Brown is an unusual color for gemstone jewelry. However, as colored gemstones become increasingly popular, the popularity of brown-colored gemstones has also increased.
As a color, brown carries a lot of symbolism.
It represents warmth, friendliness, simplicity, health, and nature. Brown gemstones usually have an earthy look with beautiful tones ranging from dark to light.
This article is a review of the top 10 brown gemstones. It also features styling tips that you can employ once you buy them to get the best use out of them.🙌🏻
The color psychology and meaning of brown
Brown is a common natural color. It is found throughout nature. It is a solid, earthy color that can also feel drab and boring depending on its shade. Popular browns include chestnut, beige, khaki, chocolate, taupe, and tan.
Lighter shades of brown such as beige are usually used as neutrals in fashion and design. The color provides a traditional and conservative backdrop and its shades are often perceived as dull.
Brown is a symbol of reliability and strength. It is often associated with safety, resilience, security, and dependability. It can also conjure feelings of sadness, isolation, and loneliness. Darker shades of brown are associated with more negative emotions.
While brown is often described as conventional and down-to-earth, it can also be sophisticated.
What gemstones are brown?
Like most gemstones, the quality of brown gemstones is determined by assessing the color intensity, hue, and tone of the gemstone. The value of the gemstone increases with an increase in color intensity, brilliance, and clarity.
The most popular types of brown gemstones include; brown diamond, tiger’s eye, cat’s eye apatite, brown citrine, brown Mali garnet, brown tourmaline, chocolate opal, brown boulder opal, smoky quartz, brown agate, brown jasper, among others.
Here is a list of the popular brown gemstones, their properties, and buying tips.👇🏻
Reviews of top 11 brown gemstones (aesthetics, properties, and more)
Brown is not a popular color in jewelry. Despite this fact, brown gemstones still make fine jewelry pieces. Here is a list of the popular brown gemstones, their properties, and some useful buying tips.
Brown diamonds are known by various nicknames such as chocolate, champagne, and cognac. These nicknames refer to the intriguing brown color of the diamonds. They are the most valuable brown gemstones. However, they are the most affordable of all colored diamonds since they are the most common. Diamond is the April birthstone and it is associated with purity, power, and strength.
Brown diamonds are beautiful. They come in different hues of the brown spectrum. Hue varies from light brown to reddish-brown. The value of brown diamonds increases as the hue gets darker. Dark brown diamonds are more expensive than the lighter hues and are the most popular among consumers. The best brown diamonds are whose saturation is vivid and a medium to dark body tone.
💡Brown diamonds hide impurities very well and most of the time, they appear very clear. There are no visible impurities. Brown diamonds are very durable, with a rating of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale. They are ideal for making stunning brown colored gemstones.
- Very durable
- No visible impurities
- Cheapest colored diamond
Tiger’s eye is a common brown gemstone. These gemstones are quite easy to find, making them very affordable. Tiger’s eye is one of the few brown gemstones that resemble the eyes of animals.🐅 This gemstone is one of David Beckham’s favorite gemstones.
Tiger’s eye is known for its distinct patterns across the surface and golden-brown color. The gemstone exhibits chatoyancy, also known as the cat’s eye effect. When the stone is cut into cabochons, the stone may display interesting patterns that look like a cat’s eye. The stone has a smooth luster and sometimes displays iridescence. It is fairly durable, with a Mohs hardness rating of 6.5 to 7. As such, it is good for regular use.
- Very affordable
- Easy to find
- Moderate hardness
Cat’s Eye Apatite
Brown is the most common color that the cat’s eye apatite occurs in.
The cat’s eye apatite also exhibits chatoyancy. When viewed under direct light, you’ll vividly see the cat’s eye effect at the center of the stone. The cat’s eye effect is a result of a type of impurities present in the stone's structure. The stone is usually cut in cabochons to bring out this effect. The value of the cat’s eye apatite depends on the quality of the chatoyancy.
Most cat’s eye apatite has inclusions, with clear varieties being very rare. The stone is soft, having a rating of 5 on the Mohs hardness scale. For this reason, it is not suitable for most types of jewelry and it needs special jewelry settings for protection.
- Exhibits chatoyancy
- Quite soft
Brown citrine is a popular brown gemstone. It has distinct golden hues that are quite attractive. Citrine is quite popular, making finding good quality brown citrine jewelry an easy task.
Brown citrine is very transparent and has a glassy luster. It is usually faceted to maximize the brilliance of the stone. There are little to no impurities and the stone has impressive clarity. The stone is durable, with a rating of 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. Brown citrine makes beautiful brown gemstone jewelry. They are ideal as center gemstones, especially in rings.
- Quite popular
- Moderate hardness
Brown Mali Garnet
Brown Mali garnet is a rare member of the garnet family. Mali garnet is a hybrid of andradite and grossular. Its only source is Mali, where it was discovered in 1994. The prices of the Mali garnet vary, with the brownish variety of the gemstone being the cheapest.
