Green like the Emerald Isle

Perhaps the most interesting fun fact of the day is that the original color of St. Patrick’s day was blue, but blue is in the past (I’m looking at you sapphires) and much like St. Patrick’s day itself, we must evolve.  So in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, and irregardless of the fact that they have nothing to do with the holiday other than being green, today we honor emeralds.

The word Emerald is derived from a long list of words in different languages such as Smaragdus in Latin, which originated from the Greek smaragdos, whose original source being the Hebrew word izmargad.  This is not meant as a lesson in etymology, simple to display that no matter where the word comes from, or how the gemstone got its name, the word Emerald, at its very core, means ‘green.”

In antiquity, Emeralds were mined by the Egyptians.  The rarest emeralds are mined in Colombia, and in the U.S. Emeralds can be found in Connecticut, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina and South Carolina.

And in recent months we have seen Emeralds surge in demand, due to an odd surge in popularity, not odd in terms of style, but in that the upswing seems to have come out of nowhere.  Gemfields,  one of the world’s largest producer of gems, reported a 141 percent increases in sales of rough and finished emeralds for the six months ended December 2010, and fully expect the trend to continue into 2011. 

Emeralds, much like all gemstones adhere to the “four C’s” Cut, color, clarity, and crystal.  A fine emerald must possess not only a pure green hue, but also a high degree of transparency to be considered a top gem. 

And it is that deep green beauty of fine emeralds is what makes the gemstone so enduring in its popularity, as well as its versatility, which allows for emeralds to be paired with both white metals and yellow. 

The Couture 0379 from Verragio is the perfect setting to feature a Square cut center emerald, surrounded by a halo of round cut diamonds, and set onto a twisted shank in platinum.

However, we can also imagine beautiful designs from putting emeralds into yellow gold, like in the Venetian 5014R, which when cast in gold, would feature a Round cut emerald center, again surrounded by a halo of diamonds and placed onto a pave set split shank.  And with antique inspired designs also being in style, the Italian lace detail inside the band makes this design at the height of fashion.

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