This week we’re looking at one of our favourite gemstones, Emerald, which happens to be the birthstone for May. We’re going to explore some of this incredible gemstones features, take a look at its history and styles over the years, as well as picking out some of our very own favourite emerald cut engagement rings. So read on to find out about everything Emerald!
Emerald is derived from a Persian word meaning "green gem". It changed from Greek to Latin as smaragdus, then to esmaurde, esmralde, and in the 16th century to esmeralde.
Emeralds were highly prized by the Incas and Aztecs when discovered in Colombia. Many other cultures have embraced emeralds as their own, and ascribe much value to the green gems, but in the sixteenth century violence became part of the Emerald's history when Spanish conquistadors looted thousands of emeralds from the mines in South America. This event put South America on the gemstone map. From this time forward, royalty in many different countries looked to South America for a supply of the beautiful green Emerald stones to adorn their rings, necklaces, bracelets and crowns.
The Meaning of Emerald
Like many gemstones, Emeralds have a multitude of meanings stemming from different cultures and beliefs. In mythology, Emerald is the stone of the goddess Venus, resulting in the association of Emeralds with romance. Emeralds are said to bring passion, bliss, and unconditional love. Legend has it that wearing Emeralds can give you the ability to foresee the future and see the truth. It has also been believed that Emerald has the power to cure disease and protect against evil.
History of Emerald cut Engagement Rings
The emerald-cut diamond is one of the oldest diamond shapes, with stylistic origins tracing back to the table cut of the 1500s. The Emerald cut became popular as it reduced the pressure during the cutting process and therefore prevented chips in the gems. Diamond cutters took notice of this new shape and soon after began to incorporate it into diamonds as well.
The actual term “emerald cut” was not used until the 1920s when the cut saw an increase in popularity. The rise of art deco, where clean lines and symmetry were admired, inspired the Emerald cut trend. Since then, Emerald cuts have remained one of the most popular choices for engagement rings and other jewellery pieces.
Style Influences of Emerald cut Engagement Rings
Emerald cut diamonds convey a vintage style with their elongated step cuts and large facets. The Emerald cut is one of the diamond shapes that became popular because of the influence of Cubism and the Modernist style of the early 20th century. Geometric shapes, including the rectangle, became one of the principle motifs in Art Deco jewellery. Emerald cut diamond rings, often combined with baguette cut shoulders, were well suited to the symmetrical silhouettes of 1920s and 1930s jewellery designs. The architecture of stepped Mayan and Aztec temples influenced the contours of this design.
We hope this has given you some great insight into May’s Birthstone and remember here at Hatton Jewels we have a beautiful range of emerald jewellery. Take a browse through our site or get in touch to book an appointment at our boutique Hatton Garden jewellers.