Knowledge Centre > Gemmology > Gemstones > Emerald

The Enchantment of Emeralds

The long history of Emeralds in jewellery


Wednesday 25th March 2020

Emeralds are one of the most sought after of all coloured gemstones. They hold a unique charm and have long been associated with romance, dating back to Ancient Rome where it was dedicated to Venus, the goddess of beauty and love. Good fortune, healing and fertility are also properties that emeralds are known to possess.

Emeralds have a long and illustrious history, with the first known mines located in Egypt where Cleopatra was known to adorn herself with emeralds. The most coveted emeralds today are found in the South American country of Colombia. These mines have been in operation since ancient times and continue to be the standard upon which all emeralds are graded for quality. These emeralds have decorated not only Incan emperors but also European royalty.

Of all Colombian emerald mines, the Muzo and Chivor mines are especially renowned for producing high quality emeralds with a saturated pure green hue with bluish green overtones and a superior clarity. One of the most famous emeralds discovered in a mine in Muzo is The Duke of Devonshire Emerald. With an astonishing weight of 1,383.93 carats, it is one of the world's largest uncut emeralds. It is thought that the stone was either forcibly given or sold by Emperor Pedro I of Brazil to William Cavendish, the 6th Duke of Devonshire, in 1831. It now resides in the Vault at London’s Natural History Museum.

Emeralds naturally contain inclusions which are visible to the naked eye. These inclusions are very distinctive and form a scenery described by the French as a ‘jardin’ or garden. This unique and attractive feature contributes to their appeal. The best quality emeralds are usually cut as a square or rectangular shape with the corners truncated, giving an octagonal outline. This style has since become known as the ‘emerald cut' and showcases an emerald's unique colouration.

Here at Berganza we have a dazzling range of rare natural emeralds with no colour enhancement. Whether you are searching for that special engagement ring, or looking to treat yourself, our collection offers beautiful emerald rings and jewellery for all occasions. Our entire collection is available to view online.

Art Deco Colombian emerald diamond ring berganza hatton garden
Art Deco Colombian emerald and diamond ring, French, circa 1925.
Ref: 24941
Colombian emerald and diamond cluster ring berganza hatton garden
Colombian emerald and diamond cluster ring, circa 1920.
Ref: 27443
Antique emerald and diamond ring berganza hatton garden
Antique emerald and diamond ring, circa 1900.
Ref: 12266
Cabochon Colombian emerald diamond ring berganza hatton garden
Cabochon Colombian emerald and diamond ring, circa 1920.
Ref: 24205
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