It’s back, and better than ever. We’re talking about purple—a hue that fell out of favor for nearly a decade but that now feels chic again. And just in time for February babies, whose birthstone is the world’s most popular purple gem, amethyst.
“Purple will return as a key color for 2023,” a representative for trend forecasting company WGSN emailed The Zing Report. “We predict the return of purple as a color that will represent wellness, digital escapism, and stability, connecting with the growing focus on mental health. Research suggests that colors with a shorter wavelength, such as [COLORO color] Digital Lavender, evoke calmness and serenity. Already embedded in digital culture, we expect this imaginative color to converge across virtual and physical worlds.” Sounds great!
The color acquired its association as the royal hue in ancient times because clothes dyed purple were expensive to acquire — even for royal families. Citizens who lived under the rule of Queen Elizabeth I and some Roman emperors were even forbidden from wearing the shade. It was only in the latter part of the 19th century, when synthetic dyes were created, that purple become more widely accessible.
“It’s interesting to note that the origins of the color used to be associated with royalty, nobility, and symbolized state and church, but more interestingly perhaps is the fact that it is extremely rare in nature, which increases the color’s appeal as exotic,” said Josina von dem Bussche-Kessell, global sales director at Fabergé. “There is so much to be said about the appeal of purple. But at its very basic conception lie two primary colors: blue and red. Both arguably opposing colors; one considered to be a cold color and one considered a warm color. But put together in varying ratios they produce the most vibrant spectrum of purples. Purple, therefore, offers the best of both worlds in terms of being bold-yet-complementary.”
Amethyst boasts the most iron oxide among quartz gemstones, resulting in grape-y hues that range from pale lilac to a deep royal purple; the gem can frequently have color zoning: an ombre effects from a lighter to a darker color. And jewelers and designers are embracing it anew.
“Amethyst is definitely among the top sellers, particularly in some of our larger and more uniquely shaped pieces,” says Jordan Peck, co-owner and head of operations at Brevani, “I think it has a lot to do with the fact that you can get such a big look out of it without breaking the bank. On top of that, it’s not overstated or too out there in terms of color, so it creates such a regal and elegant look that’s timeless and can be worn with anything.”
And jewelry designer Simone I. Smith, insists, “The right shade of purple is a neutral. It’s spiritual. It represents royalty and courage. It’s sexy and romantic.”
Top image: Retrouvai amethyst and chalcedony pendant, $4,995