Tracing back jewelry pieces of any gemstone is a great way to learn more about it as a stone, as well as how and why it is valued. Emeralds, like their three precious gemstone counterparts (rubies, diamonds, and sapphires) have been worn and appreciated for centuries. Whether they are part of the crown jewels of various countries or part of a celebrity’s collection, emerald jewelry pieces, from earrings to rings to bracelets to necklaces, have been known to make quite the impression. Here is a quick look at emerald pieces from around the world.
The United States
In New York, Clarence H. Mackay gifted his wife, Anna Case, with an emerald necklace in honor of their wedding back in 1931. Case was a prima donna of the New York Metropolitan Opera from 1909 to 1920. The 167.97-carat emerald sits upon a diamond and platinum Art Deco necklace, which was designed by Cartier Inc. Over fifty years later, in 1984, Anna Case Mackay donated the necklace to the Smithsonian Institute. Another remarkable emerald piece that resides in the Smithsonian is the Chalk Emerald ring. Originally a 38.40-carat emerald, the stone was cut down to 37.82 carats in order to fit into a ring setting where sixty pear-shaped diamonds totaling 15 carats surround it. Mr. and Mrs. O. Roy Chalk donated the exceptional ring, which Harry Winston designed, in 1972.
Emeralds sit upon some of the most famous pieces on the planet. This includes the Imperial Crown of State, which boasts 11 emeralds along with 5 rubies, 17 sapphires, 277 pearls, and 2,783 diamonds.
The Persian country is famous, and infamous, for many things, but its stunning emerald and diamond necklace, which is part of the crown jewels, is not one of them, though it should be. Perfect symmetry and mathematical precision is what defines this phenomenal piece. The necklace is from the end of the 18th century, during the period of Fath Ali Shah. The necklace is made of silver, but the diamonds and emeralds are set in gold.
An emerald tiara parure is part of the spectacular Danish history. It includes emeralds that date back to 1723. A total of 67 emeralds and 2,650 diamonds adorn the tiara, brooch, necklace, and earrings. The brooch can be taken apart into three smaller brooches or can double as a pendant for the necklace.
Though the Crown of Andes originated from Colombia, it eventually made its way to the United States where it was finally sold and later put on display. The crown, which consists of 440 emeralds and 18K-22K gold, was intended for a large statue of the Virgin. It measures 34.5 centimeters high and 52 centimeters in circumference. Weighing 2.18 kilograms, the crown was created in the 1590s as a sign of gratitude for the town of Popayan, which miraculously survived the smallpox outbreak. One of the emeralds is a rectangular stone called “Atahualpa Emerald.” It is supposedly one of the emeralds taken from the captured Inca Emperor Atahualpa. Studies have shown though that various emeralds were added to the crown during different periods.
Emerald jewelry is so much more than simply ornaments. Each and every piece has the potential of being a symbol for royalty, triumph, conflict, and reconciliation. These pieces and many more like them have been vital items for countless cultures and will continue to be for many years to come.