The color orange has been a strong symbolism of warmth, creativity, sunshine, joy, and happiness. Its touch of exotic elegance is what makes people want to add orange gemstones to pieces of jewelry.
If you are looking to make a powerful statement by adding orange gemstones to your trinkets, there are many orange gems to choose from. In this article, you’ll get a deeper understanding of orange gemstones and learn:
- What orange gemstones are
- Where to find orange gemstones to buy
- What types of orange gemstones are there
Table of Contents
What Are Orange Gemstones?
Anything orange reminds us of a refreshing orange drink, an icy sherbet, fallen autumn leaves, and rich sunset. Unexpectedly, orange is becoming a stimulating trend. So much so that orange gemstones are turning out to be an increasingly popular choice in jewelry, too.
And, why not? Orange gemstones attract attention, stand out, and shine. No doubt, they add zest to any ensemble. They are classic and have graced fashions for a long time, and are always in style. How they stand out is why they are used in traffic signs and a lot of advertisements.
Like any stone, orange gemstones also have a standard wherein their quality is assessed by the stone’s intensity of hue, tone, and saturation. For the most part, their value increases along with the increase in intensity.
The most famous orange gemstone hues include pure orange, reddish-orange, orange and blue, green and orange, and yellowish-orange.
What causes these orange gemstones to have such hues varies from gem to gem. For instance, the orange tint in orange diamonds results from the presence of nitrogen. Spessartite garnet displays shades of orange because of traces of manganese. Sapphire gets its orange hue from small amounts of vanadium. There is not one element that causes these gems to look how they do.
Where Can I Find Orange Gemstones To Buy?
Orange is a color that is not too common for jewelry. This uncommonness makes orange gemstones hard to find in local jewelry stores. Shopping online may give you more options. Online retail stores like James Allen, Brilliant Earth, and Ross-Simons have their collections include orange gemstones accessories.
Platforms like Etsy and Amazon are promising avenues, too. These global online marketplaces offer orange gemstones jewelry with unique and eccentric designs. But, you have to be scrupulous and make sure that the gemstone you are getting is authentic. It may require you some time to sift through and find.
What Are The Types of Orange Gemstones?
The number of orange gemstones is too extensive to enumerate. But, we’ve picked the top 10 stunning orange gems that offer an exquisite and one-off look when set into jewelry.
- Orange Diamond
- Orange Sapphire
- Imperial Topaz
- Orange Spinel
- Orange Zircon
- Orange Tourmaline
- Orange Amber
- Orange Carnelian
- Spessartite Garnet
- Oregon Sunstone
1. Orange Diamond
- Most desired and most expensive
- Has yellow or brown secondary hues
- Scores 10 on the Mohs scale
- Extremely rare
- Great brilliance
Orange diamonds are undoubtedly the most esteemed colored stones in existence. It is most desired that anytime one orange diamond is offered on an auction block, it can generate significant hype and collectors’ interest.
The reason is simple – fancy orange diamonds are one of nature’s most amazing abnormalities. As a matter of fact, although an orangey touch is not as rarely seen as other shades, the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) hardly ever grades a stone as being pure orange.
Instead, the GIA grades them as Faint Orange, Very Light Orange, Light Orange, Fancy Light Orange, Fancy, Fancy Intense Orange, Fancy Vivid Orange, and Fancy Deep Orange. The farther down the intensity levels are, the more desired and valuable they get.
A pure orange diamond with no secondary hues is deemed to be among the rarest stones that exist. As of writing, a fancy vivid orange 1.25-ct orange diamond is marked as sold in Leibish. The closest in GIA grading is the 1.02-ct fancy vivid yellow-orange which is being sold for $21,525. Now, imagine how much the fancy vivid orange would cost.
This goes without saying that orange diamonds are orange gems worth investing in. They captivate every diamond enthusiast’s heart for centuries, whether they give off the cheerful citrus color or warmest amber vibes.
2. Orange Sapphire
- Highly prized
- Undergoes heat treatment to enhance color
- Scores 9.0 on the Mohs scale
- Synthetic varieties available
- Very durable
Orange sapphires are one of the most challenging sapphires to find in a natural and untreated state. They are rare, and most of them have a secondary tone of yellow or pink. Vivid orange sapphires that are untreated and naturally orange can be costly and hard to find in larger carat sizes.
A large percentage of orange sapphires in present times are coming from Australia and Madagascar. Small amounts are mined from Sri Lanka and Tanzania. However, there is no guarantee that all of them are vivid orange in color.
Some orange sapphires come in bits of yellow or pink, with borders of these three colors overlapping at times. Nearly all orange sapphires in the market today are enhanced to achieve the desired color. But, in nature, traces of vanadium causes these stones to look orange.
