Gemstone of the Month: Emerald

May 04, 2016 Allison Bray

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Emeralds are iconic for their rich green colouring. The word ‘emerald’ is believed to come from the Latin esmaralda/esmaraldus meaning, quite simply, ‘green gem’. They have been well-loved throughout history, notably by the Ancient Egyptians (who carried out heavy emerald mining on behalf of the pharaohs) and the Incas and Aztecs (who believed these stunning green gems were the holiest of stones). 

The lure of these green gems has had a huge impact across many times and cultures. The Vedas, an Indian holy script, said that emeralds provided good luck and enhanced wellbeing. It’s probably unsurprising, then, that Indian maharajas and maharanis were known to have treasure chests full of them!

Flawless emeralds are very rare. Any gems that are truly flawless in their clarity are hugely valuable: even more so than diamonds. The majority of emeralds feature many fissures. These are so common that they’re affectionately known as ‘jardin’ (the French word for garden) thanks to their mossy appearance. 

Worn best with… 

There’s no doubt about it: emerald jewellery is simply stunning. We think these gems look their best when they’re allowed to take centre stage. Wear them alone or with subtle-but-sophisticated flashes of diamond, silver or gold. 

Best suited to… 

Emeralds could be described as the epitome of luxe. Their glorious colour screams out for attention and instantly elevates any outfit from pretty to pretty impressive. We think they’re perfect for special occasions such as balls, galas, weddings and opening nights. 

Famous Emeralds… 

The Gachala Emerald is one of the largest in the world. It is 858 carats and weights over 171 grams. It was discovered in 1967 in Colombia and now lives at the Smithsonian in Washington DC.

The Mogul Mughal Emerald also hails from Colombia but was mined much, much earlier. It was sold to the Mughal empire where it was dated as 1101 AH (estimated to be 1695/6 AD). The gem is 217 carats and is engraved with elegantly scripted Shi’a prayers and beautifully intricate floral decorations. It sold at Christie’s in 2001 for well over a million pounds.

More inspiration… 

Green Tourmaline and Silver Tension Ring, Gold Midas Necklace, Round Tourmaline and Silver Ring, Lucky Shamrock Glass Hare, Owl in a Tree Pendant.

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