Nothing has said to be greener than the colour of a rich green emerald. It is a sign of lush vegetation and growth which is no doubt why the month of May is seen as its birthstone.
The emerald’s popularity has been at the forefront of the jewellery world as far back as 2000 BC. We travel to ancient Egypt to find the first emerald mines and later Queen Cleopatra's obsession with this rare precious gem. Although no emeralds have been traced back to the Queen of Egypt yet, ancient scriptures are rife with examples retelling how these stones were dripping from her imposing figure.
Drop Emeralds, Crown of the Andes, Met Museum NYC
The Spanish conquest of South America sparked an even greater interest in emeralds when they discovered the natives had been exploiting mines for centuries. They would spread the gems across Europe and Asia, as the Spanish were more interested in gold and silver.
Three Stone Emerald and Diamond ring, Daisy Exclusive collections
Columbia would control the emerald trade until the mid 20th century when Brazil and Zambia started commercial mining operations. To this day, Columbia remains the namesake for quality; however, in the last decade Zambia has produced phenomenal quality stones, making the debate a challenging one.
The quality of emeralds are unique in a sense they cannot be compared with diamonds or sapphires in clarity. Eye clean emeralds are almost so rare that some jewellers will go their entire lives without coming into contact with one. While the clarity is still important, the dominating factor with emeralds is the colour. A deep intense green with a hint of blue with few inclusions is most desirable among emerald lovers and consequently hits the bank account hardest.
Emerald and Diamond ring, Daisy Exclusive Collections
Considering the propensity to have many inclusions, most emeralds are oil treated or fracture filled to enhance the clarity, colour and stability. In other words, liquid is used to fill tiny voids inside the crystal which makes it tougher to see the imperfections while intensifying the colour. These small details mean the owner must pay special attention to keep their precious emeralds away from chemical and physical disturbances. These are the princesses of the gem world!
Cleopatra’s favourite stone has definitely stood the test of time. We need not look further than last week’s Met Gala in New York. Serena Williams was showing off her baby bump with 24 carats of emeralds dangling from her ears. Dakota Johnson and Selma Hayek followed trend with emerald earrings of their own. If this wasn’t convincing enough, the 2017 collections from Cartier, Harry Winston and Van Cleef and Arpels certainly don’t take them lightly.
Serena Williams, Met Gala 2017 - courtesy NewsDay
If you haven’t noticed yet, we love emeralds at Daisy Exclusive. We are avid collectors of estate pieces which can be seen online and even further in our store. We also have a wide array of cut stones just waiting to be assembled into a magnificent ring or pendant!