Orange gemstones represent creativity and vitality. Furthermore, these colored precious stones are rare which make them an essential element in making stunning jewelry.
In this article, you'll learn:
- What orange gemstones are
- Where to buy them
- And the different types of gemstones when it comes to fine jewelry!
What Are Orange Gemstones?
Orange gemstones portray a bright sunny color when worn in jewelry. Its brilliant sparkle is a mixture of red and yellow blending the heat of red with the brightness of yellow.
Although orange is not the most popular color out there, a couple of orange gemstones may tickle your fancy.
Orange colored gemstones have a touch of exotic and if you would like to know more about these colored gems, you’re in the right place!
We think these orange gems look best in yellow gold or rose gold settings. The warmth of the colors mixes well in a ring setting. But if white metals like white gold or platinum is your preference, go right ahead!
Either way, you have stunning jewelry on your hands, because orange gemstones look great on all skin tones too.
What's the Best Metal for an Orange Gemstone?
The color orange is a warm toned color that looks great against warmer skin tones. Orange gemstones really become the focal point of jewelry when worn on darker skin tones too.
You'll find that most people choose yellow gold or rose gold settings for their orange stone jewelry. However, if you prefer white metals like white gold or platinum, it'll still look great.
17 Most Popular Orange Gem Types
These are the most popular orange stone types out there as well as their price per carat and how they hold up for daily wear.
1. Spessartite Garnet
Probably the most popular stone of all the orange gemstones is the spessartite garnet.
It belongs to a larger group of the garnet family and obtains its color from traces of manganese. Spessartite garnets occur in large deposits but are quite rare and valuable.
Spessartite garnet has no cleavage and with a hardness ranking of 7 Mohs, the stone is an excellent choice for necklaces, pendants, and other types of jewelry.
These orange gems are typically transparent and can either be faceted or cut into cabochons. You'll have a hard time finding Spessartite garnet in-stores. You'll be more likely to find red garnets or rhodolite garnet.
2. Mexican Fire Opal
Though typically white, Mexican Fire Opal is an orange opal variety. Mexican fire opals are highly prized and sought-after.
An entirely orange opal is known as fire opal, while jelly opal is used to describe those that lack the play of colors.
Normally, all opals are cut cabochon to reflect the play of light opals are famous for. Though not considered a "precious stone", opals with beautiful play of color may be referred to as precious opal. A Mexican Fire opal is the only type of natural opal that is typically faceted.
Read also: Best Opal Engagement Rings
Fire opals are the most sought-after variety of opal . they are vivid orange and commands very high prices on the market. Opal is one of the most popular colored gemstones.
Fire opal is transparent to translucent and the former is usually faceted to bring out its clarity. The dull varieties are mostly cut in cabochons since they are somewhat a soft stone (5.5 to 6.5 Mohs). Such varieties may not be suitable for everyday jewelry unless you take care of them.
3. Orange Topaz
Orange topaz is known as Imperial topaz. Imperial topaz comes in a broad range of orange from light peach to intense shades of orange. You may see this orange stone called precious topaz is some circles. It's quite rare.
Imperial topaz has more of a golden orange color, rather than a reddish orange hue. A lot of people confuse Imperial topaz with citrine, one of the most popular yellow gems. Treated citrine is more or an orange color, but natural citrine can lean towards a lemon yellow color.
Imperial Topaz is very hard (8 Mohs) and is almost always faceted to bring out its optical properties.
Precious topaz has a brilliant luster and rarely has inclusions.
Orange topaz is a great choice for almost any jewelry type and brings out a fiery vibe to your outfit. Interestingly, the word topaz is coined from the Sanskrit word tapas, meaning fire.
4. Orange Tourmaline
Tourmaline is quite a colorful gem and one of the few occurring in all colors of the rainbow. It is a favorite among orange gems. Orange tourmaline can sometimes be brownish or vivid orange, which is the most valued too.
However, it’s still not the most popular in the tourmaline family.
Tourmaline has few undertones and mostly exhibits pleochroism, a phenomenon where a stone displays two colors (brown and orange in this case) when viewed from different angles of light.
Orange tourmaline is faceted to heighten its brilliance and clarity levels. It is generally durable and with extra attention; this attractive stone can last for a long time. Heat treatment is sometimes used to bring out the color of orange tourmaline. Synthetic versions are available but somewhat rare.
