Jewel tones have increasingly found their way into our homes, wardrobes and more recently, wedding flowers. It’s an emerging trend that we admire for its bold contrasts and rich use of colour; a heady recipe that can ignite a thousand possibilities depending on the season. The term, of course, refers to the array of precious gemstones to be found all over the world from Russia’s Ural Mountains to Sri Lanka, East Africa, Brazil and beyond. Lesser known, perhaps, is that ‘jewel tones’ typically encompasses (but isn’t limited to) the five most popular of these gems; sapphire, emerald, ruby, amethyst, and topaz. It’s the combination, or a selection, of these vivid tones that has become the staple of jewel-themed wedding flowers, the ideal palette for a rich, atmospheric wedding with heaps of romance and a more than a subtle hint of bohemian allure.
Perhaps most famously used in the Lady Diana’s engagement ring which consisted of 14 solitaire diamonds surrounding a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire, this stunning violet-blue gemstone has been revered for its beauty throughout history, with more recent links to loyalty, love and trust. Delphinium Völkerfrieden, pictured here, is a quintessential example of a flower which can carry this colour across in all of its striking abundance. Alternatives include blue cornflower or nigella in the summer, and anemones during the winter season.
While you’ll be hard-pressed to find an emerald-coloured bloom, no jewel-toned wedding would be complete without an abundance of lush green foliage. Fresh mint, pictured here, is both striking in colour and shape, and a highly-scented summer foliage ideal for bridal bouquets. Naturally, seasonal alternatives are available all year round, with a combination of several types of foliage being our recommendation for added layers of texture and depth.
Not to be confused with the classic ruby, rubellite (also known as red tourmaline) varies from a vibrant raspberry red to hot magenta in colour. A bright and vivacious colour, it is beautifully combined with ruby reds and purples for a striking yet subtle, tonal look. Winter anemones, pictured below and an excellent example of Rubellite tones in their full glory, alternatives include dahlia in the autumn, tulips in the spring and everyone’s favourite, peonies, in the summer.
Amethyst has captured the hearts of many over the centuries, with various uses throughout history, from the ancient Greeks who believed it had the power to prevent intoxication, to medieval European warriors who carried amethyst amulets to protect them in battle. These days, this widely used stone is still loved for its beautiful, deep violet colour often featured in jewel-toned wedding palettes. Autumnal hydrangea, pictured below, is an ideal choice towards the end of summer. Purple Eustoma (also known as Lisianthus), Clematis and Delphinium are also excellent variations and mostly available all year round.
A variety of treatments can transform topaz into a range of colours from green, blue, pink, red or no colour at all. In its natural state, however, topaz is typically a golden brown to yellow and it is this that is often used to add a dash of light contrast to what is often a somewhat dark and atmospheric colour palette. Craspedia, pictured, are ideal to add a pop of bright yellow to a design. Alternatives include ranunculus in the winter, daffodils in the spring, and yellow roses all year around.
Naturally, there are many more precious gems that can be used to create a jewel-toned colour palette, including but not limited to red rubies, orange garnet, sky-blue lapis lazuli, turquoise and delicate pink morganite. Regardless of which colours you choose, it’s the combination of rich and vibrant materials to represent your chosen jewel tones that will deliver the deepest and most sumptuous palette.