Orange Gemstones List Used in jewelry

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Orange isn’t a common color for natural gemstones. Although the list of orange gemstones isn’t exhaustive, there is a range of stunning orange gemstones that offer a unique and eye-catching look when set into jewelry. If you would like to add orange gemstones to your jewelry collection, here are the top 12 orange gemstones used in jewelry.

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Orange Diamond

Orange diamond
Orange diamonds by James Allen. See more here.

Features:

  • Extremely rare
  • Very expensive
  • Synthetic varieties available

Nicknamed ‘fire diamonds’ for their intense color, orange diamonds are stunning and desirable gemstones. Pure orange diamonds are extremely rare and highly valuable, receiving their color from the presence of nitrogen. Most orange diamonds on the market are found with secondary hues of brown, yellow, and pink and range from Faint Orange to Fancy Deep Orange shades. Orange diamonds are also known as ‘pumpkins’ partly due to their color and partly because of the famous orange diamond known as the Pumpkin Diamond. Due to their rarity and high price point, synthetic orange diamonds offer a more accessible option for most people.

Orange Sapphire

Orange sapphire tennis bracelet
Orange sapphire tennis bracelet by Blue Nile. See it here.

Features:

  • Rare
  • Highly durable
  • Commonly heat treated
  • Synthetic varieties available

Like pure orange diamonds, orange sapphires are also very rare in nature. These gemstones generally have traces of yellow or pink in them and the border between these three colors can sometimes overlap. Almost all orange sapphires on the market are enhanced to reach the desired orange color but in nature, orange sapphires receive their color from traces of vanadium. Sapphires have excellent durability, second only to diamonds, and are ideal for all types of jewelry.

The highly valuable and stunning variety of salmon-colored sapphires known as Padparadscha is also called orange sapphires. These are rare and highly coveted varieties of sapphire.

Citrine

Citrine orange gemstones hook earrings
Citrine hook earrings by James Allen. See them here.

Features:

  • Fairly abundant
  • Relatively durable
  • Good brilliance
  • Excellent transparency

Citrine is a transparent variety of quartz that occurs in yellow to dark orange shades.  Called citrine after the French word citron for lemon, this gemstone is famous for its golden hues. Citrine is relatively durable (Mohs 7) and holds up to wear and tear quite well. It has very good clarity and is highly transparent. It is also a brilliant gemstone and is often faceted to enhance this feature. Due to its bright color, citrine has come to symbolize positivity, happiness, and contentment and is popular among crystal healers.

Orange Zircon

Orange gemstones zircon ring
Orange zircon ring by Silver Capital. See it here.

Features:

  • Fairly rare
  • Relatively affordable
  • Often faceted
  • Very high brilliance
  • Transparent

Zircon is often confused with cubic zirconia, the cheap diamond simulant, due to the similarities in their names. However, zircon is a rare natural gemstone, with a brilliance comparable to that of diamonds. Orange zircon is almost always faceted to maximize the stone’s brilliance. It has a vitreous luster and typically has excellent transparency. Orange zircon ranks at 6 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale, which is durable enough for use in jewelry but can easily be scratched and damaged. It is also not very tough due to its brittleness and is not resistant to chipping and breaking. Orange zircon is a relatively affordable gemstone.

Imperial Topaz

Imperial topaz pendant
Imperial topaz pendant by Loving Thyself Rocks. See it here.

Features:

  • Most valuable topaz variety
  • Rare
  • Very good durability
  • Vitreous luster

The word ‘topaz’ is considered to have originated from the Sanskrit word for fire – tapas. Little wonder, considering the fiery colors that imperial topaz displays. Although topaz is commonly found and fairly affordable, imperial topaz, also known as precious topaz, is the most valuable and also rarest variety of topaz. Its colors are compared to those of the sun and sky during sunset and range from light peach to dark shades of orange. 

Topaz is a hard gemstone, ranking 8 on the Mohs scale, and often has excellent clarity with little to no visible inclusions. It is vitreous in luster and is almost always faceted, but may sometimes be cut en cabochon to highlight its color and beauty.

