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Emitting a deep, flattering dark-green hue, emeralds work for almost all skin tones. They look equally good when set in gold, platinum or silver, and pair well with a range of other precious and semi-precious stones. It’s little wonder that the stone is said to have been a favourite of Cleopatra, or that the Ancient Romans dedicated emeralds to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty.
Happily for those celebrating birthdays this month, emeralds are also the birthstone of May, and are said to symbolise wisdom, growth and patience. If you’re still searching for the perfect birthday present, read on for our guide to the best emerald birthstone jewellery to gift in May.
London-based fine-jewellery brand Vashi is a master at the art of gem-setting and these spectacular drop earrings, featuring a total 1.8 carats of round-cut emeralds, are the perfect showcase. Suspended in romantic rose gold and held in place by the brand’s signature four-claw setting, they’re a lesson in why, when it comes to exceptional stones, sometimes less is more.
GFG Jewellery x Gemfields
British jewellery house GFG works with Gemfields to ensure each of its stones are unrivalled in both quality and provenance, with an ethical supply chain guaranteed. This solar-inspired necklace puts a modern twist on classic Art Deco style and features 5.85 carats of responsibly-sourced Zambian emeralds. Created in honour of Gemfields' Walk for Giants campaign, a percentage of proceeds will be donated to help protect elephant habitats in Kenya.
If you’re looking to splash out on a truly impressive birthday gift, may we point you in the direction of Graff and its inimitable range of flawless emerald jewellery. The collection runs the gamut from diamond-encrusted secret-watches, framing 22 carat cabochon emeralds, and dramatic necklaces starring unusual lozenge shaped stones. For something a little more wearable, this three-carat emerald ring featuring a platinum band and diamond shoulders is an ideal choice.
Boasting a huge 65.63 carats of Columbian emeralds and no fewer than 122 baguette, marquise and pear-shaped diamonds weighing in at 46.83 carats, this show-stopping Cathedral necklace by Harry Winston is the, ahem, jewel in the crown of this list. It’s for sale strictly by appointment only but just look at it – did you really expect anything else?
Understated but undeniably precious, Brooke Gregson’s jewellery is cast in the UK and handmade by skilled artisans using carefully-sourced and completely unique stones. Set in 18 karat gold to complement the deep hue of the gems, the five graduated emeralds in this elegant cuff have been chosen for their natural colour and character.
If you’re buying for a woman who prefers her jewellery a little less formal, Nadia Shelbaya’s designs, inspired by the natural world, make for beautiful everyday adornments. The Copenhagen-based designer celebrates the flawed beauty of nature with imperfect shapes and tactile, textured metalwork. These shell drop earrings, finished with two round-cut bezel-set emeralds, are a surefire hit for summer.
British firm Kojis specialises in sourcing unique antique jewellery – spanning from antiquity through to pieces from the 18th and 19th century – meaning raiding its collection is a little like unearthing a treasure trove of jewels left behind by a supremely stylish grandmother. These minimalist emerald stud earrings are set in platinum and provide a sophisticated punctuation point to colourful spring outfits.
Lab-grown diamonds aren’t the only ethical and sustainable innovation to have come out of the jewellery industry in recent years. Similar to their crystalline counterparts, hydrothermal emeralds are synthetically grown but virtually indistinguishable from their natural siblings. In his modern take on the classic signet ring, Australian jeweller Seb Brown pairs a baguette-cut hydrothermal emerald with tourmaline, peridot and sapphire.
Pre-loved, vintage and second-hand pieces have become such an important part of the modern fine-jewellery market that, despite the specialist online jewellery retailers specialising in this area, mainstream e-tailers are getting in on the action, too. Farfetch offers a brilliant range of pre-owned fine jewellery, including a host of unique statement designs you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. This Cartier peacock feather brooch, crafted in 18 carat gold and adorned with sapphires and emeralds, is a perfect example.