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  • Writer's pictureMartha Edwards

The Science Behind the Colours of Coastal Jewellery

Coastal jewellery is often inspired by the natural beauty of the ocean, seashore, and surrounding landscapes. From the blue depths of the sea to the golden hues of the sand, the colors of coastal jewellery are an essential part of its charm. In this article, we will explore the science behind the colors of coastal jewellery, focusing on the colors blue and yellow. We will also discuss how Murano glass adds a unique touch to coastal jewellery designs.

murano glass jewellery hearts

The Science Behind the Colours of Coastal Jewellery

The colours of coastal jewellery are determined by a combination of factors, including the minerals present in gemstones, the physics of light and colour, and the chemical reactions that occur when certain materials are heated or cooled. Let's take a closer look at the science behind some popular seaside jewellery colours.

gwithian lighthouse, image by Martha Edwards


Coastal jewellery is often associated with the colour blue, which is not surprising given the blue hues of the ocean and the sky. One blue gemstone that is often used in coastal jewellery is turquoise. Its color is caused by the presence of copper ions in its crystal structure.

Gemstones such as blue topaz and aquamarine are also popular choices for blue coastal jewellery. Blue topaz is a naturally occurring gemstone that ranges in colour from pale blue to deep blue. Aquamarine, on the other hand, is a type of beryl that ranges in colour from pale blue to greenish-blue. These gemstones are often used in ocean inspired jewellery to create beautiful blue pieces that evoke the ocean's tranquillity. Murano glass also comes in stunning azure shades, making it perfect in seaside jewellery designs.

When it comes to why the colour blue looks blue, it all comes down to the way light interacts with the materials. Blue light has a shorter wavelength than other colours in the visible spectrum, which means that it is scattered more easily by the atmosphere and water. This scattering causes the blue light to be more visible to the human eye, making blue the dominant colour in coastal settings.

Yellow and Gold

Yellow is another popular colour in coastal jewellery, often associated with the warmth and radiance of the sun. The colour yellow is created by the reflection and absorption of light by various materials.

One of the main materials responsible for the yellow colour in coastal jewellery is gold, which has a bright yellow colour and is a highly sought-after material in jewellery making. Gold gets its yellow color from its atomic structure. The electrons in the gold atoms absorb light in the blue and violet parts of the spectrum, leaving only yellow light to be reflected. This results in the characteristic yellow colour of gold.


Green is another popular colour found in coastal jewellery. The green-blue color of the ocean is due to the way that water molecules absorb and reflect light in the blue and green parts of the spectrum.

Our eyes and brain interpret this reflected light as the color green, which is why we perceive objects as green. Green stones such as green amethyst and emerald, and green Murano glass are often used in seashore jewellery.


Orange is a warm and inviting colour found in coastal jewellery, particulary in pieces inspired by coastal sunsets and sunrises. It represents energy and enthusiasm and is associated with warmth and positivity. Orange stones such as citrine are often used in ocean inspired jewellery.

Orange looks orange because it reflects mostly orange light while absorbing other colors such as blue and green.


Silver is a popular colour used in coastal and ocean-inspired jewelry, often representing the reflective and shimmering qualities of the ocean itself. Silver is a versatile colour that can be paired with many different gemstones and materials, making it a popular choice for jewellery designers. From a scientific standpoint, silver is a metallic element and has a natural luster and shine due to its reflective properties.

view from Cape Cornwall at dusk, image by Martha Edwards

When combined with other colors in coastal and ocean-inspired jewelry, silver can enhance and complement many different shades. It can add a touch of elegance and sophistication

to designs, and can also be used to create a subtle, understated look.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the colours of coastal jewellery are not just a matter of aesthetics but are also influenced by scientific factors. From the deep blue of the ocean to the vibrant greens of the seashore, the colours of coastal jewellery can evoke a sense of wonder and fascination with the natural world. By understanding the scientific principles behind the colours of coastal jewellery, we can better appreciate the beauty and diversity of our environment. From the role of minerals in creating colorful gemstones to the physics of light and colour, the science behind the colours of seaside jewellery is a fascinating topic that connects art, nature, and science in unexpected ways. Whether you're a jewellery lover, a beachcomber, or a science enthusiast, the colours of seashore jewellery offer a rich and inspiring world to explore.

FAQ: The Science of Colours in Coastal Jewellery

Why is Blue a Popular Colour in Coastal Jewellery?

Blue is a popular colour in coastal jewellery because it is associated with the ocean, the sky, and nature, and it is calming and soothing.

What Gemstones are Often Used in Blue Coastal Jewellery?

Materials commonly used to create blue coastal jewellery include Murano glass, blue topaz, aquamarine and turquoise.

What is Murano glass, and Why is it Used in Coastal Jewellery?

Murano glass is a type of glassware that originated in Venice and is known for its vibrant colours and unique patterns. Murano glass is made by adding various metal oxides to the molten glass, which creates a range of colors, including blues and yellows. The glass is then shaped and cooled, resulting in unique and colorful pieces that are perfect for coastal jewellery designs.

What is the Difference Between Blue Topaz and Aquamarine?

Blue topaz is a naturally occurring gemstone that ranges in colour from pale blue to deep blue, while aquamarine is a type of beryl that ranges in colour from pale blue to greenish-blue. This excellent blog post delves deeper into the characteristics of these two exquisite gems, which are both the birthstones for March. The Birthstones for March – Aquamarine or Blue Topaz (

Why Does Blue Light Scatter More Easily Than Other Colours?

Blue light has a shorter wavelength than other colours in the visible spectrum, making it more easily scattered by the atmosphere and water.

How Does the Scattering of Blue Light Affect The Appearance of Coastal Environments?

The scattering of blue light affects the appearance of coastal environments, making blue the dominant colour in such settings.

What does Blue Represent in Coastal Jewellery?

Blue represents the ocean and the sky and is associated with calmness and serenity.

Wave pic, Sennen, by Martha Edwards


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