Got a birthday this month? Yes? You lucky thing! Your birthstone is the fantastically fabulous Emerald.
Now, we all know that diamonds are seen of as the last word in luxury but I think that emeralds have an opulence and sophistication that outshines even the most impressive diamond. They reek of old school glamour. Think of emeralds you envisage the golden age of Hollywood and screen legends such as Liz Taylor and Marlene Dietrich. Celebrities today will showcase the world’s most amazing jewels on the red carpet, but those who want to really make an impact, who want to let us know they are true stars, wear emeralds.
Part of the Beryl family of gemstones, emeralds are relatively soft stones, which makes them very delicate. This means cutting them for use in jewellery requires a huge amount of skill. They also tend towards having lots of inclusions (faults) so clean stones are rare, which makes them extremely expensive.
Science comes to the rescue of us mere mortals who can’t afford the real thing as created emeralds are widely available today. But the real deal is something special and I’ve picked out a few of my most lusted after emerald jewellery pieces.
Chaumet Emerald Tiara circa 1900
Let’s start off properly old school. This mind-blowing tiara, originally the property of Princess Katharina Henckel von Donnersmarck (trying saying that after a few wines) went up for auction at Southeby’s last year. It sold for nearly $13 million, the most expensive tiara ever sold at auction. Stylish and practical, the cost per wear will make this a bargain. Housework, shopping, picking the kids up from school……..I’d wear this everywhere!
The Chalk Emerald Ring
Wow, wow and thrice wow! Would you just look at this thing? The Chalk Emerald, thought to be one of the finest Columbian emeralds in the world, weighs a hefty 37.8 carats. Originally part of a necklace, Harry Winston worked his magic and set the stone on a ring and surrounded it with a mere 15 carats of pear-shaped diamonds. As you do.
Elizabeth Taylor's Bulgari Emerald Necklace.
I hope you got the chance to watch the recent documentary about the sale of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewellery collection at auction. Us jewellery geeks were in gemstone heaven, I’ve watched it 3 times already. Recognised as one of the most impressive jewellery collections of all time, Liz knew that bigger was definitely better. This spectacular Bulgari necklace was bought for Taylor by Richard Burton as a wedding gift and sold in December 2011 for a whopping $6 million.
Angelina Jolie wears Lorraine Schwartz Emerald Earrings
Does this woman ever get it wrong? One of the most beautiful faces in the world was framed perfectly at the 2009 Oscars by these swoon-worthy emerald earrings by Lorraine Schwartz. Big and bold, Angie knows emeralds are the way to go when you want to make sure everyone knows you are Hollywood royalty.
Perfect jewellery AND Brad. No fair Ms. Jolie, no fair.
Romanov Faberge Emerald Necklace
I’m sure you’ll agree, I’ve astounding saved the best for last. This trellis-style Romanov necklace recently presented by Faberge is re-worked from a design from the House of Faberge archives. It comprises 79 emeralds totalling a huge-mungious 186.85 carats PLUS the central single pear-shaped emerald which alone is 30.65 carats. Add to that over a 145 carats of diamonds and this is one serious piece of jewellery.
So, if you do have a birthday this month, share this with your friends, family or significant other. You never know, hopefully it’ll provide them with some inspiration for a really great birthday gift.
You’re very welcome.