Silver gets plenty of well-deserved praise, but its very close relative, gray, often goes unappreciated. You may not think there’s a lot to be said about gray gemstones, and the old me would have agreed with you. But the new me is here to tell you that there’s so much more to gray gemstones than we thought.

What Does the Color Gray Mean?

Different colors have the power to convey different moods. Some people even attach spiritual significance to certain shades. Some of the various meanings attributed to gray that you may not have thought of are:

  • Neutrality
  • Balance
  • Calm
  • Wisdom
  • Dignity
  • Intelligence
  • Mystery
  • Modernism
  • Minimalism

Whether you want to command respect at work or keep your street style cool and trendy, wearing gray gemstones is a great place to start. It’s also a beautiful color for fall and winter that complements the cooler weather.

A silver and labradorite ring against a red background
Featuring: Gray Labradorite Jewelry by JTV

How to Style Gray Gemstone Jewelry

Whether you’ve decided to let your hair go gray or you want to be at the top of your elegant style game, gray gemstones are an easy and subtle way to start experimenting. But before you start shopping around, it’s important to know which color combinations look the most flattering.

Gray is a really versatile color. Not only are there a variety of shades to choose from (light heather gray, dark charcoal gray, warm or cool gray), but because it’s neutral, it pairs well with a rainbow of other colors and can be easily dressed up or down. Some of the best pairings with gray gemstones include:

  • Other neutrals (black, white, beige, camel)
  • Light pink
  • Navy blue 
  • Orange
  • Jewel tones (burgundy, red, deep purple, pine green, royal blue)

A good rule to follow is that if you’re wearing a light gray gemstone, pair it with dark or jewel tones, and if you prefer darker grays, those look best with pale colors. Whichever shade you gravitate toward, there are lots of options out there when it comes to accessorizing.

A woman wearing layered silver necklaces and silver cross earrings
Featuring: Silver Jewelry by JTV


Silver has always been my favorite jewelry metal. It is incredibly versatile, as well as a subtle way to communicate class and elegance. Finally, as someone whose fingers have the tendency to turn green, I also love that silver jewelry tends to be hypoallergenic. 

When it comes to caring for your silver, you can keep it clean and shiny by following just a few easy steps. When your accessories start to look like they’re losing their luster, you can give them a good polish with a soft cloth using back and forth motions. If your silver jewelry seems like it’s going to need a deeper clean, you can soak it for a few minutes in a mix of lukewarm water and mild dish soap before using the cloth. Also try to avoid cosmetics, lotion, perfume and hair products from coming into contact with it.

A woman wearing silver rings and bracelets
Featuring: Silver Jewelry by JTV


It’s understandable if your first thought about pearl jewelry is the white variety of the stone. However, they also come in a gorgeous, metallic gray shade. 

Pearls’ hardness ranges from 2.5-4.5, so if regular upkeep isn’t something you’re interested in, you may want to save these pieces for special occasions. But if you have the time for periodic care and maintenance, your pearls will stay pretty for a long time to come even with everyday wear.

A grey pearl necklace and a silver and yellow ring
Featuring: Pearl Jewelry by JTV

To keep your pearls in their beautiful, lustrous state regardless of the type, you’ll want to avoid putting them on until after you’ve finished your makeup and hair routine. Then, at the end of the day, your pearls should be the first piece of your outfit that you remove. Cosmetics and perfume, hairspray, heat and household chemicals can all damage these delicate gems. 

Most varieties only require occasional cleaning, and all you need to do is take some lukewarm water with mild dish soap and a soft cloth to wipe the beads. Do not dip the entire piece into the water, because this is likely to break the thread. 

Gray Labradorite

This gray gemstone might be news to you, but I’ll teach you everything you need to know. The iridescence of gray labradorite demonstrates how whimsical and fun gray can be. The stone is also a more durable alternative to the similar-looking and more well-known mother of pearl, with a hardness of 6-6.5 versus mother of pearl’s 3.5 hardness score. 

When it comes to maintaining your gray labradorite jewelry, less is more. All you need is mild dish soap, lukewarm water and a soft cloth. In most cases, you should avoid heat or any kind of radical temperature change, steaming, ultrasonic cleaners, and repolishing.

A silver labradorite pendant necklace
Featuring: Gray Labradorite Jewelry

Drusy Quartz

Another dazzling example of gray gemstones is gray drusy quartz jewelry. While regular quartz grows as its own, large crystal, drusy quartz is a coating of much smaller crystals that grows in or on other gemstones. 

The coolness of light gray drusy quartz has a futuristic feel to it that reminds me of space or looking at the moon. The warm, dark gray shade is more mysterious and earthy.

A drusy quartz ring and a gray beaded bracelet
Featuring: Drusy Quartz Jewelry by JTV

Drusy quartz is much more rare than regular quartz crystals, and in my opinion, even prettier. The carpets of tiny crystals add interest to any outfit with their texture, and the mass of sparkles looks like a galaxy. 

To keep drusy quartz jewelry looking its best, it requires frequent but very gentle treatment. Abrasions may reveal the stone’s natural color if it’s been dyed, and heat, chemicals, recutting, repolishing and ultrasonic cleaners will all be too harsh on these tiny crystals. Unscented mild dish soap, water and a soft toothbrush will work just fine. 


Many people are surprised to learn that jade, officially called jadeite, comes in more than just the light green color. Gray jadeite is a gray gemstone with a wonderfully mysterious charcoal color. You’ll also frequently see a mottled pattern of slightly lighter gray that resembles trails of smoke. Jadeite jewelry in this shade adds understated detail to your outfit that is simultaneously earthy and modern.

Normal care is just fine for gray jadeite, which has a hardness level of 6.5-7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, if it is untreated. If your jadeite has been oiled, bleached, dyed or altered in some other way, you’ll want to avoid harsh light, heat and chemicals, as well as ultrasonic cleaners.


If you’re seeking vintage flair, marcasite is the gray gemstone for you. This stone is primarily associated with its widespread use in vintage jewelry, going as far back as the Incan Civilization. The Incas were the first recorded people to use marcasite in jewelry. Queen Victoria also wore it as a mourning accessory after the death of her husband and popularized it amongst her citizens. However, if the retro look isn’t for you, JTV offers plenty of modern and trendy marcasite jewelry designs as well. 

Another plus for marcasite, with its hardness level of 6-6.5, is that it only requires normal care with warm, soapy water and a soft towel. Do make sure to rinse and dry it thoroughly, though, and avoid chemicals and ultrasonic or steam cleaners.

More Shades of Gray Gemstones

  • Diamond
  • Moissanite
  • Sapphire
  • Zircon 
  • Spinel
  • Andalusite
  • Citrine
  • Garnet
  • Onyx
  • Pyrite
  • Rainbow Moonstone
  • Vermelho Garnet

Frequently Asked Questions About Gray Jewelry

What are the types of gray gemstones?

Some popular types of gray gemstones include gray pearls, gray labradorite, gray drusy quartz, gray jadeite and marcasite.

Do gold and gray go together?

Gold and gray typically do not look as attractive together as silver and gray.

What colors to wear with gray gemstones?

Other neutrals, light pink, navy blue, orange and jewel tones all look great with gray gemstones.

Erin McIntyre

Erin’s favorite gray gemstone is drusy quartz, and she always loves an opportunity to talk about her favorite jewelry metal, silver.

Read more about Erin on her author page

Erin McIntyre