Emerald, a color that has never been equalled

Emerald, a color that has never been equalled

Emerald, a color that has never been equalled


Both mysterious and charming, the etymology of the word Emerald remains uncertain. For some, the literary name comes from an Indian language, Sanskrit, and for others from Persian, but all the roots of this precious stone seem to point towards one meaning: “heart of stone”. The Emerald has been renowned for a long time, and for the past 5,000 years has been captivating people with its fascinating characteristics. The Egyptian Queen Cleopatra, loved and prized the stone and offered it as a gift to her supporters, and so the attraction to this green crystal was destined to continue. It was also used by the Babylonians as a currency, by Nero, the last Roman emperor, as an optical instrument, or was described in the legendary stories of the Middle Ages as a possible component of the Holy Grail. And so the Emerald made its mark throughout the ages.

However, it was only in the 16th century, with the rise of the Spanish conquistadors, that this mystical stone arrived in Europe on a lasting and significant scale. The unique and precious stone, which comes in all shapes and sizes, caused a sensation throughout the world, especially among royalty. Today, many royal and religious objects are still adorned with Emeralds. Renowned and celebrated since the dawn of time, the most famous Emerald today is the Devonshire Emerald. With its 1,384 carats from the Muzo mine in Colombia, reputed to produce the purest emeralds, this extraordinary stone was presented in 1831 to William Cavendish, the 6th Duke of Devonshire by Emperor Peter I of Brazil. The Devonshire Emerald, however, is not the largest gem ever found, “Fura” beats it hands down. Extracted in 1956, also from the Muzo mine, this giant 11,000 carat Emerald weighs approximately 2.26 kilos, and is a priceless show-stopping gemstone.

As the birthstone for the month of May, the Emerald is the icon of calm, benevolence and understanding.


The third precious stone, Emeralds are also highly prized in the world of High Jewellery and belongs to the Beryl variety of Silicates, like the Aquamarine. The green hue is unique to the Emerald and has often been confused in history with simple corundums, but this precious gem is nevertheless very distinctive. With a hexagonal crystal system, the colours of this stone vary between blue green, intense green, light and dark green. The relatively small range of colours ensures that it is one of the most coveted and sought-after stones in the world of jewellery. Composed of Aluminium Silicate, Beryllium Be3Al2Si6O18 but also Chromium, Vanadium and Iron, it is however very fragile with a hardness of between 7.5 and 8 on the Mohs scale. It is therefore extremely important to exercise extra care when setting creations with this green crystal. From a gemmological point of view, the melting temperature of this stone is between 2,477 and 2,519 °C.

Emeralds can be found in numerous countries: South Africa, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Colombia, India, Madagascar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Tanzania, USA and Zambia, but the most beautiful stones definitely come from Colombia, originating in the earth’s mantle 65 million years ago.


The price of an Emerald can be extremely high, depending on its size, carat, clarity and colour. This rare stone is prized for its unique green colour and the origin can also influence its worth. In fact, if the stone is of good quality, the value can exceed that of other precious stones used in the world of Haute Joaillerie. Comparable, in some ways, to a diamond, a one-carat emerald is worth around €4,870.

Today, the most expensive piece of Emerald High Jewellery in the world is the Henckel Von Donnersmarck tiara, from a noble family from Upper Silesia dating back to the 1900s. With 11 drop-cut emeralds weighing 500 carats in total, this artistic and historic work was sold in 2011 by Sotheby’s for $12,736,927.


The only piece of jewellery crafted using Emeralds in the Mariusse & Bonnet collections, the Spring ring proudly bears the values and mystery of this precious gem. With its beautiful and bewitching green colour, the creation represents spring, the season when nature wakes up and comes into its own. This luxury piece of jewellery, reminiscent of a young shoot, is set with 2.10 carats of emeralds that have been carefully selected in-house and are impossible to match in terms of colour, purity and exceptional size.

To learn more about this unique, Mariusse & Bonnet emerald creation: Spring Ring or to have more information about our French artisan workshop, do not hesitate to contact us at contact@mariusse-bonnet.com. Our entire team of jewellers will be happy to advise and assist you.

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