Throughout history, its fabled allure has captured the imaginations of aristocrats, explorers, and conquerors. Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile, commanded emeralds to be cut into her own likeness. Napoleon handpicked the rarest specimens as gifts for his beloved Josephine. Peerless in its intensity, the sublime and fascinating emerald proclaims, "I am me, and no one else."
The color green denotes steadfast hope and a love for things that are pure and natural. While known to have a soothing effect upon the eye and the emotions, green is also the symbol of robust new beginnings (fresh shoots bursting up in spring), permanence (stately evergreens, defying the elements in their winter robes), and depth (the profound deeps of the sea). These qualities make an emerald wedding ring or engagement ring very special indeed!
Emerald green is a versatile shade that will lend sparkle and flourish to any hair color or skin tone. Though striking on their own, emeralds combine smoothly with other jewelry, and they partner well with a full range of clothing styles. A shimmering emerald will add a touch of understated elegance to casual dress, the perfect crowning finish to formal wear, and exciting contrast to the candid white of a wedding gown.
When deciding whether or not to chose an emerald engagement ring, keep in mind the passions and pastimes of the one whose finger it will adorn. Though emeralds are rated high on the hardness scale, their natural consistency makes them more susceptible to cracks and chipping than other gemstones. The wearer will need to be especially careful not to subject her hands to rough treatment, such as gardening or playing sports, without first removing her ring.
The cost of most emeralds compares favorably with that of diamonds or sapphires. In the opinion of many experts, emeralds are undervalued in today's market, making them an attractive investment as well as a stunningly lovely pledge of fidelity. A high-quality emerald will cost around $1,000 per carat, while a ring containing a .2-carat emerald might sell for $200.
Synthetic emeralds can be indistinguishable from the natural variety and may be a wise choice for a slender budget.
Emeralds range in color from a deep bluish green, through bright leafy greens, to the lighter, yellow hues, any of which will be displayed to spectacular effect in a ring setting. With so many shades to choose from, you're sure to find one that's right.
For those who love intrigue, an engagement ring set with a rare cat's-eye emerald is a perfect match. With each slight movement of the wearer's hand, this mysterious gem will flash an image similar to the iris of a cat's eye opening and closing.
In keeping with their uncommon nature, emeralds require special care. Cleaning in hot, soapy water, solvents (even those made for cleaning jewelry), steam, or ultrasonic cleaners can cause them irreparable damage. Warm water and a damp cloth or soft brush will safely keep an emerald looking its best.
As emeralds are traditional gifts for the 20th, 35th, and 55th wedding anniversaries, the choice of an emerald engagement ring could be the start of a theme that lasts a lifetime.