Ultra Violet Revealed as Pantone Colour of the Year 2018

Leading colour expert Pantone has announced 'Ultra Violet' as its Colour of the Year 2018. 

Dramatic, enigmatic and bold, Pantone has described this vivid, cosmos-inspired colour as full of "ingenuity, originality and visionary thinking that points us towards the future".

Left: Surface detail of rough sugilite. Top right: A polished sugilite cabochon. Bottom right: Colour detailing of sugalite. Images courtesy of Pat Daly ©Gem-A.

Ultra Violet has long been associated with empowerment and creative expression - think late superstars Prince and David Bowie. It is also the traditional colour of royalty, which ties in to the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May 2018.

Left: Amethyst gemstone. Right: Jewellery set made from amethyst quartz. Images courtesy of Pat Daly ©Gem-A.

Executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, Leatrice Eisemen commented: "From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy, to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come. Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own."

Left: Colour patterns of charoite. Centre: A beautiful charoite gemstone. Right: Iridescent surface patterns of charoite. Images courtesy of Pat Daly ©Gem-A.

As gemmologists, the study of precious and non-precious stones provides us with our own palette of colour and inspiration. As a result, there are lots of beautiful gemstones that capture the Pantone Colour of the Year 2018: 

  • Amethyst (amethyst geodes)
  • Iolite
  • Charoite
  • Violet sapphire
  • Purple spinel
  • Violet-blue tanzanite
  • Rubellite tourmaline
  • Sugilite (hackmanite sugilite)


Left: Iolite gemstone. Centre: Iolite displaying pleochroism. Right: Surface pattern of an Iolite stone. Images courtesy of Pat Daly ©Gem-A.

Sensationally rare violet diamonds may also be in the spotlight in the next 12 months, especially if Rio Tinto discovers more once-in-a-lifetime finds in its Argyle Mine. In 2015, for example, the mining giant unearthed a 9.17 carat rough that yielded a 2.83 carat fancy deep grayish blue violey diamond. It was swiftly named the 'Argyle Violet'. 

Left: Violet sodalite ring. Right: Treated and irridated hackmanite sodalite. Images courtesy of Pat Daly ©Gem-A.

In terms of jewellery, space-age Ultra Violet is likely to result in a flurry of galaxy-themed ranges with hints of futurism. Think bold geometric shapes, orbiting rings of colour, zodiac signs and perhaps miniaturised space scenes in enamel on watch dials, pendants and brooches. 

Past Pantone Colours of the Year

Colour spectrum of Pantone's chosen Colour of the Year from 2000-2017. Images: © Pantone LLC

To find out more about the Pantone Color Institute visit Pantone.com.

Interested in finding out more about gemmology? Sign-up to one of Gem-A's courses or workshops.

If you would like to subscribe to Gems&Jewellery and The Journal of Gemmology please visit Membership.

Cover image: Introducing Pantone Colour of the Year for 2018, Pantone 18-3838 Ultra Violet © Pantone LLC

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