Pantone's Fall 2016 Colors


Pantone's Fall 2016 color campaign is entitled: A Unity of Strength, Confidence and Complexity. Leatrice Eiseman Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute™ has this to say about the palette:

"The desire for tranquility, strength, and optimism have inspired a Fall 2016 color palette that is led by the Blue family.
Along with anchoring earth tones, exuberant pops of vibrant colors also appear throughout the collections. Transcending gender, these unexpectedly vivacious colors in our Fall 2016 palette act as playful but structured departures from your more typical fall shades.
Blue skies represent constancy as they are always above us. Grays give a feeling of stability, Red tones invite confidence and warmth, while the hot Pinkish Purples and Spicy Mustard Yellows suggest a touch of the exotic."

I am a big fan of this palette. I feel like the colors really embrace the variety of moods that embody the autumn season. Warm plays with cool and muted neutrals contrast against vibrant brights. I was once again inspired to put together a list of gemstones that I think are great representatives of this palette. So get into your cozy sweater, pour yourself a warm drink and enjoy.
(Click for the Spring 2016 Pantone Gemstone List

pantone stones

"Earmarking the importance of Blue in the palette, the new blue shade of PANTONE 17­-4028 Riverside undeniably takes precedence in the fall collections. Cool and calming, strong and stable [Riverside] displays a subtle vibrancy and sophistication. The color borders on exciting, yet maintains a sense of constancy"

When I saw this color I immediately thought of a bright sapphire that borders on cornflower blue.  For a slightly less expensive option I went with a nice denim colored Lapis Lazuli. 

"Pantone 14-4122 Airy Blue’s lofty nature evokes feelings of lightness and freedom. Designers seeking weightlessness in a world heavy with conflict." 

This beautiful soft color immediately called to mind blue topaz, however I also thought of a much less well known stone; Blue Larimar. Larimar is a trade name for the blue, gem-quality variety of a mineral called pectolite. Pectolite commonly occurs in gray tones and is not especially rare occurring in many locations around the world.
Blue Larimar is found only in one location in the entire world - the Dominican Republic. Blue Larimar is a hydrated sodium calcium silicate with manganese. Its blue color is due to calcium being replaced by copper impurities. Larimar is also often mixed with other materials such as calcite and hematite. Its color can vary from white to light-blue, and from medium sky to volcanic gray blue.


"There’s an edge to PANTONE 17-3914 Sharkskin, and yet it manages to remain neutral. [The color is] pair-able with almost any fall color, bright or muted [as it is a] color that the rest of the palette can rest on" 

If you read my article on Fall stones last year (read it here) you'll know that I am a huge fan of gray tones for fall. It's a moody color that can be either warm or cool. It can be worn on it's own as well as being a perfect neutral that plays well with virtually every other color. 

I wanted to give this fantastic neutral it's due so I have chosen three very different stones. The first is agate with swirling grays, creams, and charcoals. The second is cultured South Sea silver/grey pearl. The metallic look can add a bit of drama, and pearls come in many different sizes and qualities. The third option is a bit different. I chose a grey tourmaline because it has a beautiful watery look that can easily be used in either a dressed up or everyday jewelry piece. 


"In contrast to the stable backbone of the Fall 2016 palette, PANTONE 18-1550 Aurora Red adds a welcome punch. A bold Red that is warm, sensual and immediately pleasing to the eye [and] gets the metaphorical blood of the palette pumping. [The color is] exciting and dynamic, [and] breeds unmistakable confidence."

This red color really punches up the fall palette and made me think of maple tree leaves bursting into flames of color. Again I chose three gemstones that I think will add a little pizzazz.

The first is a red toned fire opal. This non-phenomenal version of opal often gives the appearance of having an internal glow, like the embers of a fire on a cold night. Red spinel has been gaining more attention in the recent years. In June of this year the stone was in the headlines when it was decided that it was to be August 's newest birthstone.  My third choice is Red Pyrope Garnet,  basically I see this stone as a slightly less expensive version of spinel. It has much of the same character and can be just as vibrant, but with less of a dent put in the pocketbook. 


"PANTONE 16-1318 Warm Taupe is a hearty, pleasing and approachable neutral that pairs well with each of the top 10 shades of the Fall 2016 season. [Warm Taupe] suggests reassurance and stability. [It is a color that is] trusted, organic and grounded]."

Taupe is one of those timeless colors. It will warm up a cool fall day. The first stone that I chose has a slightly more golden undertone. Moonstone is a soft looking stone that pairs well with cozy looks. Smoky quartz has a lovely warm tea like color, and with a relatively low price point you can easily go big with this gemstone. The slightly more unusual choice is fossilized coral. The lovely pattern is intriguing and adds interest without needing a lot of embellishment.