Oregon Sunstone

Oregon sunstone pendant
Oregon sunstone pendant by Terra Finds. See it here.

Features:

  • Uncommon
  • Contains a glowing effect
  • Has copper inclusions
  • Low durability

Not many people have heard of sunstone as it is quite rare and not a mainstream gemstone. Oregon sunstone, named after Oregon, USA, where it is primarily found, is a unique stone that contains tiny copper impurities. When touched by light, and viewed from the correct angle, these inclusions give of metallic flashes that result in a stunning glittering appearance.

High-quality sunstone is dynamic and appears to be glowing, like a source of the fire. Sunstone is not very durable (6 Mohs) and should be placed in protective settings if used in rings. When paired with yellow or rose gold, sunstone looks stunning as the gold accentuates the fiery look of the stone.

Spessartite Garnet

Vintage spessartite garnet ring
Vintage spessartite garnet ring by Yeefvm. See it here.

Features:

  • Most famous orange gemstone
  • Good durability
  • Relatively affordable

The most famous of all orange gemstones, spessartite garnet is a variety of the large and complicated garnet family. It receives its color from traces of manganese and displays shades of faint orange to orange-red. Large, eye-clean spessartite garnets are quite rare and valuable.

Spessartite has a hardness ranking of 7 and contains no cleavage. This makes it durable enough for use in all types of jewelry. It is a brilliant gemstone and is often transparent. Spessartite garnet can be faceted or shaped into cabochons.

Mexican Fire Opal

Mexican fire opal ring
Mexican fire opal ring by Doronmerav. See it here.

Features:

  • Low durability
  • Rare and sought after
  • Typically faceted
  • Waxy to vitreous luster

Fire opal is a variety of opal gemstones known for their wide range of colors. The most desirable fire opal color is vivid orange and red-orange with intense saturation. These can command very high prices and are quite rare.

Unlike most other opal varieties, fire opals are often translucent to transparent. Transparent fire opal is typically faceted and cut into popular gemstone shapes. Opals are rather soft gemstones (5.5 to 6.5 Mohs) and are not very suitable for rings that you plan to wear every day.

Orange Spinel

orange spinel teardrop ring
Orange spinel teardrop ring by Nexttotheheart. See it here.

Features:

  • Rare and sought after
  • May display asterism
  • Good brilliance
  • Very good durability

While spinel can be found in a variety of colors, orange is one of its most highly sought-after and rare varieties. Stones that have vivid and intense orange saturation are considered the most desirable. They are especially popular among collectors. Most orange spinel is free of inclusions, although some may contain needle-like rutile inclusions that can give the stone the gemstone phenomenon known as asterism.

Orange spinel has a high refractive index and dispersion, which results in good brilliance. It’s durable (Mohs 8) but it does not handle heat well and the color can fade from prolonged exposure to heat. Orange spinel is not commonly enhanced or treated, however, there are synthetic versions are quite common on the market.

Orange Tourmaline

Orange tourmaline gemstones ring
Orange tourmaline ring by Green Gem. See it here.

Features:

  • Not a popular tourmaline color
  • Good durability
  • Vitreous luster
  • Brilliant

Tourmaline is known for its wide range of colors, which has earned it the nickname ‘the rainbow gemstone’. Some orange tourmaline stones can have a brownish undertone, but there are also vivid pure orange tourmaline gemstones that are more desirable.

Most tourmalines exhibit pleochroism, where the stone displays two colors when viewed from different angles. With orange tourmalines, the two colors that are displayed are brown and orange.

Orange tourmaline is commonly faceted due to its brilliance and high transparency. Tourmaline has good durability (7 to 7.5 Mohs) and with reasonable care can last a long time.  While synthetic tourmaline is not commonly used in jewelry, heat treatment is generally carried out on tourmaline to enhance its color.

Orange Amber

Orange amber dangle earrings
Orange amber dangle earrings by Amber Charm UK. See it here.

