Opaque Gems – Intensity of Color Creates Crisp, Fresh Style – Picchiotti


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Opaque Gems – Intensity of Color Creates Crisp, Fresh Style

Opaque Gems – Intensity of Color Creates Crisp, Fresh Style

Many traditional gemstones that we all know and love are translucent, often with light reflecting beautifully and passing through faceted surfaces, creating brilliance and sparkle. But other gems have a different type of appeal. Opaque gems such as lapis, coral, jadeite, opal, and chalcedony offer intense deep colors and smooth surfaces that inspire the designers at PICCHIOTTI to think outside the box.

“I have always been attracted to precious gemstones, but lately, I find my passion growing for opaque gems, as well,” says Guiseppe Picchiotti, Founder and lead designer at PICCHIOTTI. “The intensity of color is striking, setting a very different tone and a contemporary feel for our Xpandable™️ and Reversible designs. After five decades of brilliance, we are now exploring the absence of brilliance… the versatile beauty of stones without any sparkle at all. It’s fun to pair them with a sprinkle of diamonds or with the shimmer of gold. The look is still very classic but also very true to our color heritage.”

Lapis Lazuli – The Intoxicating Allure of Opaque Deep Blue

Associated for centuries with royalty, the deep blue hue of lapis lazuli can trace its history back to ancient times. Cleopatra herself wore lapis lazuli in her jewelry but also crushed it to create her striking blue eye shadow. Also called lapis, the stone is associated with high ideals like strength and courage, as well as wisdom and truth.

PICCHIOTTI has been using lapis to create a more subdued look for lovers of blue. Unlike sapphires, the other beloved deep blue gem, lapis has a more casual vibe and can be worn every day with a wide variety of outfits. The Xpandable collection offers two Lapis bracelets – the 8158 and the Glee bracelet. The 8158 has the architectural and geometric inspiration that PICCHIOTTI is known for, with planes of flat lapis rectangles intersecting with diamond bridges in 18K rose gold. The Glee lapis bracelet features repetitive round forms alternating between diamonds and deeply blue lapis, in the warmth of an 18K gold bracelet. For those wanting the versatility of with or without diamonds, the Reversible Xpandable Lapis bracelet features onyx and diamonds on one side for a dressier look and solid blue lapis on the other for a more casual appeal.

Gem Ceramic – Unlimited Options of Durable Color

In PICCHIOTTI’s new Gem Ceramic collection, glossy colored ceramic is paired with opaque gemstones and embellished with round or emerald cut diamonds. This new gem ceramic is a high-tech innovation that includes titanium carbide, a natural organic and non-metallic substance that is very strong. When this titanium infused ceramic is polished, it become incredibly shiny and smooth. This hypoallergenic ceramic can be inlaid with gold or set with gemstones. The new technology was previously unavailable, but now the sleek look of this “gem ceramic” gives fine jewelry a contemporary vibe. It can be colored in a vast array of hues, and it also comes in different textures. As world leaders in the realm of colored gemstones jewelry, PICCHIOTTI became intrigued by this new material and has launched an entire collection in gem ceramic that features beautiful use of ceramic combined with diamonds and gemstones.

What started as an experiment has grown into an incredible assortment of designs. PICCHIOTTI is fusing the past and present with new gem ceramic styles inspired by Art Deco architectural elements. The Gem Ceramic Art Deco bracelet has been created with turquoise in black ceramic and white gold or white ceramic and rose gold, as well as with the bright pop of crimson in precious coral.

The white ceramic also creates a crisp clean fashion appeal, especially as monochrome white practically dominated the seasonal runways for spring/summer this year. The white ceramic and rose gold bracelet featured above will become a go-to in a fine jewelry wardrobe whenever a pop of bright white is required. The Reversible black and white ceramic bracelet is also a new classic, easily converting from the dressy black and diamond accessory to a pure white style for a standard white blouse or an ivory blazer. The white ceramic can also be inlaid with gold in a kind of trompe l’oiel aesthetic as in the sapphire earrings shown above.  The white is also featured in a link bracelet and necklace, as well as the black and  turquoise colored ceramic shown above … easy wear pieces that feel casual and contemporary, yet refined.

