Do you want to know a little secret? Together with diamonds, sapphires, and rubies, emeralds have traditionally been the fourth among precious gemstones. Consequently, emerald engagement rings vie for attention against the top three as a symbol of a romantic relationship.
People with less than in-depth knowledge of gemstones may wonder what makes emeralds as precious as the other three. Well, for starters, the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt wore emerald jewelry, the stone is full of meaning, and people are drawn to the stone’s rarity and unique green color.
On top of that, here are more…
Bits and Pieces about Emeralds
Emeralds have been thought to strengthen memory and wisdom. They also stood for fertility and to provide a calming effect to the wearer.
But hold on… Here are more things you may not know about emeralds.
Emeralds are ancient stones
The oldest evidence of the existence of emeralds dates back almost three billion years but is thought to have been mined in Egypt only around 1500 BC. They were then considered to aid in fertility and rebirth. Mummies were buried with emerald stones to symbolize eternal youth. The Incas and Aztecs valued and worshipped them like gods.
It belongs to the Beryl family
Emeralds are made from beryl – the same morganite, aquamarine, yellow beryl, etc. Its green color is due to traces of chromium and/or vanadium.
Unlike other precious stones that come in various colors, emeralds only come in varying shades of green – from yellow-green to deep jade green.
Pale emeralds are not emeralds but green beryl.
The Stone for Royalty
Emeralds have always been connected with royalty – from Cleopatra to the Duchess of Cambridge.
For example, in 1845, Prince Albert commissioned a diamond and emerald tiara for Queen Victoria. Then for the Delhi Durbar in 1911, Queen Many wore a stunning Art Deco emerald choker (this was eventually given to Princess Diana as a wedding gift from Queen Elizabeth).
Modern-day British royals are also huge fans, The Duchess of Cambridge has a suit of emerald and diamond jewels such as earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. And when Princess Eugenie married Jack Brooksbank in 2018, she wore the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara, decorated with six emeralds on either side.
Emeralds are rare
Emeralds are rare. Though mined in several countries such as Colombia, Zambia, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe (see chart),
they are about 20 times rarer than diamonds. Hence, they are often more expensive.
On the upside, they are still cheaper because they are less dense. You can get a larger emerald of the same carat weight as a diamond but at a lesser price.
They are soft and have inclusions
Emeralds are soft. They may crack or chip off if knocked against a hard surface or subjected to extreme temperature change.
To alleviate this problem, most emeralds are treated by filling small cracks with oil to prevent chipping. They may also be coated with baby oil to prevent the stone from becoming too brittle.
Emeralds almost always have inclusions. While clarity is a huge factor in determining diamond quality, they are expected in emeralds. An emerald without inclusions should be considered synthetic.
These inclusions are from gases, other liquids, or minerals that come into play during the stone’s crystallization process. These are often called “hardins” (the French word for gardens). But they are desirable in some cases, for their attractive patterns. They often could increase the value of the gem.
No two stones have similar inclusion patterns. “Clarity” in emeralds is seen on the inside, not outside.
Emerald’s special properties
Folklore has it that placing an emerald under the tongue can help a person see into the future. And that wearing emeralds is a guard against memory loss and enhances intuition. It is also thought that emeralds could act as a truth potion by helping decipher a person’s honesty and sincerity.
In 1967, the Gachala emerald was found in Colombia. It weighed 858 carats and is one of the world’s largest and most famous emeralds so far. Later, the Mogul Mughal was found. It weighed 200 carats and is considered the world’s largest inscribed emerald – featuring the words of the Shi’a Muslim prayer in Naskh script.
Of lesser stature but no less famous was John F. Kennedy’s two-carat diamond and two-carat emerald baguette ring he gave to Jacqueline Bouvier when he proposed to her in 1953. Then, on their 10th wedding anniversary, he again gave Jackie an emerald eternity ring featuring 10 emerald stones to represent each year of their marriage.
Emeralds have long been considered a stone of hope, renewal, and growth. It’s not strange, therefore, for celebrities like Debra Messing, Zoe Kravitz, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Ashley Judd, to name a few, to wear emerald jewelry to make a statement.
In 2019, the engagement rings business reached $28.6 billion in the U.S. and Canada alone. This figure is expected to rise to $39.7 billion by 2027. And do you know which are the most sought-after? As expected, diamond engagement rings take the top spot, followed by sapphires and emeralds in the third slot.
Yes, emerald engagement rings deserve to be among the best sellers. After all, they have been popular since the time of Cleopatra, Elizabeth Taylor, and then Jackie Onassis. People are attracted to its elegantly saturated hue and vaunted calming powers.
But influencers aside, it’s best to know what you are getting into before shopping for the item. These tips will help you in making the right choice.
Things to Look for
Emeralds are one of the four precious stones and, in certain circumstances, rival diamonds in rarity and value. It is necessary to pick the right engagement ring to achieve these ends. The kind that will leap at you when you see it. To achieve that, pay attention to these:
The color of the center stone is the most important factor when choosing an engagement ring.
