Emeralds through the Ages

Emeralds were beloved by many ancient rulers . . . from Cleopatra to Nero to Shah Jahan . . . they each shared a love for this incomparable gem.

The color of a fine emerald is mesmerizing with its varying shades of rich green (colored by chromium and vanadium). In fact, Nero is said to have watched the gladiators through a piece of transparent emerald because he found the color calming.

To this day, emeralds are still considered one of the most precious of gems. Here are some pieces ranging from ancient to modern, showcasing each of the major periods in jewelry history below.

From left to right:

1) Ancient Roman jewelry set with emeralds

2) The Mogul Emerald (1695-1696 AD)

3) Marcus & Co. 19th century necklace c. 1880

4) Victorian garland brooch c. 1850-1870

5) Victorian diamond and emerald brooch c. 1880

6) Egyptian revival scarab brooch c. 1890

7) Egyptian revival carved emerald brooch c. 1890

8) Russian emerald and diamond earrings c. 1890

9) Art Nouveau emerald and diamond dress ring c. 1900

10) Art Deco emerald and diamond ring c. 1920

11) Art Deco emerald sugarloaf cabochon ring c. 1920

12) Art Deco emerald and diamond bracelet c. 1915

13) Retro emerald and gold bracelet c. 1940

14) Mid-Century Mauboussin emerald and diamond brooch c. 1960

16) 1960’s Buccellati bangle c. 1960

17) 1970’s Trudel Modernist emerald and diamond ring c. 1970

18) 1980’s Boucheron emerald and diamond ring c. 1980

19) Contemporary Alexandra Mor emerald and diamond ring c. 2010

(images via here, herehere, and here)


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