For at least half a century, “investing” in a piece of jewelry meant buying a pair of round diamond studs on 47th Street. But these days, it seems like everyone (Gwyneth Paltrow, your ceramist neighbor) is flashing weirder, splashier, more deeply saturated baubles. That these gems look like toys is part of their appeal to a new wave of jewelers — Melissa Joy Manning in Soho, Mociun in Williamsburg, Erica Weiner in Nolita and Boerum Hill — who’ve helped make the industry increasingly less fusty, featuring peach sapphires and Milky Way turquoise rather than the classic rocks. “Nontraditional stones feel like the new frontier in fine jewelry,” says gray-diamond-loving designer Eva Zuckerman. And while staid, white diamonds have been on the decline recently, fine jeweler David Morris told The Wall Street Journal that “colored diamonds have probably been the best investment in the last ten years — better than wine, the stock market, or property.” Here, we break down outrageously pricey spinels, less-expensive-than-they-look tourmalines, and a few chakra-healing crystals that have found a whole new audience amid the SoulCycle set.
*This article appears in the March 23, 2015 issue of New York Magazine.