Your Guide To Emerald Engagement Ring Meaning & Practicality
Sometime in the last one thousand years that humans have embraced monogamy, the unbroken circular shape of a wedding or engagement ring has lent it the internationally recognised association with eternal commitment and love. With no beginning or end, the piece of round jewellery has come to symbolise an infinite partnership.
The rich green emerald has already long been associated with status and royalty. Famous emerald engagement rings include former First Lady Jackie Kennedy’s diamond-emerald ring with two centre stones and the 19.77-carat emerald engagement ring then-King of the United Kingdom, Edward VIII, used to propose to commoner Wallace Simpson in the 1930s.
As the densest mineral on Earth, diamonds became a common choice for modern engagement rings due to their durability to withstand everyday wear. However, coloured gemstone engagement rings are growing in popularity as more and more brides opt for a unique look and the chance to make an individual statement. Below, we will discuss emerald meanings in engagement rings and what to keep in mind if you’ve decided to ‘go green’.
What does emerald symbolise in an engagement ring?
Emerald engagement ring meaning comes from a combination of elements: the stone’s iconic colour, the gem’s symbolism, and even the setting.
The colour of emeralds is linked with newness, growth, and harmony with nature; fitting associations for a ring signalling a conscious commitment to another person. Emerald gemstones themselves have come to represent fidelity, true friendship, and balance in western and eastern cultures.
Throughout history, emeralds have even been bestowed with supernatural powers in various societies. These include the ability for the wearer to discern truth from lies when their significant other speaks, and even the power to grant successful love.
The three-stone or side-stone jewellery setting style has a special meaning in particular; echoing the ‘forever’ quality of the round ring, it symbolises the past, present, and future.
Put simply, the meaning of an emerald engagement ring is a brand-new beginning with the hopes for intentional growth, clarity, and enduring devotion that prevails in the promise to spend your life with another person.
Are emeralds good for engagement rings?
The verdant green gem is a versatile stone with an almost universally flattering colour. Indeed, emerald colours range from bluish green to warm, deep green, so there’s likely a hue to fit your skin tone. Furthermore, the striking colour matches both warm- and cool-toned metals.
In terms of gemstone pairings, the vividness and hue range of emeralds (while still being completely recognisable even from a distance) goes well with many kinds of complementary stones like diamonds, rubies, or amethysts, making it a great option for a piece of fancy jewellery.
Indeed, if you’re looking for an engagement/wedding ring that supposedly you’re going to be wearing all the time, you want something that is easy to match with your wardrobe.
Natural emeralds are relatively brittle but can be cut into quite a few shapes without compromising the integrity of the stones. (Just a few gems, including synthetic moissanite, diamond, and ruby, are more durable than an emerald.)
How to choose an emerald engagement ring
If you’re pondering on emerald for an engagement ring, while the cut, colour, and setting all depend on personal preference, there are some guidelines based on the non-negotiable chemical and physical qualities of emerald gems to keep in mind.
- Emeralds are softer than diamonds, falling between 7.5 to 8 Mohs on the gemstone hardness scale compared to diamond’s hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale, so it’s important to put on and take off, as well as clean, an emerald engagement ring with extra care.
- Be prepared to search for the right stone, because high-quality emeralds can actually be several times more expensive than diamonds (five to 20 times pricier, depending on who you ask), since the nature of emerald formation means most emeralds have inclusions.
- Look for stones that have a consistent hue and tone throughout its body from multiple angles.
In fact, when dealing with emeralds, the colour is a more significant factor for determining value than with diamonds; the most valuable of emeralds are pure, ‘true’ warm green ones which are mostly sourced from South America. On the other hand, colourless diamonds can be sourced from multiple locations around the world, from Russia to Canada to Africa.
Another nice-to-know is that, due to the difference in density between emeralds and diamonds, an emerald stone with the same carat size as a diamond stone is larger in size.
Inclusions, which are specifically called “jardin” in emerald gemstones, are not necessarily negative qualities although often characterised this way; they can actually add a unique signature and look to the stone. However, if the buyer prefers, there are ways to strategically cut the stone in order to hide or tone down the appearance of inclusions.
If you’d like to opt for a more sustainable alternative to Earth emeralds, lab-grown emeralds can typically be grown with fewer inclusions than mined emeralds, which can make them more durable in the case of surface inclusions and fissures that could cause a stone to chip or break.
How about the ideal emerald cutting style? The emerald cut for an emerald ring is unsurprisingly the most classic cut, doing a fabulous job of showing off the depth of colour of emerald green. The pear cut is slimming and has a feminine feel to it. An oval cut, which can be oriented East-West or North-South, is subtle and also ultra-modern, lending itself well to the three-stone setting popular in engagement rings.
Paired with a more protective setting style, such as a bevel or low-profile prong setting, an emerald engagement ring can still be highly durable when compared with the traditional diamond ring.
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