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World of Color: Confident Orange

Next up in our color line is orange. I chose it because Pantone’s “color of the year” is “Fuzzy Peach,” which they describe as “A shade that resonates with compassion, offers a tactile embrace and effortlessly bridges the youthful with the timeless.” I would love to join their color committee to ascertain the process for choosing and creating these lofty color descriptions. Since I don’t know how many of us really love fuzzy peach, I thought I’d expand the color to include Orange.

Orange as a color name only emerged in the 16th century. Before that, it was referred to as “yellow-red.” Orange was described by Wassily Kandinsky, the Russian abstract artist, as “red brought nearer to humanity by yellow.” In the 1920’s, Helen Dryden illustrated many covers for Vogue Magazine using orange as a background highlight. See the two examples here.



Orange adds playfulness and beautiful contrast with the complementary cool colors, so it is often used as an accent. One source tells me that Claude Monet’s work “Impression, Sunrise,” gave the Impressionist movement its name. In this painting, he uses an orange sun as the focal point.


Orange is confident, vibrant, urgent, commanding. Think of the rusty orange of the Golden Gate Bridge (whose shade is called GGB Orange,) which creates the iconic contrast with the blue water and sky surrounding it. How about orange warning signs for traffic, and emergency worker vests? Did you know that “black boxes” on airplanes are bright orange to make them easier to locate?

I didn’t.

In Europe, the influential House of Orange brought the color into vogue and the Dutch use it as their national hue.

Getting down to gemstones, we have some spectacular oranges in the garnets, diamonds, sapphires, and “fuzzy peach” tourmaline. Take a look at these photos and come see me for your elegant orange jewelry pieces. It just so happens, I have a gorgeous stash of orange garnets here… but, of course, you already know that.


Hugs from the studio…