The Power of Violet
The popularity of the Pantone Colour of the Year is no flash in the pan. Colour is a powerful tool and studying the science and psychology behind it can help balance everything from your emotions to your appetite. The colours we choose to wear have the power to change our mood, stimulate conversation, symbolize our beliefs and even persuade those around us. A gemstone's colour is all about chemistry, the nuance of which has been studied for thousands of years.
Considered the original it-shade, Violet, like may hues, has surprising origins. Created from the glandular mucous of marine mollusks, it required over 300 000 sea snails to collect a mere ounce of prized purple pigment. So rare and hard to come by, violet was soon associated with a regal and mysterious air that still exists today. In fact, it was once outlawed for anyone but royal and religious figures to wear it and widely believed to carry sacred and protective qualities. It became particularly fashionable during the Victorian era, when Queen Victoria, along with many other high society ladies, counted it as a personal favourite and purple dye finally became mass-produced and widely available. Even though those outside of wealthy, royal families could begin to afford the vivacious shade, violet still managed to retain its sense of luxury—a similar fate that also found the most famous purple gem, Amethyst.
Until the 19th century, Amethysts were mainly sourced from Russia. This limited availability ensured their rarity and appeal remained just as high as the finest gems available at the time, including Diamonds, Rubies, Emeralds and Sapphires. However, eventually, in the 1900s, massive deposits of Amethyst were found in South America, making the rich-hued stone much more readily available, but no less loved by jewel enthusiasts. A current-day contrast in rarity, Tanzanites, which are only sourced from one place in the world, Tanzania, are incredibly rare and available in a wide spectrum of spectacular violet to violet-blue hues. Since they’ve never been widely available, their popularity continues to experience peaks and valleys for those that have yet to learn more about this stunning and unique gem. Purple Sapphires are another great choice, and some of the best possible Ceylon varieties sourced from Sri Lanka often have a trademark violet tone.
While shades of violet are certainly dynamic and eye-catching and often considered a bold choice, their mix of warm red and cool blue actually make them a perfect neutral. Thus, it’s an excellent choice to compliment all skin tones and clothing colours and looks equally rich set in white, yellow or rose-coloured metals.