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Crayola Product Line

 

Crayola Gem Tones Crayons


When Crayola launched the Gem Tones line in the USA back in 1993, little did they know they had created one of the most sought after of their experimental crayon products from the 1990s.  While they may not have been a full-on commercial success that kept them on the market year after year, there is a consistently strong collector and Crayola enthusiast demand for these crayons over the years.  They have always sold well at the aftermarket and have retained a bit of value throughout.

 

What many don't realize is that the Canadian Gemtone box was actually the first one to appear back in 1987, several years before they repackaged them in the USA and tweaked the color line slightly.  The Canadian colors were:  Amethyst, Aquamarine, Emerald, Jasper, Lapis Lazuli, Moonstone, Onyx, Peridot, Pink Pearl, Rose Quartz, Ruby, Sapphire, Smoky Topaz, Tiger Eye, Turquoise, Zircon  The USA colors were:  Amethyst, Citrine, Emerald, Jade, Jasper, Lapis Lazuli, Malachite, Moonstone, Onyx, Peridot, Pink Pearl, Rose Quartz, Ruby, Sapphire, Smokey Topaz, Tiger's Eye

 

The big callout here is that Zircon is an extremely rare color to find since the Canada version is the only place it was ever used.  It is also the only Crayola color starting with the letter Z.  Also notice that in the Canada version they spell it as "Smoky" whereas in the USA they use "Smokey".  Finally, they added a minor change to Tiger Eye by calling it Tiger's Eye in the USA.  What you can't find in the USA versions also are Aquamarine or Turquoise as these two were replaced in the USA version with Citrine, Jade and Malchite (one of these replaced Zircon).  However, unlike Zircon, Aquamarine and Turquoise could be found in regular Crayola crayon lines as a color name so they aren't as unique.

 

Gemtones.png  gemstones canada.jpg

 

If you need a guide on the definition of the rareness ratings, go here:  Rarity Ratings

 

 

Crayola Gemtone (Canadian).jpg

 

 

BS1193      Start Date: 1987  End Date: 1987  Country:  Canada

 

Rareness:  8      Est. Value (Mint):  $50    Crayons:  16   Colors:  16

 

What makes this unique:

Canadian boxes of this era have a higher hanger tab than the boxes designed in the USA.  They used a crayon tip with three colors for the design of the hanger and the number of crayons was on the left side in black.  They used the "fat" Crayola typefont for this and had a mock window instead of an actual window.  The mock window was a trapezoid with the wider part on the top, similar to many of the non-USA boxes that were put out in the 70s through the 90s by Crayola.  The box also uses the Tip character in the lower left.  Again, many non-USA boxes utilized Tip back then.  The USA boxes didn't utilize tip until decades later.  There is also a Canadian Maple Leaf at the bottom.  These boxes are rarely found, there are only a handful of them known despite not being really that old.

 

 

Crayola Gem Tones (3 lines) - 8 colors.jpg

 

 

BS1939      Start Date: 1993  End Date: 1993  Country:  USA

 

Rareness:  9      Est. Value (Mint):  $35    Crayons:  8   Colors:  8

 

What makes this unique:

When Crayola debuted the Gem Tones in the USA they added a plural form instead of the one word non-plural Gemtone used in the Canadian version.  They utilized their open window and went with the green "fat" typefont of the era.  Instead of just a just a colored octagon shape they drew a multicolored gem for the bottom of the center of the box.  The distinguishing difference for the first set of box designs is the "Different Gemtone Colors" on the upper right of the hanger tab.  Crayola put out both an 8-color and a 16-color box.  For both series they ran, the 8-color boxes were far more scarce to find.  For this first run, it is a very rare box.

 

 

Crayola Gem Tones - 16 colors.jpg

 

 

BS0122      Start Date: 1993  End Date: 1993  Country:  USA

 

Rareness:  6      Est. Value (Mint):  $15    Crayons:  16   Colors:  16

 

What makes this unique:

When Crayola debuted the Gem Tones in the USA they added a plural form instead of the one word non-plural Gemtone used in the Canadian version.  They utilized their open window and went with the green "fat" typefont of the era.  Instead of just a just a colored octagon shape they drew a multicolored gem for the bottom of the center of the box.  The distinguishing difference for the first set of box designs is the "Different Gemtone Colors" on the upper right of the hanger tab.  Crayola put out both an 8-color and a 16-color box.  For both series they ran, the 8-color boxes were far more scarce to find.  The 16-color versions seem to come up equally as often.

 

 

Crayola Gem Tones - 8 colors.jpg

 

 

BS0877      Start Date: 1994  End Date: 1994  Country:  USA

 

Rareness:  8      Est. Value (Mint):  $25    Crayons:  8   Colors:  8

 

What makes this unique:

Crayola redesigned the box slightly in 1994.  They dropped the "Different Gemtone Colors" from the upper right side of the hanger tab and replaced it with "NON-TOXIC".  This was consistent with other product lines during that time.  They also changed the purple to be just a solid color rather than having the black lines interspersed through the hanger tab.  On the face they added small gems all over the box below the Crayola name.  Again, this 8-color version is much scarcer than its 16-color counterpart.

 

Crayola Gem Tones (Non Toxic) - 16 colors.jpg

 

 

BS0747      Start Date: 1994  End Date: 1994  Country:  USA

 

Rareness:  6      Est. Value (Mint):  $15    Crayons:  16   Colors:  16

 

What makes this unique:

Crayola redesigned the box slightly in 1994.  They dropped the "Different Gemtone Colors" from the upper right side of the hanger tab and replaced it with "NON-TOXIC".  This was consistent with other product lines during that time.  They also changed the purple to be just a solid color rather than having the black lines interspersed through the hanger tab.  On the face they added small gems all over the box below the Crayola name.  Again, this 16-color version is much easier to find than its 8-color counterpart.  It still commands demand though.