Along with ruby, diamond and sapphire, emerald completes the select category of valuable precious stones. The stone's green brilliance is distinctive in appearance and makes every item of jewellery unique. But what is the significance of the emerald and which emerald ring will you choose? The BAUNAT experts tell you a little more about it.

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What is an emerald?

The emerald is one of the best known precious stones, along with diamond, ruby and sapphire. The precious stone (akin to the aquamarine) is made up of the mineral beryl, and its intense green hue is due to the presence of chrome. Emeralds are transparent, but most display inclusions that lend the stone a cloudy appearance. The more vivid the stone is, the higher the price. Just as with the other precious stones, to calculate the price of an emerald the 4 Cs need to be taken into account. Per carat, they can even cost more than diamonds.
Raw emerald to make emerald jewellery with - BAUNAT
Columbia, in South America, is the world's biggest producer of emerald. This precious stone is also to be found in the southern parts of Africa, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The term emerald often refers to an object or region with a predominantly green colour. Take, for example, one of the names Ireland is known by (the Emerald Isle), or the name for the former Dutch East Indies -( the Tropic of Emerald).

What is not an emerald?

The term emerald can be misleading. Confusion arises with emerald cut: a precious stone cut. The two differ.
BAUNAT emerald cut rings. The terms emerald and emerald cut can differ
The term emerald cut does derive from emerald because most of the stones cut in this way were formerly emeralds. One huge advantage of the emerald cut is that the shape further enhances the rich colour of the precious stones.

What is the history behind the emerald?

Centuries ago, people wore emerald amulets and jewellery. They were also entombed in the pharaoh's burial chambers in Ancient Egypt. The first documented emeralds are said to have been mined in around 1500 BC.
Image of Cleopatra who was a big fan of emerald jewellery. - BAUNAT
The oldest emerald mines are to be found in Egypt , where they were mined by Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Ottoman Turks. These mines are known as the Cleopatra mines, after the Egyptian queen. Indeed, she was immensely fond of emeralds.
The Incas also appreciated the green colour of emeralds and turned them into jewellery. When the Spanish conquistadores arrived in South America in the 16th century, they initiated trade in South American emeralds with Europe and Asia. They exchanged the stones for precious metal.

The symbolism and significance of emerald

The emerald symbolises power, immortality and, with its green hue, eternal youth. Just as with ruby, the emerald is also said to be a healing stone. In ancient times particularly, the emerald was attributed with healing powers for skin problems.
Emeralds are around 20 times rarer than diamonds
The Ancient Greeks believed the green precious stone was linked to truthfulness and eloquence. The Aztecs adorned statues of God with emeralds, and in the Middle Ages it was thought they helped you to lead a virtuous life. Heroes used them to make themselves invisible or look into the future.
According to alternative medicine the emerald will also protect you against memory loss and sharpens your intuition. It is also said to be have relaxant properties and to sooth tired eyes. This is not scientifically proven.
Woman with a BAUNAT Toi & Moi design emerald ring
What is certain though is that an emerald ring or emerald bracelet is a fantastic gift for a 55th wedding anniversary that is otherwise known as the emerald anniversary. A model in Toi & Moi design such as this one is eminently suitable for that occasion.

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An emerald ring is also an ideal birthday gift for people born in May, the month the emerald is the birthstone for.

The value of an emerald

Just as with other coloured precious stones, the emerald is cut  to enhance the colour of the stone  as best as possible. Where with blue sapphire the colour is ideally as dark as possible, an emerald should be considerably lighter and as transparent as possible. Inclusions, or ‘jardin’ (French for garden), aren't regarded as problematic, only if they negatively impact the colour and transparency.
Buy your loved one superlative emerald jewellery for your 55th wedding anniversary
Some emeralds are approximately 20 times rarer than diamonds. Per carat, the value of a top quality emerald can certainly be higher than that of diamond. Its size naturally helps determine its price.
Vibration ring with emeralds - BAUNAT
Another criterium is the emerald's tone. This can range from very light green to dark green. A darker emerald comes at a higher price, although the tone should not be too dark. Emeralds with a yellow or blue tone are less valuable.

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The three most impressive pieces of emerald jewellery

Many pieces of jewellery have been adorned with a stunning emerald over the years. Some were owned by royal families, others have travelled the globe. Here we introduce three exceptional examples to you.


  1. Chalk Emerald: The Chalk Emerald is a 37.82 carat Colombian emerald. This emerald was formerly the centrepiece of a diamond necklace owned by an Indian maharaja. This emerald is now set in a ring and is on show at the Natural History Museum in New York.

  2. The diadem owned by Marie Thérèse of France: The Duchess of Angoulême, Marie Thérèse, owned a stunning emerald diadem. It is not known for sure exactly how much the gem is worth, but is sure to be immense. The fact that the diadem hasn't been worked on over the years only serves to increase its value. The diadem is now on show at the Louvre.

  3. The Seringapatam jewels: the Victoria and Albert museum in London exhibits one of the best jewellery collections of all time, namely the Seringapatam jewels. The set comprises an emerald bracelet, necklace, brooch and pair or earrings . Originally they were a gift for the British general Lord Harris following his victory in the Siege of Seringapatam in 1799.


How to look after an emerald?

Ultrasonic cleaning isn't advisable for emerald jewellery due to the inclusions. You see, ultrasonic cleaning removes the oil that is used to protect the emerald. The best way to clean your emerald pendant is to use a soft microfibre cloth . This will help remove surface dust and grease. Then use soap and lukewarm water. Leave to soak for around half an hour and then gently polish using a soft toothbrush. Once ready, rinse in warm water. Never use chemical products.

Be sure to remove any emerald jewellery before going swimming. Saltwater and chlorine can damage your jewellery.

Why buy emerald jewellery at BAUNAT?

At BAUNAT we buy our precious stones direct from source , which reduces overhead costs significantly. This means we are able to offer our online jewellery collection 30%-50% cheaper than elsewhere.

Furthermore, we also provide tailor made jewellery. Do you already have an emerald ring or pendant design in mind? If so, make an appointment with our experts to discuss it further. Following an initial consultation we will design your ring using our software. We will show you a 3D model of the design to help give you a clear idea of what the end result will look like.

Our specialist craftspeople only work with premium materials, for both tailor made jewellery and the jewellery in our online collections.

Are you still on a quest to find an original piece of jewellery for either yourself or a loved one? Be sure to consider emerald jewellery. The green hue is easy to combine and if the Egyptian queen Cleopatra was a huge fan, you are bound to be too.

Find out more about precious stones

You now know the significance of an emerald, its symbolism and that qualitative emeralds can be immensely valuable. But do you know all there is to know about BAUNAT's other coloured gemstones, sapphire and ruby? Do you know about all the benefits of diamond and other precious stones? Glean all you need to know in the following blogs.

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