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Viva Magenta!

By Isabelle Corvin, CG, Staff Gemologist at Panowicz Jewelers

If you haven’t heard the news by now, Pantone’s Color for 2023 is the rich, and always beautiful Viva Magenta (18-1750).

While the hue can vary from pinkish to purplish to reddish, the saturation is always high with magenta, rendering a bright, vivid color. On color wheels, magenta is usually located exactly between blue and red. Likewise, when screens, such as a computer, transmit magenta, they do so by combining equal amounts of red and blue.

Complementary colors to magenta are often said to be greens and blacks.

Viva Magenta, is a perfect example of a blend of primary colors while also lending it a subtle, rosy hue underneath.

The name of this mixed hue, “magenta,” originally comes from a dye patented in 1859, called “fuchsine” at the time. This dye was created by a French chemist named Francois-Emmanuel Verguin. It was later renamed to the modern name, magenta, that same year after the Battle of Magenta. The battle was won by the Italian and French forces near a town in Lombardy that bore the same name.

Oval Cut Ruby by Gem2000

Pantone has said that their pick for 2023 is an unconventional shade for an unconventional time. And indeed, this bright, unusual, and daring hue is a surprise.

This quote by Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone institute, sums up the bold and dynamic vibes of Viva Magenta perfectly. “There’s no way you’re going to walk into a room if you’re wearing this color and not have attention go to you.”

Blue and red are both strong, stable colors on their own, and this mixture of the two certainly stands out in the crowd.

And naturally, a few gemstones come to mind immediately after seeing this hue for the first time.

The first, perhaps the most obvious, is “The King of Gems,” ruby.

Lorelei Ribbon Ruby Pendant by Hearts on Fire
Lorelei Ribbon Ruby Pendant by Hearts On Fire

While rubies are known as primarily a red stone, there’s no denying that many rubies display an undertone of pink or purple to them.

The lore of rubies is rich and ancient. Due to its vibrant color, it was always highly prized. Thought to be most potent when worn directly touching the skin, it is said to promote good luck, health, and wealth.

Ruby and Diamond ring by Jack Abraham
Ruby and Diamond ring by Jack Abraham

There are even reports across Asia that some old buildings had rubies laid underneath the foundation to provide good fortune to those inside.

Rubies were especially esteemed in India, where much of the lore originates. To this day, rubies are sought after and thought to bring love and luck to all those who wear one.

Another gemstone that invokes the color of Viva Magenta perfectly is rubellite tourmaline.

Rubellite Tourmaline and Diamond Ring by Omi Privé
Rubellite Tourmaline and Diamond Ring by Omi Privé

Tourmaline comes in every color and tone imaginable. While there are many versions of red and pink tourmalines, true rubellite is usually classified as having a red component with either purple or pink modifiers. Manganese is responsible for the vibrant and deep hues of true rubellite.

Rubellite tourmaline is often said to open and balance the heart chakra. Due to the color, it’s no surprise some call it a stone of love, as well as healing through love.

The final gem that may mimic Viva Magenta’s hue is rhodochrosite.

While transparent, crystal versions of this gem are extremely rare, the opaque stones still capture the stunning description of magenta. It can also be a paler, softer pink, with distinct banding sometimes called “bacon banding.”

Rhodochrosite and Diamond ring by Jorge Adeler
Rhodochrosite and Diamond ring by Jorge Adeler

The stone’s name comes from several Greek words, literally translating to “rose-colored.”

This stone’s color, even when pastel, is highly saturated and intense. When more red is added in, its hue can range into dark, almost pure red tones. Beads, carvings, and cabochons are common.

The stone is known to increase compassion and is sometimes said to awaken one’s “inner child” by increasing activity, cheerfulness, innocence, and curiosity.

Perhaps not as well-known as ruby and rubellite tourmaline, rhodochrosite is still a great ambassador for the magenta color, while also being unique and intriguing. It’s perfect for someone who wants something a little different.

Magenta is seen in many flowers and plants throughout the world and in many minerals. After all, gemstones are sometimes said to be flowers of the mineral world.

Viva Magenta is a bold color with loads of attitude.

Why not join in and be seen wearing some lovely gemstones to match?

The new year is upon us, and Viva Magenta is ready to start it out right, bright, lively, and striking.

Isabelle Corvin

Isabelle Corvin is an AGS Certified Gemologist (CG) who is the Staff Gemologist at Panowicz Jewelers. Since she was 14-years-old, she knew she wanted to be a gemologist. Ms. Corvin also writes for Panowicz Jewelers’ blog.