Posted on May 21 2020
This was the 2011 sales price at Christy’s Auction for Elizabeth Taylor’s Emerald pendant - a record $280,000 per carat. The pendant, or brooch as she called it, was created in 1958 by BVLGARI Jewelers. It was set with a rectangular-cut Emerald and Diamonds in platinum and worn alone or suspended from a matching Emerald and Diamond necklace.
A nice piece…if you can afford it!
The Emerald is a precious stone, almost equal in value to the Diamond. Its color reminds me of Spring, which makes it the perfect choice for the birthstone of May. It is also the gemstone for the twentieth and thirty-fifth wedding anniversaries.
Emerald is a very hard gemstone, but almost all natural Emeralds have inclusions and surface-reaching fractures, which endangers the durability of the gem. For hundreds of years, it has been a common practice to treat the Emerald by filling the fractures with oils, waxes, polymers, and other materials to reduce the visibility of the cracks.
The first known Emerald mines were in Egypt, dating from at least 330 BC. Cleopatra was known to use Emeralds in her royal jewelry and clothing. When sixteenth-century Spanish explorers invaded the New World, Emeralds from Colombia were part of their bounty. These explorers found that the Incas had been using Emeralds in their jewelry and religious ceremonies for 500 years. Treasuring gold and silver far more than gems, the Spanish began trading Emeralds for these precious metals. Their trades opened the market to European and Asian royalty of Emerald’s beauty.
Stories have been told about Emerald’s ability to give special powers or health to a person. One such tale asserts that placing the gem under the tongue allows the person to foresee the future. The gem also has been said to reveal truth or falseness of a lover’s oath, make one an eloquent speaker and protect against evil spells. The Emerald was once also believed to cure diseases like cholera and malaria. Maybe we should test it for COVID 19!
The first synthetic Emeralds were produced in the mid-1800s, but it was not until the 1930s that the manmade Emerald was produced in commercial quantities. Once commercial production began, a steady supply of synthetic Emeralds started entering the market. Known today at lab-created Emeralds, these Emeralds have the same chemical composition and crystal structure as natural Emeralds. They are sold beside natural Emeralds in most jewelry stores in the United States. When compared to natural Emeralds, the synthetics typically have superior clarity and more uniform shape.
The Emerald is considered a fragile stone that, as a ring, is best worn on special occasions rather than daily. Although, I must admit…I wear mine every day [pictured above.] This Emerald was given to me by one of my jewelers India. Initially, the ring was an 18k gold setting that held 5 Rubies. On one of our trips back home from India, I lost the rubies somewhere in the Delhi airport. Being very sad that I lost the precious rubies, I had my jeweler, on our next trip, replace them with one Emerald. I purchased one that was ½ carat. When I came back six months later, his father (one of my first jewelers) took the ring to rework the setting because he didn’t like the way the Emerald was set. When he gave me the ring a few days later, it had a 2-carat Emerald and six Diamonds, three on each side. Shocked, I was thinking, how would I pay for this? Putting the ring on my finger, he said it was his gift to me.
How can I not wear it every day? It is a beautiful stone and a lovely setting that reminds me each day of the precious people in India who need LIGHT.
Jewelers will tell you that the Emerald is better suited for earrings and pendants being subjected to less impact and abrasion than rings and bracelets. Settings like the bezel set of my ring will serve to protect the stone and are much safer than those settings in prongs, which leave the stone more prone to impact and abrasion.
Cleaning your Emeralds should be done carefully. Steam and ultrasonic cleaning can damage the stone. A light washing in warm water with a mild soap is safer for cleaning and should be done only when needed.
At Gems of Jaipur, we have several pieces of jewelry with natural, untreated Emeralds…rings, bracelets, earrings. And they are affordable…much less than what Ms. Taylor’s Emerald cost! Take a look at these pictures here. They are available online and at the new store.
I am very partial to my natural Emerald, even with its inclusions. It reminds me that even with blemishes, Father continues to pour his love on me and these precious people in India. It reminds me that the LIGHT shines in the darkness.