Twenty times rarer than colourless diamonds and credited with talismanic properties, from curing snakebites to predicting the future, emeralds have long been associated with hope and renewal, their fresh green hue symbolising the end of winter and the budding of new life.
The most beloved of coloured gemstones – one of the ‘Big Three’, alongside rubies and sapphires – emeralds have been revered by everyone from Cleopatra to Moses and the early Christians, Romans and Indian Mughal emperors, who thought their green colour represented paradise. Hollywood siren Elizabeth Taylor had a fetish for them, and they are still a most popular and glamorous choice for celebrities such as Zoe Kravitz, Angelina Jolie, Jessica Chastain and Sofia Carson walking the red carpets today. Formed deep beneath the Earth some 500 million years ago and often dearer than colourless diamonds, emeralds are, in many ways, peerless.
As the majority owner of the Kagem emerald mine in Zambia, the source of some of the largest and most exceptional emeralds the world has ever seen, including the recently unearthed Kafubu cluster weighting 37kg, Gemfields is something of a specialist when it comes to these glorious verdant gems. Gemfields owns the Kagem mine in partnership with the Zambian government and believes that when it comes to mining these mystical gemstones, transparency, legitimacy and integrity must always be paramount.
A testament to the raw beauty of Zambian emeralds and Gemfields reputation for responsible mining, Gemfields has successfully partnered on collections with some of the world’s leading fine jewellers. These artisans share Gemfields love for these divine green beauties, as well as its passion for sustainability and for supporting local communities around its mine, resulting in an array of fine jewellery pieces that are both stunning and created with integrity. A recent collaboration with Sandy Leong - in which 10% of proceeds from sales will be donated to the Gemfields Foundation, the charitable arm of Gemfields - is one such example.
Emeralds lend themselves to all kinds of jewellery, and with their beauty and aura of healing, they make perfect presents. Birthstone gifting has increased in popularity exponentially in recent years, with birthstone engagement rings cited as a breakout trend. And spring is the season when buyers’ thoughts will inevitably turn to emeralds as potential tokens of affection.
Whatever the occasion, rings are a natural choice. Fabergé x Gemfields Cosmic Curve Yellow Gold and Emerald Eternity ring from the Colours of Love collection is one example of a timeless design; another is AYA x Gemfields Emerald Pear ring, with a pear-shaped emerald on a generous gold band; Shachee Fine Jewellery x Gemfields intricate emerald ring with white diamonds and laced gold gives the look a more whimsical twist; Fehmida Lakhany x Gemfields’ show-stopping ring features a Gemfields Zambian emerald with ‘wow’ factor; and GFG Jewellery by Nilufer x Gemfields gives emeralds the floral treatment with its Fleur Bombe Emerald ring and Fleur Emerald necklace.
Whatever emerald gift is chosen to mark the advent of May, it is vital to understand the basic rules of choosing and caring for a gemstone, such as looking for evenness of colour and saturation and viewing a potential gemstone purchase in natural light for the most accurate appraisal. Clarity is key, but one shouldn’t be put off by inclusions as they bring about the gemstone’s character. Above all else, a buyer should select the gemstone that they fall madly in love with. And when it comes to emeralds, that part really isn’t hard.