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Sam Heyworth's guide to buying pink gems


Pink jewels are a fabulous and unpredictable way to spice up any look. Pink gemstones have rocketed in value recently as people search for something at once playful, rare (in the case of diamonds) and different.

It is not the record breaking price tag achieved for the extraordinary 24 carat pink diamond (sold for $46m in November to Laurence Graff), nor the beautiful ropes of pink coloured sapphires in the windows of Cartier that come to mind when I think of pink. No, whenever I think of pink jewellery the first image that comes to mind is Audrey Hepburn returning from a party in ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, chic and playful in a pink Givenchy dress with matching rhinestone earrings and tiara. Pink jewellery should always be whimsical and fun.

Unfortunately what works for Audrey doesn’t work for everyone as I’ve found to my cost! Everyone can wear pink in some form but you need to be very careful. Colouring is a major consideration. I think brunettes  can wear almost any shade, but fairer amongst us have to take care. Pink can look a bit “Girls of the Playboy Mansion” on a blonde. Like leopard print, it needs to be worn with caution by those of us who hit the bleach.

The shade, unless its just right, can disappear on a fairer complexion, worse still it can enhance any red in your skin or wash you out completely. You need to go for vibrant pinks, or pink gems that are mixed with another colour. If you’re olive-skinned its so much easier, most things will work on you, from a pinkish-red ruby to a champagne, peachy diamond a la J Lo.

There are dozens of pink stones to choose from: diamonds (for a very major investment), sapphires and the semi precious stones such as topaz, rubellite and tanzanite.

A quick word on pink diamonds and the reason for their extraordinarily high value. Only one out of 10,000 diamonds is categorised as  ‘fancy’ (the term used to describe an intensely coloured stone). Ordinarily a one carat white diamond will produce 4 small houses worth of debris, however mining one carat of pink diamond produces a vast pile of rubble as big as the New York Rockefeller Centre.

“Coloured diamonds have a wonderful adamantine lustre that no other stone has” says jewellery valuer and auctioneer Joanna Hardy. "A blue diamond is nothing like an aquamarine or a topaz because of its lustre. And pink diamonds have the most fantastic colour and are completely different from other pink gemstones, like tourmaline and morganite. A diamond brings colour to life. And what is amazing is that it has been produced completely by nature.”

James Martin, Pink Sapphire & Diamond Earrings; $9500.00, Available from jim@jamesmartinltd.com - tel: 212.957.8285

Spectacularly vibrant pink sapphires, set in white gold with diamonds, (very Breakfast at Tiffany's) this shade would suit most people.

1982 Halston, Ruched One Shouldered Jersey Goddess Dress; Decadesinc.com

Cartier Paris 1954, Corallium Rubrum Diamond and Gold Dress Ring; £20-50000.00, Sjphillips.com

Ashok Sancheti, Tourmaline and Diamond Earrings; $40.000, Available from pioneer576@aol.com - tel: 212.391.4490

Think pink champagne with these “bubbles” of differing sizes falling softly from a large centre stone, as they move and sway they capture and throw the light of the diamonds and tourmalines across the face with stunning results. These  waterfall earrings combine the perfect mix of pink to peachy stones falling from tiny round diamonds and with the larger pink tourmalines showcased in their own diamond bezels. These earrings are tremendous fun and are colourful in design. They are a high fashion gem jewellery, very contemporary and meant to have a young at heart look to them with a bit of whimsy.

Vintage, 1940’s Pink Sapphire and Diamond Earrings; $5500.00, Deborah Mellen Jewels NYC (Deborah@mellenco.com)

Chanel, Long Rose Coloured Sautoir; $3200, Douglas Rosin NYC (info@douglasrosin.com). This piece has unusual length so there are lots of options to wear it.

- Sam Heyworth

See our pink trend report, our stylist’s guide to wearing pink, The Twins’ guide to pink and Bip Ling’s pink video.

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