May Fashion Spotlight: Emerald Rings

Gorgeous green emeralds are May’s birthstone. Emeralds are one of the most precious gemstones on the planet, and have been a fashion favorite for as long as people have been wearing jewelry. We have many stunning emerald rings here at The Jewelry Box of Lake Forest right now. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing emerald jewelry:

It’s all about the green. Emeralds are prized for their amazing color. There are two ways to consider an emerald’s color: intensity and darkness. Intensity refers to how saturated with color the gemstone is. Emeralds form naturally in the ground, and the green hue can vary within the stone from extremely light and barely there to WOW THAT’S REALLY GREEN. The more pronounced and intense the color, the more valuable the emerald is. Darkness refers to the actual shade of green. Darker emeralds aren’t necessarily more valuable, but some people do prefer them.

Emeralds are very hard and brittle. This means that while the body of an emerald is usually extremely stable and durable, the corners and edges are prone to chips and other damage. Choose emerald jewelry where the mount design protects the fragile exterior of the stone. The profile of your ring matters: the higher and more exposed the emerald is, the more vulnerable it is to life’s adventures. That being said, sometimes style and practicality aren’t on the same side. There are some gorgeous emerald rings that feature stones in prominent settings. If you fall in love with one, wear it with pride – just be a little bit more careful than usual and avoid rigorous hands-on work while wearing your emeralds.

There’s no such thing as a real flawless emerald. Emeralds are different than diamonds. While one tiny inclusion can be enough to make a diamond undesirable, inclusions are to be expected in natural emeralds. It’s just the way the stone forms. Sometimes you’ll hear an emerald referred to as mossy – this indicates that the inclusions are close together in a way that forms an almost organic pattern. If inclusions are positioned in such a way that they’re near or on the cut surface of the emerald, the gems are treated with an oil or resin to smooth the surface. This means you should never put emerald jewelry in an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner: the cleaning process will remove the oil or resin and ruin your emeralds.

Emeralds are difficult stones to cut. This is why you’ll see them most often in rectangular shapes with stepped sides – the traditional “Emerald Cut” honors the long crystalline structure of the stone and works with, rather than against, its tendency to cleave in straight lines. Smaller emeralds and older stones can also be found in square shapes – important to know if you’re shopping our “Previously Enjoyed” Collection at our Lake Forest jewelry store, which can include vintage and antique jewelry.

If you have a gorgeous emerald trapped in a piece of jewelry you don’t like or never wear, be aware that our Lake Forest jeweler can restyle your emerald jewelry for you. Give your gorgeous gem new life. Earrings can be transformed into pendants or rings; emeralds also work very well in bracelets and in special occasion cufflinks. All work is done on site in our Lake Forest Jewelry store –we’ll be happy to fill you in on all the details!