Features:

  • Low durability
  • Warm to the touch
  • Scent of pine
  • Contains interesting inclusions

An ancient material used for jewelry, the use of amber dates back over 13,000 years. Amber belongs to the small group known as organic gemstones and is made of fossilized tree resin. This gives it unique properties. For example, amber often has a smell of pine and is warm to the touch. Amber is often found in hues of yellow, gold, and orange.

One of the amber’s desirable traits is the many inclusions often present in the stone, which includes insects and plant matter. Generally, in the gemstone world, inclusions tend to lower the price of a stone. However, where amber is concerned, the value of the stone can increase due to the unusual and intriguing inclusions within the stone.

On the downside, amber is a very soft stone (2 Mohs) and not suitable for most types of jewelry. Amber is also sensitive to chemicals, alcohol, and perfumes and needs extra care.

Orange Aventurine

Orange aventurine crystal necklace
Orange aventurine crystal necklace by Lotusfairy. See it here.

Features:

  • A type of quartz
  • Displays aventurescence
  • Medium durability
  • Often opaque

Aventurine is a variety of the common quartz family. While green is the most common aventurine color, orange is a beautiful and earthy color in aventurine gemstones. Aventurine displays what is known as aventurescence, a glitter effect across its surface that comes from the small flaky impurities present in the stone. The higher the level of aventurescence, the more desirable the stone. This quality makes the stone shiny and vivid.

Although of medium hardness (6.5 to 7 Mohs) aventurine is a tough gemstone, like all gemstones made of quartz, due to its compact structure. It has a vitreous to waxy luster and is often translucent to opaque. Aventurine is mostly cut into cabochons, but it can be faceted for an added effect.

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Other Orange Gemstones

Here are some other lesser-known orange gemstones:

1. Orange Sphalerite

Transparent to translucent, sphalerite gemstone has a very brilliant luster. Unfortunately, it is much too soft to be used in most types of jewelry.

2. Orange Fluorite

Fluorite gemstones can be very vivid in color. It is a very popular mineral but has very low durability.

3. Carnelian

Although most carnelian is red, there are also orange varieties. These are often translucent and very beautiful.

4. Orange Agate

This often occurs in banded varieties with translucent to opaque clarity. Orange agates are popular in the use of cameos, carvings, and cabochons.

5. Coral

Another organic gemstone, coral is made of calcium carbonate from the remains of coral polyps deep under the sea. While most coral is heavily regulated, some varieties can still be traded.

Some Considerations Before You Buy

1. Symbolism:

Orange is a mixture of red and yellow, combining the energy and heat of red with the brightness and positivity of yellow. Orange symbolizes joy, sunshine, warmth, creativity, happiness, and a touch of the exotic. Because of this symbolism, some purchase orange gemstones as a way of inviting these qualities into their lives.

2. White Metals:

If you’re wondering whether to choose a silver-hued metal, rose or yellow gold with your orange gemstone, the good news is that orange gemstones go well with all metal colors. White metals such as silver, platinum, and white gold are perfect for contemporary, modern designs. They also highlight the color of the gemstone, making it the focal point of the jewelry.

3. Yellow Gold:

Yellow gold complements orange gemstones and offers less contrast. The transition from metal to stone is smoother and both work in harmony. A rose gold and orange gemstone pairing is quite unique and has a vintage look to it.

4. Skin Tone:

Orange suits most skin tones, but especially flatters those with warm tones. As it’s an earthy color, it brings out the warm undertones of those with dark or tan complexions.

Where to Shop

Orange is not a common color for jewelry so you may not find many options at a brick-and-mortar store. If you prefer shopping online, you will have a lot more options available to you.

We recommend starting your search on Etsy and Amazon, as each platform has a good range of various orange gemstones, but will require some time to sift through and find. You will also have to be scrupulous and ensure that the gemstone is authentic, especially if you are buying a valuable stone. Always check whether any treatments have been done on the stone and request a certificate of authenticity where applicable.

Check out James Allen for a good range of diamonds as well as yellow sapphires some of which are borderline orange.

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