Emerald Engagement Rings
The lush, verdant hues of emerald engagement rings make them the perfect choice for those seeking something a little exotic and unusual. Discover everything you should know about choosing emerald engagement rings, and the styles to inspire your choice
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Learn more about emerald engagement rings
What are emeralds?
Emeralds are a slightly less common choice for gemstone engagement rings than sapphires and rubies. Reaching 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale, the beryl mineral is softer than rubies, sapphires and diamonds, making them a slightly less appropriate choice for engagement rings. The green stones are, however, a particularly beautiful choice of centre stone. The lush, verdant hues are caused by traces of chromium and sometimes vanadium.
How do I know if I’ve found a good emerald for my engagement ring?
The most important beauty factor with emeralds is the colour - and finding the perfectly coloured emerald for your engagement can be tricky. Colour differences can be subtle, but the ideal colour ranges from a slight bluish green to a pure green. As with most coloured gemstones, a vivid but not too dark colour is a determinant of an emerald’s value. An even colour distribution makes an emerald far more desirable than one that contains colour zoning - which is where colour is less vivid in parts of the stone that in others.
Whilst Sapphires, rubies and diamonds can be found with relatively few, visible inclusions, emeralds usually contain inclusions that are visible to the naked eye. An emerald with few inclusions is so rare that the clarity of an emerald is less of a factor to worry about than some other popular gemstones and diamonds. Typically, emeralds contain inclusions known as ‘jardin’, which are moss-like clusters. As with all gemstones, the less visible the inclusions, the better, but buyers should be more concerned with finding the perfect colour when it comes to emerald engagement rings.
Where do emeralds come from?
Colombia has been recognised as the longstanding source of the finest emeralds, but the gemstones are also found in Brazil, Zambia, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Some sources produces slightly different tones of green emeralds - for example Zambia is known for its slightly bluish gems, whilst Muzo in Colombia is home to strong, pure green stones.
What is the history of emerald engagement rings?
The birthstone of May, lore has often seen emerald as symbolistic of the dawn of spring, new beginnings and new life. Historically, the green gemstones were greatly celebrated in Egypt, where the first mines were established around 3500BC - following which, emeralds became a favourite jewel of Cleopatra. This association with Egyptian jewellery gives emeralds their signature exotic appeal, particularly when paired with yellow gold. Prevalence of emeralds within European jewellery grew as the Spanish discovered emerald deposits in the South Americas and shipped them back West, and would typically be set alongside fine diamonds to create decorative and intricate jewellery. Today, emeralds are not the obvious choice for engagement rings, meaning emerald engagement rings remain an unusual choice, excluding uniqueness, character and distinction.
Are emerald engagement rings a good idea?
Green emeralds are undoubtedly a beautiful gemstone to choose for an engagement ring, the bold green hues can look exotic, lush and are certainly attention-grabbing. It is important, however, to remember that they aren’t the sturdiest stone - unlike diamonds, sapphires and rubies, the internal inclusions can weaken the stones and make them prone to damage. If you want to incorporate emeralds into your engagement ring, you may prefer to create a diamond and emerald ring. Consider using emeralds for a halo around a centre diamond, or alternative small, round emeralds with melee diamonds for a colourful ring band.
Celebrities with emerald engagement rings
As far as celebrity engagement rings go, Halle Berry’s was somewhat down to earth. Whilst she no longer wears her emerald engagement ring, the unique design made a lasting impact amongst jewellery lovers. The thick, textured yellow gold band features a verdant green emerald, flanked by two small, round diamonds, for a contemporary engagement ring. The central emerald is cut in the most flattering shape for emeralds, the emerald cut.
Olivia Wilde’s engagement ring makes the most of green emeralds with an Art Deco inspired halo. The ring appears to be either rose gold or yellow gold, the complementary tones encouraging the green emeralds to really pop. In the centre of the ring sits a sizeable round brilliant cut diamond, all in all a beautiful recipe for a vintage inspired engagement ring.
Unusual for its time, Jackie O’s engagement ring originally featured a step cut diamond and emerald set side by side, slightly off centre. Each stone is believed to weigh in at around 2.88ct. 10 years after the proposal, Jackie chose to add marquise diamonds in the shape of leaves around the stones, and round diamonds along the shank of the ring, for an original, stand-out look. The ring has since become an iconic piece of jewellery amongst industry experts and design fans.