Emeralds – The Jewel of Kings

“Emeralds make a lovely gift” – Maurice Sendak

Emeralds have always been considered among the royalty of gemstones. With their glorious, deep green, quasi-mystical color and their superior beauty and rarity, they have been prized throughout the centuries by the rich, the famous and the powerful. Emeralds are also the birthstone of May

Prized Across the Ages

It was said that the Roman Emperor Nero watched the gladiator games through flat emerald crystals, possibly as a soothing color for his eyes to counteract the glaring rays of the sun. The Incas and Aztecs ascribed huge value to emeralds when they were discovered in Colombia. Spanish conquistadors looted thousands of emeralds from the mines in South America, which led royalty across the world to begin to import supplies of emeralds from South American mines to decorate their crowns, necklaces and rings for centuries to come.

Seen plentifully in the Russian crown jewels, the Iranian State Treasure, and as favorite of Indian Shahs, emeralds have long been associated with royalty and status. They are also said to represent peace, healing, abundance, love and fertility. 

What Are Emeralds?

Emeralds are part of the beryl family of minerals, and they can grow up to a foot in length, typically forming with six sides as a hexagonal. Their color, which comes from the presence of chromium, can vary from the palest of green up to a deep, dark, rich green. The deeper the color green, the more expensive the stone is likely to be. The rarest, and therefore most expensive emeralds will be deepest blue green. Emerald mines are found in many different countries around the world, including in South America, Zambia and Afghanistan. 

What is a “fracture” in an emerald?

In gemology, a fracture in an emerald refers to a type of inclusion or internal characteristic within the gemstone. Fractures are breaks or fissures within the emerald that can vary in size, shape, and severity. These fractures are often referred to as “jardin,” which is a French term meaning garden, due to their resemblance to foliage patterns.

Fractures in emeralds are typically caused by the formation process of the gemstone, which involves the crystallization of beryllium aluminum silicate under intense pressure and heat within the Earth’s crust. During this process, natural imperfections and fractures may occur, resulting in the characteristic jardin patterns seen in many emeralds.

While fractures are common in emeralds and are considered a natural part of the gemstone’s identity, their presence can affect the stone’s clarity and overall appearance. Inclusions such as fractures may impact the emerald’s transparency, brilliance, and durability. However, skilled gem cutters may strategically position these fractures to minimize their visibility and enhance the emerald’s beauty.

Value & Durability

Emeralds are priced according to the same color, clarity, cut and color factors that measure other gemstones, however, it is the color and clarity of emeralds that are the most important factors in assessing their value. This is because all emeralds have imperfections or inclusions, which are characteristics that develop as the stones form under the earth. Because emerald color is highly prized, many are typically color-treated, so when purchasing your emerald jewelry, you can ask if it has been artificially enhanced or not. Natural emeralds are the most valuable, of course.   

Emeralds rank 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, so although they are not as durable as other gemstones, they are used in all types of jewelry, including engagement rings, and with proper care they will last a lifetime. Jackie Kennedy’s Van Cleef & Arpels engagement ring was given to her in 1953 and featured an unusual bypass design featuring a 2.84 carat emerald cut emerald and a 2.88 emerald cut diamond, which she later had re-designed. Victoria Beckham, similarly, owns a stunning cushion- cut emerald ‘re-engagement’ ring given to her in 2007 by her husband, British football legend David Beckham. 

Timeless Emerald Engagement Rings

Among our collection of opulent engagement rings, there are so many different styles, clusters and solitaures. Our featured Emerald Rings Collection can be found here.

May Birthstone and Emerald Gifts

Emeralds are the #1 Best Selling Birthday gift for A May Birthday

What about The Mom, a Baby’s Birthstone Jewelry for Mom. Some say that giving Emerald Jewelry to a mother of a May baby is the perfect gift. Emeralds are a symbol of rebirth and are believed to bring good fortune. This Lady Diana Style Emerald Diamond 18 Karat White Gold Ring, or an Exquisite Pair of Flower Emerald Diamond 18K Gold Stud Earrings would truly commemorate such a spectacular event.

Here are some suggestions for a May birthstone gifts

Emerald Brooches and Pins

Emerald Earrings

Emerald Bracelets

Emerald Necklaces

Our High Jewellery Collection of emeralds truly maintain their Singular Design and Value, as found here.


Please check out Dover Jewelry & Diamond’s collection of other superb emerald antique, vintage and estate jewelry.  From engagement rings to gifts, collectibles to cocktail, our pieces are painstakingly sourced to provide you with the finest choices in unique and rare additions to begin, or add to, any distinguished collection.