5. Orange Citrine
Citrine is one of the most popular yellowish orange gemstones and the main birthstone for the month of November. It's the yellow orange variety of quartz and is found growing alongside Most people don't know it also occurs in a vivid, fiery orange colors as well.
Citrine with bright orange hues are called Madeira. Madeira stones may have red flashes when angled in different directions. Generally, yellow orange citrine is very affordable at around $10 per carat.
Citrine has the same wearability as other varieties of quartz: a 7 on the Mohs scale and no cleavage planes.
Ametrine is one of my favorite gemstones. It's a bicolor gem with purple and orangey yellow hues. Some pieces may have more purple or orange in them.
If you haven't figured it out, ametrine is the combination of two quartz varieties: amethyst and citrine. These two are found growing near each other in large clusters. They have the same wearability as all other quartz gems.
One of the best features of ametrine is that it's usually affordable at $8 a carat. You have to eye different ones to choose the best display of color, which also increase costs. Fantasy cut gems can cost hundreds based on design.
7. Orange Sapphire
A natural orange sapphire is hard to come by. Most have their orange tone enhanced by color treatments. Orange sapphires come in bits of yellowy orange or pink orange and most of the times the border between these colors overlap.
The presence of vanadium facilitates the color of orange sapphires.
Orange sapphires are durable and make for almost all kinds of jewelry. The Padparadscha is one of the most valued gemstones in the orange sapphire family. These orange sapphires are extremely rare and an exclusive variety of sapphire. Padparadscha sapphires may run $3000 to $5000 per carat if untreated.
Sapphires of all color have excellent durability with a 9 on the Moh scale. However, many people don't know sapphires occur in other color ranges. Orange sapphires are normally found as deeper hues of yellow sapphires and cost less.
8. Orange Diamond
Just like its yellow counterpart, the color of an orange diamond comes from the presence of nitrogen. The arrangement of nitrogen during formation is what sets the tones apart from the yellow diamonds.
Orange diamonds aren't as incredibly rare as the pink or red diamond, but pure orange diamonds are.
These diamonds may contain secondary hues of brownish, yellow, yellowish, and pinkish, all of which drastically drag the price of the stone.
Like the rest of the diamonds, it is very hard and exhibits impeccable brilliance shown by its high refractive index. In fact, in the list of orange gemstones, diamond is the most expensive gem.
Bright and vivid orange diamonds are sometimes known as “pumpkins”, because of their color and also due to a famous orange diamond called the Pumpkin Diamond. The true Pumpkin Diamond has a 5.44 carat weight. It is the largest fancy vivid orange gemstone.
As they are a rare gem to find, a synthetic orange diamonds are available at reduced prices.
9. Orange Spinel
Orange as the main color is an unusual hue for spinel. Obtained from traces of chromium, orange color ranges from vivid-intense to a faint orange and pinkish orange. The former is a collector’s delight! Spinel typically occurs inclusion free although some types may show needle-like inclusions forming asterism.
Most orange spinel sold is preferred in its reddish orange hue rather than its light orange color. They have very intense saturation.
Orange spinel has a high dispersion and refractive index, bringing out great brilliance. It is a durable stone (Mohs scale 8) but very sensitive to heat as the color can fade when exposed to heat for a long time.
That being said, there are other forms of orange spinel being heat treated, although the process is not as common.
You'll have a hard time finding orange spinel at fine jewelry retailers, but can find many options on Etsy.
10. Orange Zircon
Confused with cubic zirconia and used as an alternative to diamond, orange zircon is one of the rarest types of zircon. Orange zircon is a natural gemstone and cubic zirconia is man made.
It is a natural gemstone exhibiting high brilliance (comparable to diamond) and excellent transparency.
Even as an alternative to diamond, the stone is not that durable and ranks at 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale.
Orange zircon is generally faceted to maximize the stone’s optical properties, including its vitreous luster. It is a great choice for most jewelry types as it is also relatively affordable.
11. Oregon Sunstone
Oregon sunstone is a gem that occurs from a peachy orange to bright orange red hues. It can be faceted or cut en cabochon.
When shown under a bright light, oregon sunstone may show metallic flashes. That's because there are flecks of copper in its composition.