Coral – The Crimson Beauty from the Sea

Clockwise from upper left – PICCHIOTTI Xpandable The 8158 Coral bracelet, PICCHIOTTI Coral Art Deco necklace, model wearing PICCHIOTTI coral necklace and earrings, PICCHIOTTI Xpandable Reversible bracelet, PICCHIOTTI Perfect Harmony Coral ring, Hermes S/S ’23 (Spotlight Launchmetrics)

Clockwise from upper left – PICCHIOTTI Xpandable The 8158 Coral bracelet, PICCHIOTTI Coral Art Deco necklace, model wearing PICCHIOTTI coral necklace and earrings, PICCHIOTTI Xpandable Reversible bracelet, PICCHIOTTI Perfect Harmony Coral ring, Hermes S/S ’23 (Spotlight Launchmetrics)

Coral is another opaque stone that has been used in fine jewelry and decorative arts for thousands of years.  In ancient Rome, coral was believed to be an amulet, a protective stone to ward off evil. Given its deep sea origin, our fascination with the beauty and allure of coral is well-founded. PICCHIOTTI embraces coral specifically for the vibrant nature of its orange-red hue. Coral beads join with onyx and diamonds in 18K rose gold to form a beautiful short statement necklace. Available with matching earrings, this pop of color will endure for lifetimes and become a cherished heirloom when passed down to future generations. That is part of the value of coral – that it retains that lovely intense color forever. The Perfect Harmony ring brings that exciting color to a yin-yang ring with diamonds and 18K rose gold.

Coral is also perfectly paired with white and white diamonds. The Reversible coral and white ceramic bracelet offers two summer-fresh styles in one, as the bracelet easily expands and contracts for a perfect fit and gently flips over when turned to reveal the alternate style. The Coral 8158 Xpandable bracelet also offers a racecar jolt of exciting color in a refined and tasteful geometric pattern with just the right hint of sparkle in the diamonds. PICCHIOTTI also offers alternate versions with a little less color as well as Xpandable coral ring options.

Turquoise – The Baby Blue of Gems

Where coral is the gem of the sea, turquoise is the celebration of the sky. Beloved for its baby blue hues, the allure of turquoise goes beyond its various light blue color tones. The stone was thought to represent and reflect the heavens and grant protection as well as joy and delight. According to the American Gem Society, the earliest use of turquoise in jewelry dates back to 3000 BCE in jewelry found in ancient Egyptian tombs.

Today, turquoise is no longer restricted to summertime. While it is gorgeous with suntanned skin and those white after Memorial Day fashions, this lovely blue gem is now worn year-round by the fashion elite. PICCHIOTTI celebrates turquoise in a number of designs, sculpting its energetic hue with elegance and grace. Turquoise pairs perfectly with rose, yellow, or white gold and is featured in a variety of PICCHIOTTI bracelets, earrings, and rings. Unlike faceted blue sapphires, the opaque and smooth sheen of turquoise feels more playful, perfect for today’s casual on-the-go lifestyles.

Onyx – The Rebellious Intensity of Black

Black is one of fashion’s forever classics. From the “little black dress” to the “black tie” attire, the dark intensity of black has been celebrated on runways since they were invented. Onyx is the gem world’s classic black. The stone is a version of chalcedony and presents with a deep black hue. It creates the perfect black and white combo when designed with diamonds.

“Having celebrated color for so much of my life and in so many of my jewelry designs, I sometimes like the mix things up with onyx,” says Giuseppe. “Black is radical shift for us and every now and again, a long-time heritage brand needs to think outside the box. The sharpness of black appeals to me and it offsets diamonds beautifully! It always feels a little rebellious to design with onyx, and I enjoy that feeling!”

PICCHIOTTI almost always accents its onyx designs with clear white diamonds. The contrasting opposites are used to create everything from innovative Xpandable rings and Art Deco inspired earrings to a yin-yang harmony statement ring or charming life-like snail brooch. The rebellious fun of black in a fine jewelry wardrobe cannot be understated – it has the edgy vibe of rock star jewelry. Enjoy it.

If you are a lover of color and have a fine jewelry wardrobe full of pristine red rubies and royal blue sapphires or verdant emeralds, consider adding some opaque gems into the mix. The intensity of color and smooth surfaces create a crisp style that resonates with a fresh and innovative flair. Embrace the colors you love and turn some heads while you’re at it.

Feature image at top – clockwise from left – PICCHIOTTI Reversible pendant necklace, model wearing PICCHIOTTI Gem Ceramic cuff bracelet, PICCHIOTTI Perfect Harmony rings in Turquoise, Onyx, Coral, PICCHIOTTI Art Deco Essentially Color earrings

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