"Like Airy Blue, PANTONE 18-1630 Dusty Cedar gives a nod to the PANTONE Color of the Year 2016, Rose Quartz.
[Dusty Cedar is] a fall and winter version of the Pinks we’re used to seeing in spring. [It is a] dustier rose-toned Pink shade with some complexity [that] exudes warmth and welcome."

This dusty rose has a wonderfully old fashioned feel to is. I chose stones that maybe aren't as well known in the jewelry world. The first is a stone with a little bit of interesting controversy surrounding it. 

Andesine-Labradorite/Red Feldspar: "Andesine-labradorite" came onto the gem scene in 2003, so it is a relative newcomer. It is typically a reddish orange color, along with traces of green and yellow with a faint metallic luster known as labradorescence. The problem with andesine-labradorite is that it was originally sold without disclosing it's true origins and that it was color enhanced. The gemstone was presented as being from South America's Andes Mountains (hence the name 'andesine'). Later it was discovered that it was not actually a new mineral called 'andesine', but actually color-enhanced 'labradorite'. The name 'andesine' was very misleading. In an attempt to correct the problem, 'andesine' was later hyphenated to 'andesine-labradorite'. The trade name is widely used, but it is also referred to as just 'andesine', 'red labradorite', 'Congo sunstone', and 'red feldspar'.

The second stone that I chose is not controversial, but it is also a relative newcomer. Rhodochrosite was first described in 1813, but wasn't introduced to the market until around 1940. It was named the state mineral of Colorado in 2002. Rhodochrostie is a softer stone and you will usually see it carved, made into beads, or cut into a cabochon.


"PANTONE 18-5845 Lush Meadow brings to mind fresh botanicals and foliage. [It is evocative of] rich and elegant, vibrant and sophisticated. This shade displays a brightness, panache and depth of color that elevates it from more natural greens [adding even more] elegance woven through this season’s collections."

My immediate thought when I saw this color was malachite. It's rich green tones are perfectly lush and full of life. Malachite is frequently cut into large stones and beads so don't be afraid to go big with a statement piece! The second stone that I chose is a classic green tourmaline. It is a stone that is easy to find and even a small tourmaline will create a pleasing pop of color. The reason that I chose tourmaline over emerald is essentially for the reason that is a more affordable stone in this color, though if price is no concern then emerald would also be a lovely representative!


"PANTONE 14-0952 Spicy Mustard is an exotic addition that bounces elegantly off other colors in the palette. [It] adds another splash of uplifting vibrancy; a spicier, zestier Yellow than previous seasons"

I am absolutely envious of anyone that can wear mustard colored clothing (a color that looks awful on me)! On the bright side you don't have to be able to wear mustard well to indulge in these spice inspired gemstones!  I've gone with an inviting golden beryl as my first choice. Second up is the more unusual rutilated quartz which contains beautiful (often golden) rutile needles. Rutilated quartz is one of the few gemstones desirable because of its inclusions! My third choice is a vibrant sapphire. The yellow-orange color will really stand out on a gray day. 


"PANTONE 18-1340 Potter’s Clay has an added degree of sophistication and layering. [It possesses] elements of russet. Orange in its undertones, gives a grounded feeling that’s anything but flat. [It is a] neutral earth tone; expected for fall and winter palette [possessing] real substance; a strong foundation."

One of my favorite gemstones leads the charge in this color. Hessonite garnet is a wonderful choice to bring in the warm tone for fall. In fact this member of the grossularite garnet group has earned it the nickname cinnamon stone. Hessonite also has one of my favorite observable internal characteristics. When viewed under magnification the stone exhibits a "scotch-in-water" or "heat wave" effect cause by tiny included crystals crowded together to create a swirling effect. For those of you that are in the go big or go home category I would suggest carnelian agate. The stone still has the warm cinnamon tone but with less cost and larger sizes.  


"PANTONE 17-3240 Bodacious speaks to the gender fluidity we continue to see. [Bodacious] lends itself to vibrant color combinations [that are] unexpected in fall. [The color is] versatile; can be used with Pinks and Reds. [The] bright, rich Purple, with hints of a more sophisticated Pink."

This bright fun color can bring a smile to your face and a bounce to your step! The first gemstone I chose is rhodolite garnet.  Rhodolite is a mix of pyrope and almandine garnet. It gets its name from the Greek word, "rhodon", meaning "rose colored". The second stone that I chose is cheerful bright pink sapphire. This flirty color will get you through the gloomy days for sure!

For more information on Pantone's Fall 2016 Palette please visit their website. Stone images courtesy of GemSelect