Reddish orange sunstone will cost the most of the sunstone with orange hues. It's higher valued at red color. Orangey red stones cost around $120 per carat. Oregon sunstone has a 6-6.5 hardness but uneven fractures. That means it more vulnerable to splitting.
12. Orange Amber
Amber is one of the few organic gemstones we have today. Made of fossilized tree resin, this ancient material often has a pine smell and come in intense shades of orange, golden orange, yellow, and yellowish orange.
It’s also an ancient stone used thousands of years ago.
Amber often comes with the inclusions of plants and insects. After all, it is plant matter. However, these inclusions tend to spike the prices of amber, as opposed to the typical gemstone market today.
On the flip side, the stone is very soft (2 Mohs) and may not be a suitable pick for your jewelry. Orange amber is also reactive to chemicals such as colognes and alcohol.
Read also: What are the Different Types of Inclusions?
13. Hessonite Garnet
There are few different orange gemstone varieties of garnet. Hessonite is a variety of Grossular garnet. Hessonite has a reddish orange to reddish brown tone, like cinnamon. It has a vitreous luster and superb brilliance.
Hessonite garnets are prized as a faceted gem and have the same durability as the other orange gemstones in the garnet family. Best color hessonite garnet may cost up to $150 per carat.
The average person may have a hard time telling hessonite garnets from spessartite garnets. However, more people are aware of spessartite garnets. The two have different refractive indexes and inclusions.
14. Orange Moonstone
Moonstone is one of the most colored gemstones today. However, many people only know it in its white to blue glowy varieties. Those moonstones are the most desired, but there are other colors of moonstone.
Orange moonstone has a soft peach to light color orange hue most of the time. It can have an intense orange color too. While moonstone can be faceted, its true beauty lies in the cabochon cut.
Moonstone makes stunning jewelry, but it doesn't hold up well. Its hardness is a 6-6.5. It has perfect cleavage, meaning it's easy to chip and scratch. Orange moonstones are very affordable at around $7 per carat.
15. Orange Agate
Agate is a very popular gemstone that comes in a variety of colors. It's a variety of the chalcedony group and is known for the many bands throughout the stone. It's common for agate to be cut into slices for home decor to display their bands.
The hues of orange agate are varied from reddish brown colored gems to light color orange gems. Agate has a good wearability but it also has a greasy texture. Most people don't wear it in jewelry and use it as decoration. Orange agate is mostly an affordable gemstone, but more decorative pieces may cost more.
16. Orange Sphene
This orange stone is a rare gemstone that also occurs in a variety of different colors. Because of its rarity, only few know about it. It's also known under the name titanite. This stone has a beautiful array of colors and a high refractive index.
It's more expensive the more colors it reveals, but also occurs as a pure orange color gem. Lighter orange gems with more colors will be more valuable than the ones with one orangey hue.
Despite its beauty, orange sphene doesn't have great wearbility. It's a soft orange gem with a hardness of 5-5.5. Its fracture and cleavage make it easy to split or chip. They can even be damaged by sweat.
If worn in jewelry, you'll want to wear it on occasion and in a protective setting like the bezel ring setting.
Orange sphene is most expensive at top color, but the average sphene runs for about $100 per carat.
17. Orange Sphalerite
Orange sphalerite is another one of the lesser known orange gemstones. It's very soft with a hardness of 3-3.5. Instead of jewelry, it's more of collector's stone. It's common for sphalerite to occur in light yellow orange tones.
Fine colored gems that are red and vivid orange stones above 3 carats. Typically these go for around $200 per carat.
Where To Buy Orange Gemstones?
There aren't many orange gemstones considered as precious stones. Orange colored diamonds and sapphires are the only ones. Most orange gemstones don't cost a lot and can be found in gemstone marketplaces, individual sellers, and Etsy.
However, be very careful when buying from places like these. Always read reviews and descriptions so you know you're getting genuine orange gemstones and aware of any treatments.
You can get the best orange diamonds at Leibish & Co. They also carry orange sapphire. You can find more affordable ones at James Allen with less range of colors. However, you'll have to look under their yellow sapphire category.
Brilliant Earth carries both orange sapphires and a variety semi-precious orange gemstones. You can find orange tourmaline and orange zircon too. Their orange sapphires also have the highly desired padparadscha colored sapphires.