If you're a designer working in stone, incorporating a very specific color or set of colors (like Pantone throws our way each year) can seem a little tricky. After all, Pantone was originally developed for printing and stones do NOT follow a specific ink formula. Fret not.

The key to making Pantone's oh-so-fashionable palette work lies in the details. Sure, some stones with match perfectly, and sometimes, they give you a freebie like "Lapis" to give you a hint. Other times, you're looking at something a little less obvious. In every case, remember that stone isn't a color swatch- clarity, chatoyance, and natural color variations give you more flexibility in your options. It can be less about perfect matching and more about picking up the right tone, if not the exact saturation.

Case Study One: Morganite

It's easy to see the way that this stone picks up Hazelnut, Dogwood, and Island Paradise. If you look closely, you can also see little bits of a subdued green that looks like Kale. Since it's Morganite, the color is more muted, and incorporated into a cohesive design with this palette.

Case Study Two: Druzy, Jade, and Citrine

In this example, all three of the stones have varying shades of their Pantone inspirations. The variations range in intensity, and they're all playing well together.

Case Study Three: Carnelian, Multi-Tiger Eye, and Citrine

Sure, most stones pick up just one Pantone color, but the Multi-Tiger Eye in this combo shows that you can spice up a two-color combo using a stone that has both colors. In this case, you can also see that the chatoyance in the Tiger Eye bridges what might otherwise be a stark gap between the opacity of the Carnelian and the clarity of the Citrine.

Case Study Four: Pink Tourmaline, Chalcedony, and Denim Lapis

When our designer put this combo together, I thought she was off her rocker. I was NOT seeing Pale Dogwood in this. My eye was drawn immediately to the pink in the Tourmaline, and it took a second glance to see that the pale, almost white parts of the chips were, in fact, very much had the soft peachiness of Pale Dogwood. In all of these stone types, the Pantone color is NOT the visually dominant color in the stones - it's a subtle background player.

After all this lecturing, I want to leave you with a final thought. Customers buy your designs because of YOUR unique talents with color and materials. However the Pantone colors fill in or fall out of your upcoming designs matters far less than authentic designs that delight you.

                                           - Erin, Dakota Stones 

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