Emerald colors range from medium to deep green shades. But the most sought-after are the deep bluish-green variety. However, some people prefer the pale hues as they are more reflective and brilliant.
Clarity in emeralds is a matter of compromise. Every emerald has clarity issues, and you will spend precious time looking for a stone with good clarity and color. Choosing the stone that fits your preferences is always what matters to you most – clarity or color.
The good news is that inclusions in some gems are near the edges and more difficult to notice than those in the center.
Although transparency isn’t a part of gemstone clarity, a stone with poor transparency looks dull and murky. Gems with poor transparency are always cheaper than those that are more transparent.
In this aspect, if you want an emerald with clarity that suits you, go for lab-grown.
The cut of a gemstone is intended to show off all of its sparkle and brilliance. While there are various cuts in the market, the emerald cut is the historical cut for emeralds.
However, other cuts like the Asscher and Octagon are doing just as well in the market. In some instances, some people (those with more cash) will opt for an emerald-cut diamond engagement ring.
A gemstone’s shape is its outline when viewed from the top. Round and octagon shapes are popular because they allow the emerald to reflect the most light. Pear and oval shapes make an emerald center stone look bigger.
The most popular is the rectangular shape because it maximizes the surface area of the gemstone.
Emeralds look lovely with any metal color. A lush green emerald against yellow gold makes a striking pair. And they will also look just as gorgeous and impressive on a platinum or silver band.
However, here’s a useful tip to make your ring stunning. Choose a metal band color opposite the emerald color in the color wheel. For example, if the emerald is bluish, choose a yellow band; if it is yellowish, choose a white band.
The ring setting is what holds the center stone in place. The popular settings for emerald engagement rings are the solitaire and pavè. These settings bring attention to the way the ring sparkles on your hand.
However, because of hardness issues, protective ring settings are recommended. For this reason, many jewelers use the bezel setting to avoid chips and fractures.
Emeralds are dazzling in any engagement ring style. They are just as dazzling, from the vintage emerald engagement ring to Art Deco to Edwardian styles with their ornate filigrees and timeless appeal.
On the other hand, people who prefer modern ring styles have countless choices among contemporary engagement ring styles – those with clean lines and gentle curves.
With or without accent stones
Diamonds are a classic choice for engagement ring accent stones. But there are alternatives, such as royal blue sapphires or bright citrine, for a less conventional look.
An engagement ring is a sign of love, a constant reminder of the love and commitment between two souls. Its sentimental value increases over time as they build their life together, a cherished piece of jewelry that represents a couple’s journey. Needless to say, buying one cannot and should not be taken as a knee-jerk response to some puppy love or a sudden increase in libido. It must be done almost ceremoniously. Here are some tips to do it:
Know your budget
Before going out to buy your dream engagement ring, you must first have a budget. How much? First, you must find the answer to the question, “How much are emerald engagement rings?”
Depending on the source and style, an emerald engagement ring can range in price from $ 1,200 to $ 180,000. Just like any gemstone, the price is dependent on the 4Cs – color, clarity, cut, and carat weight.
Know your ring size
This is rather straightforward. You can take your ring size or have the jewelry do it for you for a more accurate measurement.
Know how to care for your emerald ring
Emeralds are soft and need proper handling and care. You must know these to avoid having your engagement ring chipped or scratched.
These days, when “making a statement” is almost a buzzword, personalizing things such as jewelry has become so common. Personalization can be as simple as having the band etched with inspiring words, a mixed metal band, or a diamond halo around the emerald center stone to create your dreams. The possibilities are endless.
Where to buy your engagement ring
After everything has been considered, the time has come to ask the crucial question, “Where to buy emerald engagement rings?”
To get your money’s worth, go to a trustworthy retailer. This may sound simple, but it can be complicated at times. So many retailers are out there, and each professes to be trustworthy. To put your mind at ease, try these first:
– Blue Nile
– The Natural Emerald Company
– James Allen
Caring for Emerald Engagement Rings
Jewelry items need to be properly maintained and regularly cleaned to keep them looking great. Emerald engagement rings are no exception, but with a difference.
Emeralds are soft; hence, they must be handled and cleaned gently. Never use ultrasonic for cleaning because they can fracture due to their flaws. Instead, use a soft brush, warm water, and mild detergent. Then wipe them with a soft cloth and air dry.
If your emerald is oil-treated, it must be re-oiled every few years to keep it looking great. Consult your jeweler regarding this. If you have it re-oiled, make sure it is done properly.
Some emeralds are resin, not oil, treated. If your emerald is treated this way, there’s no treat to have it re-treated. Resins will stay put unless your ring is immersed in solvents.
If your ring is gold or platinum, remember that these metals are rhodium-coated to give them a brighter appearance. Consult your jeweler if it is, as rhodium will wear off over time.
Emeralds have long been regarded as a superior jewel. Rare and beautiful, it has consistently captured the attention of jewelry lovers looking for a diamond alternative that is just as stunning yet affordable. Dubbed the Heart of Stones, they are also packed with mystical powers, which are explored more deeply in the post “Color of Love: The Meaning of Colored Gemstone Engagement Rings.”