Big, Juicy Colored Gemstones Are a Steal at Our No-Reserve Auction

If “bold and glamorous” describes your jewelry style, these richly hued stunners might be for you.
Collage of Lilly M. jewelry featuring, clockwise from left, a kunzite ring, an opal ring and a morganite ring
An array of designs featuring large, colorful gems are among the pieces offered with no reserve price in 1stDibs’ Jewelry Extravaganza Auction.

Colored gemstones are forever favorites among collectors. They’re also playing a starring role on the red carpet of late. See Emma Stone’s Louis Vuitton choker set with a vibrant yellow sapphire and America Ferrera in a Pomellato collar necklace glinting with raspberry-hued rubellites, both at the 2024 Oscars. And let’s not forget Taylor Swift’s well-documented love of opals or her Super Bowl rubies.

All this celebrity affection for colored gems only intensifies their allure, which brings us to this good news: Some unusually high-carat colored-stone pieces are up for bid now in 1stDibs’ no-reserve Jewelry Extravaganza Auction. To the delight of many collectors, since it’s a no-reserve event, any offer at or above the starting price could be a winning bid — there is no minimum price, or reserve, that must be met.

The Bangkok-based jeweler Lilly M. is bringing a special collection of rings to the sale. All center colored gemstones, which are a favorite with the firm’s clientele, according to founder and CMO Jeeranan Suwannapirom. “Ninety-eight percent of the jewelry we sell contains colored gemstones,” she says. “Everyone responds to color, and each hue works its own special magic. From the powerful red of garnet to the soothing light blue of aquamarine, each color has a great story to tell.”

Another reason for the popularity of colored gemstones is the availability of larger gems at comparatively low prices. While a sizable high-quality diamond may be priced at six figures or more, a spectacular colored gem is an investment within reach for many collectors.

Suwannapirom says she’s able to offer clients exceptional jewels at attractive prices in part because Lilly M. is located in Bangkok. “It’s the world’s foremost hub for colored gemstones,” she explains. “Besides Thailand’s famous sources of rubies and sapphires, we also neighbor the gem-rich nations of Burma, Cambodia and Vietnam. Coupled with the expertise of the Thai gem industry, which involves multigenerational knowledge and skills in mining, treatment, cutting and polishing, we have access to high-quality gemstones at competitive prices.”

In an Instagram photo posted by Keleigh Teller, Taylor Swift wears a cocktail ring with a large opal surrounded by blue topazes
In an Instagram photo posted by Keleigh Teller (far right), Taylor Swift (second from right) wears a cocktail ring with a large opal surrounded by blue topazes. The eye-catching piece was a 2023 birthday gift from Teller.

And if we’re talking about a big, bold colored gemstone, a cocktail ring — typically larger and more dramatic than other designs and often centered on a single knockout stone — offers an excellent way to display it. “We can’t deny that the cocktail ring is one of the most stunning forms of jewelry, especially when it comes to impressively expressing the color of a gemstone,” says Suwannapirom.

Here, Suwannapirom dives into what makes the pieces she’s offering at auction unique acquisitions.

Pink-Kunzite Ring with Orange Sapphires and Diamonds

“I see a violet flower and orange sun rays in this unusual gemstone combination. A geometric, Art Deco–inspired design was the perfect way to show off the amazing pale pinkish purple of the kunzite and the bright orange color of the sapphires.”

Opal Ring with Sapphires and Diamonds

“Opals were among Queen Victoria’s favorite stones. She gave them as wedding gifts to her daughters and wore them herself. As the ancients did, we believe that the stone brings good fortune to its wearer. The opal in this Deco-inspired ring has an unusual marquise shape and a milky white hue that also displays an amazingly multicolored iridescence when exposed to the light at different angles.”

Morganite Ring with Diamonds

“We often collect unusual gemstones and create one-of-a-kind pieces to bring out their beauty. For example, this cocktail ring features a peachy-pink morganite that’s grade AAA [eye clean with vivid color and high brilliance]. The stone is stunning in person!”

Amethyst Ring with Diamonds

“This big, bold and vivid emerald-cut amethyst will undeniably draw attention to the person wearing it. Glittering round-brilliant diamonds give the ring a bit of extra sparkle.”

Opal Ring

This Ethiopian opal ring was designed as a robin’s egg in a gold bird’s nest. The closed-back gallery was added to further show the intense color of this highly transparent and lovely gemstone.”

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