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A BLOG BY JOULBERRY

The Majestic Emerald

Emeralds are the most lush of all green gemstones and here at Joulberry we are completely smitten with this spellbinding stone.

 

The grassy green emerald is one of our favourite coloured stones and the perfect gem to herald the imminent arrival of spring. With its intense hue it is the most vibrant of all green gemstones and its rarity and fascinating history only serve to heighten the emerald’s appeal. It looks like we’re in good company as, just last week, the Duchess of Cambridge stepped onto the red carpet at the BAFTAs wearing a pair of emerald earrings teamed with a matching necklace and bracelet. Featuring around 25ct of Colombian emeralds as well as white diamonds, the three-piece-set is reportedly worth a cool £1 million. Signifying hope, growth and rebirth, emeralds were also the choice for actresses Catherine Zeta Jones and Zoe Kravitz, who sported the lush green gemstones to show their support for the Time’s Up movement.

Left to Right: Kate Middleton, Catherine Zeta Jones, Zoe Kravitz Left to Right: Kate Middleton, Catherine Zeta Jones, Zoe Kravitz

One of the oldest gemstones around, the emerald is believed to have been mined by the ancient Egyptians as far back as 3500 BC. Together with the ruby and the sapphire, it is one of the “big three” precious coloured stones and treasured all over the world for its mesmerising beauty, colour and historical provenance. Queen Cleopatra was known to have a passion for emeralds and the stone featured in several of her royal adornments. Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor, who portrayed the Egyptian queen on the silver screen, was another emerald fan and her extensive jewellery collection included a Bulgari emerald and diamond suite gifted to the actress by on-off husband Richard Burton.

Elizabeth Taylor wearing the Bulgari emerald suite gifted to her by Richard Burton Elizabeth Taylor wearing the Bulgari emerald suite gifted to her by Richard Burton

While emeralds are predominantly mined in Colombia, Brazil and Zambia, deposits have also been found in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Australia and the United States. Without getting too embroiled in geology, the gemstones hail from the beryl family and their green colour comes from traces of chromium and vanadium. High quality emeralds are 20 times rarer than diamonds and, depending on their size, can command higher prices per carat. It is important to point out that emeralds lack the durability of a diamond and are far more prone to chipping or cracking. Measuring 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, emeralds are generally not considered suitable as centre stones for engagement rings. They are also prone to inclusions, which are usually air bubbles that were trapped in the stone during its formation but can also be traces of water or other substances.  Eye-clean emeralds are extremely rare and, as you can imagine, astronomically expensive. Instead of seeing these inclusions as flaws, we prefer to think of them as birthmarks telling a story about where the stone came from and how it was formed.

In Joulberry’s fine jewellery collection we have two stunning emerald designs in 9ct yellow gold that are set with handpicked gems of around 0.4ct (4mm).  The green gemstones add a delicious pop of colour to these versatile pieces that can be worn as a set, on their own or mixed and matched with our other handcrafted gold jewels. We have also made a bespoke version of this necklace featuring a client’s own emerald, which adds a lovely, sentimental layer to the jewel.

Our emerald necklace and earrings look equally stunning worn separately or as a matching set Our emerald necklace and earrings look equally stunning worn separately or as a matching set

The enduring appeal of the emerald is perhaps best summed up in the words written by Roman historian Pliny the Elder back in 50 AD. Describing the rich colour of the gem, which so mesmerised the ancient world, he proclaimed: “Nothing green [is] greener”.

If you wish to view our emerald jewellery or discuss a bespoke commission please pop into our boutique on Bridge Road, East Molesey, or telephone us on 020 8979 5774.

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