The Mali garnet is durable, having a rating of 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. For this reason, it can be used in any type of jewelry. The gemstone has a vitreous to resinous luster. The stone has no cleavage, meaning that it is quite resistant to breaking. No known enhancements or synthetics of the Mali garnet are known on the market. These reddish-brown gemstones make impressive jewelry.
- No known synthetics available on the market
Tourmaline is commonly known as the rainbow gemstone since it occurs in all colors of the spectrum. Brown tourmaline, however, is not a popular hue, making brown tourmaline quite difficult to find in jewelry stores.
Brown tourmalines usually have secondary hues. Purple and pink secondary hues usually enhance the appearance of the gemstone. The most valuable brown tourmaline varieties are dark, highly saturated, with excellent brilliance and clarity.
Brown tourmalines are transparent and fiery. They are usually faceted to enhance their brilliance. They are durable, having a rating of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. Most tourmalines are usually treated to enhance their appearance. They make beautiful brown gemstone jewelry such as pendants, rings, and earrings.
- Possible confusion with treated varieties
The distinct brown color of the chocolate opal distinguishes it from other gemstones in the opal family. The brown gemstone is also known for its dark body tone that sometimes contains interesting patterns similar to that on snakeskin.
Chocolate opal usually has a clear and vivid flash of color. Unlike other opals, the chocolate opal displays all the colors of the spectrum. Generally, these gemstones are translucent to opaque. They have a waxy luster.
Chocolate opals have little to no impurities. They are also relatively soft, having a rating of 5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. When placed in proper settings, they can be used in almost all types of jewelry.
- Can display all colors of the spectrum
- Relatively soft
Brown Boulder Opal
The brown boulder opal is a valuable variety of the opal family. The gemstone is usually found embedded in large boulders of ironstone. Boulder opals symbolize hope, love, prophecy, purity, healing, and health.
Boulder opals occur in a wide range of color of the spectrum. Brown boulder opals are transparent to translucent. The value of brown boulder opals usually depends on the clarity of the stones. They are usually cut into cabochons to display the patterns in the stone.
- Has beautiful patterns
Smoky quartz is one of the most readily available brown gemstones used in jewelry. Since it is very common, the gemstone is quite affordable.
Smoky quartz has a brown hue. It is the brown variety of quartz. The hues vary, ranging from light brown, smoky brown, to solid black. Smoky quartz is considered to be the best variety. It is usually transparent to translucent. It has a glassy luster with little or no visible flaws. The stone is durable and has a rating of 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. It can therefore be used in all types of jewelry.
- Very common
Brown agate is known for its iridescence and smooth sheen. This gemstone is only found in a few locations around the world. Most of its deposits are in the USA and Mexico. The stone has a stunning display of color. It is usually translucent and has a waxy luster. It is relatively durable, with a rating of 7 on the Mohs hardness scale.
Brown Agate can be crafted into unique designs. These shapes highlight the sheen of the stone. The value of the stone increases depending on the skill of the artisan working on it. It requires a high level of expertise to craft them into beautiful jewelry pieces.🥁
- Admired for its fiery iridescence and smooth sheen
- Found in a few locations
Brown jasper is a type of opaque chalcedony. The stone has its own gem group because of its grainy structure, which is not characteristic of typical chalcedony. The stone is named after the Greek word jasper, which means spotted stone.
Brown jasper is known for its multicolored stripes, spots, and other patterns. Its variegated appearance is a result of more than 20% of foreign materials in the stone. One of the most common varieties of brown jasper is zebra jasper, which is a dark brown gemstone with zebra-like bands.
- Has interesting patterns
- Possible confusion with dyed varieties
Styling tips: Things to consider when wearing brown gem jewelry
There are several important things that you need to consider when wearing brown gemstone jewelry. The first thing you need to consider is the relation of brown gemstones to metal colors. Brown is a fairly neutral color. As such, brown gemstones can pair well with all metal colors.
- When paired with rose or yellow gold, the gemstones give an impressive vintage vibe. The colors blend smoothly and it is easy on the eyes.
- When paired with white or silver metals, the gemstones create a stunning contrasting look. The silver metals make the brown gemstones stand out.
Brown goes well with warm skin tones because it complements the warm undertones of the skin. With the right skin tone, brown gemstone jewelry like a brown gemstone necklace or brown gemstone earrings would make ideal options for formal occasions.
Where to buy brown gemstones?
Brown gemstones are comparatively not that popular as other colored gemstones. However, you can still find beautiful brown gemstones online.
You can shop for beautiful brown gemstone jewelry such as tiger’s eye beaded bracelets and brown jasper beaded bracelets online on Amazon.
There is also a wide selection of customized brown gemstone jewelry items on Etsy. Or, you can search on Google Shop to see what brown gemstone jewelry is trendy now.
That’s a wrap!
Because brown is a neutral color, brown gemstones can be worn by both men and women.😊 Even though the color is not popular with gemstone jewelry, it is still possible to find stunning brown gemstone pieces. With the tips outlined here, finding the perfect one for you shouldn’t be difficult.