The Padparadscha Sapphire is currently the rarest and highly sought-after pink-orange fancy sapphire originating in Sri Lanka. It costs a whopping $20,000 per carat.
Orange sapphires possess outstanding durability. They come in second of Diamond in terms of hardness, thus are ideal for any type of jewelry.
3. Imperial Topaz
- The most valuable topaz variety
- Scores 8 on the Mohs scale
- Highly durable
- Glassy luster
The “precious topaz” or the imperial topaz is the most valuable variety of the gemstone topaz. It comes in yellow, pink, or pinkish-orange hue but can also be seen as light red-orange-yellow. This hue can naturally occur in topazes but is very seldom.
It is so rare but very much desired that it led the market to be flooded with heat-treated and dyed colorless topaz to be sold as imperial topaz. This market strategy can fool you into buying a gemstone that is not what it is stated to be.
To avoid getting tricked, be sure to find out as much information as you can on your dealer’s stones. The majority of natural imperial topaz is mined from few towns in an isolated region in Brazil, Chelyabinsk, Russia, and Topaz mountains in western Utah.
Like any gems, the price of imperial topaz depends on its quality. A naturally orange topaz – the rare golden-orange one fetches prices above $1000 per carat for substantial (10-ct+) sizes.
4. Orange Spinel
- May show asterism
- Rare and highly desired
- Scores 8 on the Mohs scale
- Ample brilliance
- Highly durable
Orange spinel comes next to red spinel as the most expensive spinel variety. They are considered one of the most beautiful stones on the market. This variety of spinels has incredible color, remarkable durability, and excellent luster.
This rare gemstone is very popular among collectors. One of the reasons is it’s usually free of any inclusions. Some, however, may show needle-like fly ash inclusions, which make them even more attractive. This inclusion is a phenomenon popularly known as asterism.
Spinel also comes in orange-red color, which is known as the “flame spinel.” This variety is one of the rarest in spinels that they are a lot less abundant than rubies and sapphires of the same quality and color.
Rarity can’t be considered a factor in terms of pricing for orange spinels. Despite how rare they are, they are not as valuable as they are not as popular. Spinel has not been persuasively promoted by the gem and jewelry trade because their supply is not too stable.
5. Orange Zircon
- Relatively rare
- Fairly priced
- Scores 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale
- Often faceted
- High brilliance
Orange zircon is a favorite orange diamond substitute because of its remarkable brilliance. Not to mention, it is one of the oldest known minerals on earth. Some people confuse orange zircon with cubic zirconia, which is synthetic.
The confusion is far from the truth as orange zircons are naturally occurring orange gemstones with one of the most excellent brilliance. Orange zircon also possesses incomparable clarity. This orange gemstone is frequently faceted to make the most of its brilliance.
Some colors of zircon are heat-treated to boost its color. However, it does not include the naturally orange-colored zircon. Orange zircon comes from Tanzania and some from Cambodia. Its 7.5 hardness rating, although far from that of the diamond, can tolerate the way diamonds are cut.
The price for orange zircons varies on how intensely orange they are. Exceptionally intense ones in substantial sizes are indeed more expensive. These orange zircons typically range from $75 to $125 per carat.
6. Orange Tourmaline
- Not a favorite tourmaline color
- Medium durability
- Scores 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale
- Translucent luster
- Fair brilliance
Orange tourmaline is a lovely orange gemstone. However, it is not a commonly occurring tourmaline color, thus is not too popular amongst stone enthusiasts. Still, orange tourmalines are one of the orange gemstones that are known to make beautiful jewelry pieces.
This orange gemstone comes in a variety of shades, from a brownish undertone to vivid pure orange. The most vivid orange is valued more and costs higher than lighter shades. Overall, orange tourmaline is among the precious gemstones that are deeply loved and have substantial market values.
Orange tourmalines are pretty rare, yet they are the favorite tourmaline color of collectors as they look exquisite when mounted in a jewelry piece. They are generally durable, with a 7.5 standing on the Mohs scale. Usually, they are heat-treated to make their color stand out.
This tourmaline color, as we’ve hinted above, is not as common as the other shades. This rarity puts its price range between $200 to $1,500 per carat.
7. Orange Amber
- Not too durable
- Pine scent
- Scores 2 to 2.5 on the Mohs scale
- Has interesting inclusions
- Organic gemstone
Orange amber belongs to the small group of known organic gemstones and is made of fossilized tree resin. This formation gives this orange gemstone such unique qualities. For instance, it is pine-scented and is warm to the touch.
