Musings on Emerald, the Birthstone of May



It feels strange that time should pass so quickly with so little to distract from the fact that we don’t have anywhere to be. Maybe that’s just it—maybe it’s anticipation that makes time feel as if it’s crawling, the yearning for such a future date making it seem as if that day will never come. In this way we’re sort of fortunate: In the absence of that red circle on the calendar, time can just do its own thing.

And sure, there are those agonizing moments where you feel like this just won’t ever end, but look where we are already—it’s mid-May. A month that most of us wait for with great anticipation: the unofficial start of summer, a week in Las Vegas, my birthday (okay, so maybe that last one is just for me). Next week is Memorial Day already, and wasn’t it just Mother’s Day? Those two holidays are meant to be on the opposite ends of the month, and here they are all but running into each other.

Moritz Glik The Collar emerald shaker necklace
The Collar necklace in 18k yellow gold with enamel and 1.38 cts. t.w. emeralds and 0.2 ct. t.w. diamonds encased in a white sapphire Kaleidoscope shaker, $13,300; Moritz Glik

So I don’t want to miss my chance to pay homage to May’s birthstone, the incomparable and spectacular emerald.

Andreoli emerald and ruby ring
Ring in platinum with 12.16 ct. Colombian emerald cabochon and 2.01 cts. t.w. rubies, price on request; Andreoli

I’ve been thinking about Cleopatra and her known affinity for the gemstone. Did you know many of her prized emerald jewels were actually peridot? I guess her jeweler wasn’t GIA educated. (Hey, don’t blame a woman for trying—for every good joke, there are a lot of bad ones).

JS Noor Colombian emerald pendant
Pendant in 18k yellow gold with 4.3 ct. Colombian emerald and diamonds, $2,750; JS Noor
Prounis emerald Roz ring
Roz ring in 22k yellow gold with emerald, $4,360; Prounis

It does seem more common to see emeralds serving as the center stone of engagement rings, something many jewelers would once balk at. But I think many have relented, instead wanting their customers to enjoy what they will, but not without sending them off with a serious understanding of the stone’s fragility and arming them with the knowledge of how to care for it properly.

Rush Jewelry Design emerald slice pendant
Detachable pendant in 18k yellow gold with emerald slice, $4,690; Rush Jewelry Design
Parulina emerald necklace
Necklace in 18k blackened white gold with 40.81 cts. t.w. emeralds and 0.56 ct. t.w. diamonds, price on request; Parulina

Emerald got a good showing at a handful of red carpet events earlier this year, but without any major events scheduled to occur in the foreseeable future, those appearances will have to hold us over. I can’t imagine we’ll see much of anything for the Emmy Awards, traditionally held in September. Unless, of course, attendees wear masks and practice social distancing. Can an awards show be held in its entirety on Zoom? Saturday Night Live has shown that TV from home can be done, and surprisingly well, I think—though it’s not live.

Omi Prive emerald and diamond ring
Ring in platinum with 3.49 ct. emerald, 1.1 cts. t.w. tapered diamond baguettes, and 0.41 ct. t.w. round diamonds, $92,000; Omi Privé

Despite its lack of star appearances, we can all still celebrate emerald from home. Maybe we’ll gift it to a loved one or ourselves. Maybe its green will represent good fortune to some. From my home to yours, this has been a musing on emerald, accompanied by some killer jewels.

Top: Zelena ring in 18k yellow gold with 5.1 ct. Shakiso emerald, 0.51 ct. t.w. Colombian emeralds, and 3.73 cts. t.w. diamonds, $128,000; Erica Courtney

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