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Unconventional Gemstone Pairings for Custom Design Jewelry

by Shari Berg 18 May 2023
Unconventional Gemstone Pairings for Custom Design Jewelry

Custom design jewelry creations give you the freedom to tap into your creative side to find the perfect combination of gemstones, metals, and engravings. Exploring unconventional gemstone pairings is one way to give your jewelry a personalized touch.

You can choose gemstones that have significance, such as birthstones. Or you can get imaginative by exploring new and daring ways to combine these precious stones.

Before you decide to work with a custom design jeweler to bring your idea to life, you can learn more about custom design jewelry and gemstone pairings in our blog. We explore:

  • What are gemstone pairings?
  • What are the factors to consider when pairing gemstones?
  • What are some unconventional gemstone pairings that defy expectations?
  • How can you use gemstone pairings in custom design jewelry?

An unconventional custom design jewelry ring that features several different gemstones to help it stand out.

What are gemstone pairings?

Gemstone pairings are the combination of different jewels in a fine fashion or custom design jewelry piece. Some people choose to select complementary gemstones. Others may prefer to shake things up by placing gemstones you wouldn’t normally see together in the same bracelet, ring, earrings, or necklace.

Designers consider several factors when choosing gemstone pairings, including color theory and symbolism. If you’ve commissioned a custom design jewelry piece, the master jeweler also accounts for personal preference to reflect your personality and style.

Traditional vs. unconventional gemstone pairings

Traditional gemstone pairings are the safe way to go if you want a piece of custom design jewelry that stands the test of time. Some classic combinations include:

  • Emeralds and diamonds
  • Pearls and diamonds
  • Rubies and diamonds
  • Sapphires and diamonds

Endless possibilities exist for unconventional gemstone pairings that create one-of-a-kind pieces that make a bold statement. Custom design jewelry experts appreciate the opportunity to help you explore fresh and unique approaches. Some gemstone pairings that push the boundaries of conventional design include:

  • Aquamarine and morganite
  • Citrine and ametrine
  • Opal and tourmaline
  • Tanzanite and tsavorite

What are the factors to consider when pairing gemstones?

If you’ve decided on the eccentric route with your custom design jewelry pieces, considering some of the following factors can help you achieve your goal.

Color theory and complementary hues

Color theory and complementary hues are valuable tools when pairing gemstones that you don’t normally see together in a custom piece. Understanding the principles of color harmony and contrast helps you create striking combinations.

Your options include:

  • Analogous colors adjacent to each other on the color wheel create a sense of cohesion and harmony when paired.
  • Complementary colors are opposite to each other on the color wheel (warm vs. cool) and create a prominent piece of jewelry when paired.
  • Triadic colors are 3 colors evenly spaced apart on the color wheel that when combined offer a balance yet vibrant piece.

You also should consider color temperature and the jewelry setting when pairing unconventional gemstones. A master jeweler can make suggestions based on the gemstones you’ve selected.

Contrast and visual impact

Contrast and visual impact are powerful jewelry design elements. They help you create visually stunning combinations that stand out in a crowd. Some tips for using contrast to increase the visual impact of your custom piece include:

  • Selecting gemstones that have distinct color differences.
  • Experimenting with gemstones of different shapes and cuts.
  • Considering gemstones with different textures and surface characteristics.
  • Opting for gemstones of varying sizes to emphasize their uniqueness.

Gemstone hardness and durability

Depending on how often you plan to wear your custom design jewelry, you may want to consider gemstone hardness and durability.

For everyday wear, choose precious stones with similar hardness levels to withstand normal wear-and-tear scenarios without scratches or other damage.

If you select gemstones with lower hardness levels, consider a protective setting such as bezel or halo for added defense.

Lastly, consider a durable metal like platinum or 18K gold to provide a sturdy framework for your gemstones. Never pair softer gemstones with less durable metals like sterling silver because it won’t provide sufficient support or durability.

Personal preferences and symbolism

Personal preferences always trump other factors. The purpose of custom design jewelry is to show off your style. Make sure you choose gemstone pairings that speak to your personality.

Consult with a master jeweler skilled in custom design pieces to guide you through the process for the best results.

A woman wears and amethyst and aquamarine necklace as part of a custom design jewelry piece.

What are some unconventional gemstone pairings that defy expectations?

The sky is the limit when deciding which gemstones to pair in your custom jewelry. Sometimes people have in mind a mood they want to evoke with their pieces. Others may know what stones they like and simply want to have them displayed in one piece they can wear every day.

Whatever your reasons for choosing to feature unlikely gemstone pairings, here are some of the ways other jewelry lovers have accepted the challenge of creating something bold and unexpected.

  • Amethyst and aquamarine come together to create a sense of serenity with their blue and purple hues.
  • Diamond and black onyx create the perfect balance of darkness and light.
  • Emerald and pink tourmaline express vibrancy with their green and pink colors joined together.
  • Ruby and opal produce a sense of urgency with their fiery red and iridescent colors blended.
  • Sapphire and citrine contrast with one another to create a striking piece of jewelry.

If you’re not sure which gemstones you want to use, talk with a master jeweler. They can help you select the perfect pairings based on your preferences.

How can you use gemstone pairings in custom design jewelry?

You can use unconventional gemstone pairings in custom design jewelry for a variety of reasons. Maybe you’re getting married, and you want a truly one-of-a-kind engagement ring and wedding band. Perhaps you’re celebrating a birthday or need a unique holiday gift for a loved one.

Whatever the reason, you can use gemstone pairings to create:

  • Bridal jewelry that adds a modern twist to a traditional design. Combination suggestions include pairing a sapphire or emerald with a complementary accent gemstone to create a unique engagement or wedding band.
  • Earrings can use asymmetrical designs that feature a different gemstone or gemstone combination in each earring.
  • Mixed gemstone bracelets can include gemstones of different colors, sizes, and textures to create an eclectic look.
  • Pendant necklaces allow you to experiment with combinations that play with color and contrast or complementary hues to create a conversation-starting piece.
  • Statement rings are the perfect opportunity to pair unconventional gemstones to capture a mood or personality. Pairing a vibrant blue topaz with a fiery orange garnet is one example of how to achieve this look.

A master jeweler uses tools to create a custom design jewelry piece.

Get custom design jewelry that stands out

Working with a master jeweler is the best way to get custom design jewelry pieces that combine unconventional gemstones that make a statement.

They can provide guidance, expertise, and artistic insight to help you achieve harmony and coherence with your jewelry design concept.

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