This orange gemstone is often found in hues of yellow, gold, and orange. One of its desirable traits is its numerous inclusions that usually include insects or plant matter. As a rule in the gemstone world, the price of the stone tends to lower with inclusions. But, with orange amber, it is the opposite.
The value of orange amber increases with any unusual or intriguing inclusions found in the orange gemstone. Despite how fascinating this organic gemstone can be, they are not recommended for jewelry use with their poor toughness, scoring only 2 to 2.5 on the Mohs scale.
Big orange amber pieces are sporadic. But, smaller ones can be found in Russia, the Baltic, and the Dominican Republic. Also, they are commonly sold by grams, not carats, wherein 1 gram is equal to 5 carats.
8. Orange Carnelian
- Vitreous luster
- Occurs in different hues
- Scores 7 on the Mohs scale
- Relatively durable
- Fairly priced
Carnelian is a mineral commonly used as a semi-precious stone. It comes in different shades from lighter orange, deep red to reddish-brown. The orange carnelian is lovely in orange because of its vivid color that comes from iron.
Orange carnelian is inexpensive and popular. It is a type of chalcedony which belongs to the quartz family. The best orange carnelians come from South America. Other decent varieties can also be mined in Russia, Czech Republic, and Ukraine.
Generally, orange carnelian gemstones are heat treated to enhance their color and brightness. Naturally orange carnelians are often opaque, thus are frequently made into beads, cameos, or cabochons.
Carnelian gemstones, mainly the orange carnelian, are not particularly rare. Thus they are affordable. Its prices range between $2 to $15 per carat.
9. Spessartite Garnet
- Most popular orange gemstone
- Fairly priced
- Scores 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale
- Transparent to translucent
- Fair durability
Perhaps the most famous gem of all the orange gemstones, spessartite garnet is a variety of garnet that occurs in yellowish-orange to reddish-brown. It has brilliant orange color and exceptional brilliance that makes it a wonderous stone.
Despite usually having inclusions and scarce eye-clean pieces, spessartite garnet is still loved because of its durability and bright orangey-yellow to yellowish-orange color. There are known mining areas for spessartite garnet around Southern California. But, high-quality ones are more recently mined in Namibia and Nigeria.
While spessartite garnets occur in large deposits, they are rare and are very much in demand that it exceeds other fancy colored spessartites in price.
With a 7.5 standing on the Mohs scale, spessartite garnet can be an excellent choice for necklaces, pendants, or other jewelry pieces. This popular orange gemstone is priced between $800 to $2,500 per carat.
10. Oregon Sunstone
- Features a glowing effect
- Scores 6.5 to 7.2 on the Mohs scale
- Named after the state of Oregon
- Milky luster
Oregon Sunstone is not as popular as most of the orange gemstones on the list as it is pretty rare and is not a mainstream precious stone. Named after the state of Oregon, where it is primarily found, Oregon Sunstone contains tiny copper impurities, which, when touched by light, give metallic flashes.
When viewed from the correct angle, the impurities give off a stunning and glittering appearance, making the orange gemstone appear to be glowing like some source of fire. Sometimes, they even appear with an additional optical effect known as asterism.
This incredibly rare orange gemstone also exhibits aventurescence or a milky luster that comes from below the gem. With a 7.2 mark on the Mohs scale, it can be used for a few jewelry pieces.
This metallic glitter gem that is reminiscent of the sun can also be found in few spots in Siberia and Canada. Smaller sunstones are valued between $35 to $130 per carat, while large pieces are currently reaching $340 to $380 per carat.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q: Is there any benefit to wearing orange gemstones?
A: Orange is considered a powerful and energetic color. This color is often associated with the solar plexus chakra and symbolizes persistence, spirituality, and compassion. Orange gemstones are thought to play a vital role in replacing the energy of the wearer. It is also believed to improve the vitality and sexual energy of the wearer.
Q: How to choose orange gemstones for jewelry.
A: You need to consider a few factors when choosing orange gemstones for jewelry. The first factor is the relation of orange gemstones to metal colors. Then, take into account the hardness and durability of the gem. For example, amber is affordable and can be found easily. But, it is very soft and would not be suitable even for the safest bezel setting for an earring. Another factor to consider is the outfit and the occasion these orange gemstones will be worn into. Remember that orange gemstones pair very well with dark and monochrome outfits like black, brown, or rustic reds.
Q: Are there other orange gemstones to consider aside from what’s on the list?
A: Yes. There are other lesser-known orange gemstones that can pass as an excellent addition to your collection. They are Orange Sphalerite, Orange Fluorite, Orange Agate, Coral, Mexican Fire Opal, Sphalerite, and Citrine, to name a few.