Color is about diversity. It gives us endless options to highlight our individuality and personal style while also offering opportunities to identify with others.
You might wear a color of your choice to stand out and be different or wear a certain color to identify with others such as your sports team, political party or school. Color lets us be different than some and the same as others.
Color is emotional and personal. We like some colors and dislike others. Colors can make us feel warm and comfortable or bold and daring. Color is instantly recognizable, highly communicative and broadly used. Color is powerful.
The colored-gemstone market is waking up to new opportunities for growth as new generations of consumers look for ways to express themselves. They want something new, different, authentic and unique. The great variety offered by gemstone jewelry is perfect for these new consumers.
Developing the gemstone market is challenging. Colorless diamonds offer relatively easy ways to standardize and communicate the quality of the product. Not so colored gemstones. Color is very complicated. We have not yet developed standard descriptive terminology. Furthermore, everyone sees the same color differently. Color perception is personal. Interestingly, women are much more sensitive and perceptive of color than men.
In the world of internet trading, our challenge is to create opportunities for color communication. We don’t all have to speak the same language, but we have to have the language to communicate what we have to sell or want to buy. Sometimes color terminology is associated with geographical locations and other times with comparative physical colors like pigeon’s blood or cornflower.
The gemstone business is wonderfully diverse. Our people are as different and exciting as our products. This diversity and mix of personalities are an important part of our color trading culture. We must not mindlessly develop standardization or color communication in a way that diminishes our unique mix of people and products.
As I head out to the great American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) GemFair Tucson, I am excited about the products and people I will see. I’m looking forward to having fun. The colored-gemstone business is a lot like the Wild West.
As we develop and grow the gemstone market, let’s keep it that’s way.
Main image: TBD
This article is from the January-February 2024 issue of Rapaport Magazine. View other articles here.