Emeralds Are Having a Moment

It all started at the Golden Globes in January: Actresses wore all black in solidarity with the Me Too and Time’s Up movements. Several women—Zoë Kravitz, Debra Messing, and Catherine Zeta-Jones—also added emeralds, a stone associated with renewal, fertility, and growth, as a symbolic gesture. Emeralds have a long history with women’s movements, protests, and showing a united front. When the suffragettes marched and campaigned a century ago for their right to vote in the U.K., they donned emeralds.

Mystically, the stone represents the green of nature, the heart chakra, healing, unity, and compassion. Indian lore says that the name emerald derives from the Sanskrit word marakata, meaning “the green of growing things.” The stone also represent optimism for the future.

Historically, emeralds have been favored on the red carpet—as seen on Angelina Jolie, Princess Diana, and Kate Middleton—but less so than the almighty diamond. In the book Emerald, which chronicles 21 centuries of jeweled opulence and power, author Joanna Hardy notes that emeralds are 20 times rarer than diamonds. “The women whose histories run through Emerald all exude power—be it political, sexual, financial, or social,” writes Hettie Judah in the book’s introduction. “Girls can wear pearls, but it takes a woman to wear serious emeralds.”

All of this renewed interest in emeralds is starting to be seen both in sales at retailers and in upcoming collections. At several press previews recently, we noticed the prevalence of emeralds, particularly in earrings at price points designers are betting will represent a slam-dunk sale. Emeralds were the star of the show in studs, drop earrings, and even ear climbers. We rounded up some of our favorites here.

Emerald Gateway studsEmerald Gateway studs in 18k gold, $1,735; Ark 


Pave emerald baguette earrings

Pavé emerald baguette earrings, $5,040; Shay

Lotus emerald studs

Lotus emerald stud earrings in 18k gold, $2,950; Rush Jewelry Design

Emerald ear climbers

Emerald ear climbers, $8,295; Brent Neale

(Top: Emerald and blue sapphire earrings in 18k white gold, $11,000; Mindi Mond)

Kristin Young is writing the On Your Market blog while Brittany Siminitz is on maternity leave.

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Kristin Young

JCK Magazine Contributor