Emeralds make it easy (and glamorous) to be green. Part of the trifecta of precious stones that includes rubies and sapphires, emeralds are the bluish-green-to-green variety of the mineral beryl that also includes aquamarines.
Emerald has been around for billions of years (literally 2.97 billion to be exact) and some of its earliest fans include first-century AD Roman emperor Nero and Cleopatra, who loved the stone so much, she owned her own emerald mines.
The gem has been a staple among the jet set ever since, and there are multiple important emeralds and emerald jewelry pieces on record in modern times. Elizabeth Taylor famously owned a collection of Bulgari emerald pieces, which the jewelry house acquired at auction after her death. And in the early ’80s, Princess Diana was gifted an emerald and diamond choker that she frequently wore throughout the years (memorably one time as a headband!).
“Emeralds are timeless,” says Ritika Atwal, founder and designer of Ritique. “They’re associated with royalty and have a vintage appeal. They are in higher demand than ever before in the precious jewelry category….Lately emeralds have been promoted more by celebrities, which gives the consumer confidence to invest in emeralds.”
Indeed, emeralds have been enjoying a resurgence in recent years. Interest in the stone was reignited when Angelina Jolie walked the red carpet at the 2009 Academy Awards wearing 115-carat, pear-shaped, emerald drop earrings designed by Lorraine Schwartz—and it really hasn’t abated since.
The Oscars have seen an exponential increase in emeralds on its red carpets. Just this year, celebs including Jessica Chastain, Sofia Carson, and Jenny Slate accessorized with emerald necklaces from Gucci, Chopard, and Genoa, respectively. Malala also stunned that evening in an emerald flower ring by Santi Jewels, while Rihanna dazzled in Moussaieff earrings that featured square-cut Colombian emeralds.
“I use a lot of small round melee emeralds for pave work because the color is so intense,” says Ray Griffiths founder and designer of his namesake fine jewelry company. “I’ve worked with many emeralds over the years, and if it’s five carats or more and a rich green color, it feels like you could dive in. They are so beautiful.”
Below, a handful of new emerald styles to consider.
Bowen NYC Eternity bangle emerald in 18K yellow gold, $2,250
Zoë Chicco 14K emerald cut emerald and pave diamond cuff, $1,850
MILAMORE Triple emerald necklace in 18K recycled yellow gold, $5,200
Ray Griffiths Fine Jewelry Emerald flower necklace in 18K yellow gold, $3,290
Ritique Emerald and diamond line drop earrings in 18K yellow gold, $7,690
Cileone Jewelers 18K gold emerald diamond flower basket brooch, $3,200
Adornment & Theory Emerald rhombus stud in 9K yellow gold, $265
Ariel Gordon Astral Ring in 14K yellow gold, $785
Lionheart Amore heart medallion in 14K yellow gold with diamonds and emeralds, $2,645
Harakh Cascade collection earrings featuring pear-shaped emeralds and diamonds, $16,800