will love a ship’s-wheel charm in sterling silver. If she has a favorite team, you could help her “sport” the appropriate “go team!” look.

Leather used in jewelry has become a striking trend, whether in necklaces or bracelets. A leather charm bracelet puts a tough-but-tender spin on a traditional piece of jewelry.

Stepping beyond the standard (but gorgeous!) strand of cultured pearls? Consider a strand of cultured pearls in gold or another color instead. Or stop thinking “strands” altogether! Pearl pendants and necklaces come in a variety of shapes and color pearls for knockout style.

The point is that even the most traditional piece of jewelry can break the bonds of tradition with a little thought and creativity. And lots of designers out there are making it happen, giving you amazing choices!

Was this article helpful?

Share the wisdom

Email this Article

* Required Fields

More on this topic