is the color of 2020 according to Pantone
and - quick fact - the most rare color in nature! Actually, I have a variety of blues I'm working with this year and they're all gorgeous. Some of my favorites I picked up in Tucson last month are a pair of marbled shattuckite from Mexico, Kazakhstani turquoise, deep soulful lapis, soothing two-toned aquamarine, and electric azurite to name a few!
These gemstones all happen to be opaque, but I don't discriminate between translucent or opaque gems. In fact, I actually love to mix the two together. I am enthralled by the juxtaposition of the visual, and often of the texture as well. It is kinda shocking and creates a bold masterpiece.
Do I have a favorite stone? Well... I have to say it's whatever is in front of me at the time! I take a lot of care to find and pick out the gems that I do, and it's often a specific hue of a stone that engages me; the patterns or matrix that entice and inspire me. So they're all equally, and individually, exciting when I get them to my design table. Illustrated below by the bullseye pink rhodochrosite, the specimens of spessartite garnet, and the phantom quartz drops mixed with specimens of blue cavansite.
That said, if I had to be specific, I particularly love stones that have a visual interest to them. Meaning some markings or growth pattern that makes a stone unique and special. Some examples would be maligano jasper that looks like it has been enameled, or chrysocolla in malachite that has a slight shimmer in the deep greens, or the sparkly drusy
center that forms within a gemstone.
I admire what nature produces, and what humans find beauty in and shape into a usable gem. My eyes are always open for unusual and uncommon hues, as well as stones I've never heard of before or never learned about at GIA. I'm never disappointed!