Nails get noticed for bold shapes (what is it about those pointy stilettos?) or bling, as in Swarovski crystal everything.

The trendlet

However, the subtle patterns of this spring's earthy stone-marble nail are taking their cues from nature (or your kitchen countertop).

Where does it come from?

Marble nails come straight out of the '90s. Back then, they were called water-marble nails because manicurists used drops of water to make the groovy, psychedelic, and rainbow-striped patterns. Sometimes, they'd brighten up short nails but often they were applied to talons so long they should have been flagged by the Department of Health.

In 2008 - shortly after Michelle Obama wowed us with her stunning gray nails and spawned the love of a more subdued hue - softer, nude colors became popular. In 2010, a Japanese salon figured out how to make the water-marble nail work on acrylic and gel nails.

By no means did bold colors disappear. Shattered-glass designs (those that look like stained glass) and aquarium nails (painted to look like glittery, underwater fantasies) remain both trendy and shiny. But we've begun seeing quieter designs that resemble gemstones: turquoise, emerald, onyx, citrine, coral. The choices are as vast as the YouTube videos that give DIY directions.

Who is wearing them?

Ladies curious about nail designs but who don't want to be too loud.

Would Elizabeth wear them?

This could be my new obsession. Not sure whether I should stick with one accent nail (for mixed-media-esque hands) or marble up all 10.

Should you wear them?

If your 9-to-5 won't take issue with soft coral accents, go for it. But if there is any chance your gig, your mom, or your man will turn up their noses, you'll have to consider whether a marbled nail really matters to you.

215-854-2704 @ewellingtonphl

Christine Harris shows off her rose- gold-and-glitter-accented marble nails. The marble nail is the design on the ring finger, courtesy of Onisha Claire, owner of Koco Nail Salon & Wax Studio, 4161 Ridge Ave., 215-650-7595,