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Some Like It Hot - It’s Red For Passion, says The Jeweller editor Belinda Morris

07 Jun 2021

499 Deakin and Francis red enaml cufflinks

What’s not to love about the colour red? Ok, so its psychological profile is somewhat split – red for love/red for anger; red for action/red for stop – but that aside, it’s all about positivity. Colour therapists will tell you that red means energy, heat, excitement and passion. Red is confidence-boosting and signifies leadership.

The word ‘red’ conjures up poppies, Paloma Picasso’s lips, strawberries, Jessica Rabbit, Mark Rothko paintings, pomegranate seeds, Ferraris, Dorothy’s ruby slippers and pinot noir. Red is the colour of high summer… and we’re very nearly there. Most importantly, some of the loveliest gemstones happen to be red-hued.

Think of a crimson/scarlet/cherry-coloured gem and naturally ruby comes to mind – it’s one of the ‘big four’ so that’s to be expected. It’s the main gemstone for the month of July, for the star sign Cancer and for the 40th wedding anniversaries. In folklore and religions, ruby has been attributed to numerous qualities, from ensuring health, wealth and a sunny disposition for its wearer to guaranteeing success in love. Good rubies can naturally be reassuringly expensive!

So let’s not stop with them, but move on to spinel, which can be seen in other colours, but there were times when it was mistaken for ruby thanks to its blood-red colour. The Black Prince’s Ruby in the Crown Jewels turned out to be spinel – which is an alternative birthstone for August and can be given on 22nd wedding anniversaries. In case its beauty isn’t enough, spinel is thought to ease anger and promote harmony.

January’s birthstone, garnet, comes in a wonderful range of colours, but arguably is most often thought of as a deep, rich red. If you should come across names like almandine, spessartine, hessonite and rhodolite, they are all varieties of garnets with a reddish hue, from cranberry, orange, cherry to violet-red. Wear a garnet while sleeping and you’re protected from nightmares… allegedly.

Want to delve deeper? There are other gemstones that have the whiff of danger, passion and confidence about them.

Coral and amber – organic gem can be a strong red, as well as shades of pink and orange respectively; carnelian (thought to calm a temper) is seen in shades from orangey-red to a deep rich red (which might be dyed material) and red tourmaline (or rubellite), which has a pinky tone. And because jewellery doesn’t have to be all about gems, you can also say it with feeling with a splash of gleaming red enamel.

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Carnelian earrings by CW Sellors

CW Sellors: carnelian earrings

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Ruby Ntinga

Ntinga: ruby pendant

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Harriet kelsall Bespoke Jewellery Fairtrade-rose-gold-spinel-and-diamond-ring

Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery: rose gold spinel and diamond ring

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Spinel (Tivon)

Tivon Fine Jewellery: spinel and diamond pendant

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Garnet (Tivon)

Tivon Fine Jewellery: garnet and diamond ring

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Deakin and Francis gold locket with ruby and red enamel

Deakin & Francis: ruby and enamel pendant

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Deakin and Francis red enaml cufflinks

Deakin & Francis: enamel cufflinks

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671 Seal engraved carnelian signet ring by Ruppenthal

Ruppenthal: signet ring

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Sheldon Bloomfield rubellite and diamond ring

Shelton Bloomfield – rubellite and diamond ring

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We hope you enjoyed this selection of jewellery incorporating the colour red in so many creative ways. Use our Find a Jeweller tool below to find more talented and trusted jewellers near you.

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Source: The National Association of Jewellers