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Emerald Engagement Rings

Emerald Engagement Rings

How to choose an emerald


Prized for their beauty and scarcity, records show that emeralds were sold in markets in Babylon as early as 4000 BC, and that the gemstone was mined by the ancient Egyptians. Nowadays major deposits are mined in Colombia and Zambia, but emeralds are also found in a wide range of other countries from Australia and India to Italy and Spain.

Emerald is a captivating gemstone, and makes a striking and elegant choice for an engagement ring. However, emerald has some unique properties that make it different to the rest of the ‘big four’ (the others being diamond, sapphire and ruby). Before making a decision it is well worth taking a bit of time to understand them.

The finest emeralds are pure green or green with a hint of blue

A member of the beryl family of gemstones, the colour of an emerald is determined by trace elements of vanadium, chromium and iron within the crystal, and defined in terms of its hue, saturation and tone. Hue refers to the shade of green, for example it might contain a faint hint of yellow or blue. Generally pure green or a faint hint of blue are considered the most desirable hues. Saturation refers to how intense the colour is; generally the more intense the better. Tone refers to how light or dark the stone is, with a medium tone (not too dark) generally considered the best.

Flawless emeralds are extremely rare

Nearly every emerald will have some visible blemishes or ‘inclusions’, which can include mineral impurities, tiny fractures, or growth lines in the crystal, varying from the barely perceptible to the very pronounced. The image below shows five loose emeralds, the second and third from the left are quite heavily included.

five loose emeralds

Emeralds that are completely free of inclusions are extremely rare and exceptionally valuable. Carat for carat, the very best emeralds can be two to three times as valuable as a diamond. So, depending on your budget, if the idea of a gemstone not looking completely flawless bothers you, an emerald may not be your best option!

Emeralds are relatively soft

Any piece of jewellery can be damaged through wear and tear, but if you've got your heart set on an emerald engagement ring, please be aware that you'll need to be extra careful with it. Emerald is not a very hard gemstone, scoring 7.5-8.0 on the Mohs hardness scale, compared with 9 for sapphire and ruby (at least ten times harder), and 10 for diamond (ten times harder still).  

An emerald’s inclusions are its natural weak spots, so if you bump your ring against something hard, you can cause inclusions to become more visible, not to mention the potential for causing more serious damage. Its comparative softness also needs to be taken into consideration when setting an emerald. Platinum is less malleable than gold, and so needs more force applied to it when setting a stone - a setter will need to take extra care when setting an emerald in platinum. 

Many emeralds are oiled to improve their appearance

Finally, as with any gemstone, before you buy an emerald you should check whether it has been subjected to any form of treatment. Treatments are often used to enhance an emerald's appearance, and are not necessarily a problem, so long as they have been disclosed, and you understand their implications.

Many emeralds are oiled to improve their colour and clarity, and even an emerald that has not been actively oiled is likely to have been exposed to minor traces of oil from the cutting wheel on which it was faceted. Over time the oil may dry out, making any inclusions more visible and the colour of the stone less vibrant. If that happens, the emerald's former appearance can be restored by re-oiling it — a simple and inexpensive process. Sometimes coloured oils and dyes are used, but these can fade if the stone is exposed to strong light. Alternatively, some emeralds have their surface-reaching inclusions filled with glass or resin to superficially improve their appearance, but this can leave these stones in an unstable condition, vulnerable to changes in air pressure, heat, and various chemicals. We would recommend steering clear of dyed stones or ones that have been treated with glass or resin.

If you have any concerns about whether an emerald has been treated, you should consider having it examined by an independent gemologist.

Ethical emeralds 

At Ingle & Rhode we source only emeralds that have been produced in a socially and environmentally responsible way, and which we can trace back to mine of origin. The only treatment we accept is oiling with colourless oil, and we also offer un-oiled emeralds.

 

In the gallery below, you can view a selection of some of the emerald rings that we've made for previous clients. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions, or to discuss commissioning your own bespoke design.

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  • INSPIRATION GALLERY

    Browse bespoke designs

    Be inspired by bespoke rings we've created for previous clients. To discuss your own design, schedule a free consultation.

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  • Emerald & Diamond Platinum Ring

    Emerald & Diamond Platinum Ring

    A magnificent engagement ring made in platinum, set with a 1.03ct emerald. Small diamonds are grain-set on the halo and shoulders.

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  • Emerald & Diamond Ring

    Emerald & Diamond Ring

    An exquisite ring in Fairtrade 18ct yellow gold. Set with a 0.9ct emerald, and small diamonds cut-down set on the shoulders.

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  • Emerald Engagement Ring

    Emerald Engagement Ring

    This stunning split-shoulder engagement ring was crafted in Fairtrade 18ct yellow gold. Set with a vibrant 0.64ct octagonal emerald.

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  • Emerald & Diamond Ring

    Emerald & Diamond Ring

    A magnificent ring made Fairtrade 18ct yellow gold. Set with a 1.2ct emerald, with small diamonds grain-set on the shoulders and halo.

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  • Octagonal Emerald & Diamond Ring

    Octagonal Emerald & Diamond Ring

    A spectacular engagement ring crafted in Fairtrade 18ct white gold, set with a 0.5ct octagonal emerald and four small round diamonds.

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  • Emerald & Diamond Trilogy Ring

    Emerald & Diamond Trilogy Ring

    A beautiful engagement ring in Fairtrade 18ct yellow gold. Set with a 1.11ct octagonal emerald, flanked by two round diamonds.

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  • Diamond & Emerald Ring

    Diamond & Emerald Ring

    A distinctive platinum ring, set with a 0.55ct round brilliant cut Canadian diamond, a small emerald, and a small diamond.

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  •  Octagonal Emerald And Diamond Ring

    Octagonal Emerald And Diamond Ring

    A unique ring in Fairtrade 18ct white gold, set with a 0.61ct octagonal cut emerald. The shoulders feature hand engraved detail work.

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  • Emerald & Diamond Trilogy Engagement Ring

    Emerald & Diamond Trilogy Engagement Ring

    A beautiful trilogy ring in platinum. Set with a 0.60ct octagonal cut emerald, flanked by a matching pair of Canadian diamonds.

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  • Emerald & Diamond Vintage-Style Ring

    Emerald & Diamond Vintage-Style Ring

    A magnificent vintage-style engagement ring in Fairtrade 18ct white gold. Featuring a 1.59ct octagonal emerald and a double halo.

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  • Diamond & Emerald Trilogy Ring In Platinum

    Diamond & Emerald Trilogy Ring In Platinum

    A dazzling trilogy ring in platinum, set with a 0.43ct round brilliant cut diamond and a matching pair of round emeralds.

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  • Solitaire Emerald Engagement Ring in Platinum

    Solitaire Emerald Engagement Ring in Platinum

    An elegant four-claw solitaire engagement ring in platinum, set with a 0.50ct octagonal cut Zambian emerald.

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  • Emerald & Diamond Art Deco Trilogy Ring

    Emerald & Diamond Art Deco Trilogy Ring

    A distinctive Art Deco style ring in platinum, set a 0.6ct octagonal cut emerald and matching emerald cut diamonds.

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  • Cushion Cut Emerald Ring With Diamond Halo

    Cushion Cut Emerald Ring With Diamond Halo

    An alluring engagement ring in Fairtrade 18ct white gold, set with a 1.04ct cushion cut emerald with small diamonds set into the halo

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