This is an extension to My Wedding Saga Series!
Sometimes, a piece of jewellery or a specific gemstone is special. Its beauty reaches heights that regular jeweller simply cannot, and so it becomes a famous item. Whether it has a well-known name attached to it or simply stands out among the crowd, famous jewellery is always well-loved and closely-watched, should it ever come up at auction in its lifetime.
Emeralds are a gorgeous stone that everyone loves to admire. Their rich, green hues are stunning to behold, so it is no wonder that there are so many famous examples of stunning emeralds. Today, we’re focussing on emerald rings that have a reputation in the jewellery world for their beauty.
The Chalk Emerald
Today, the Chalk Emerald sits in a ring setting, on display at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. At its origins, however, the emerald was owned by the rulers of Baroda State in India. The Maharani Saheba wore the gemstone as the focal point of a diamond necklace, passing it down through the family for several generations.
Originally weighing in at 37.80 carats, the gemstone was cut down by jewelling company Harry Winston, and set into a cocktail ring, adorned with a total of 15 carats’ worth of sixty pear-cut diamonds. By the 1970s, the gemstone ring belonged to the Chalk family. They generously donated the ring to the Smithsonian, and it is now a point of pride for the Gem Gallery Exhibition.
The Rockefeller Emerald
Rockefeller is a well-known name throughout much of the Western world. Widely-regarded as the wealthiest American of all time, John D. Rockefeller – the Rockefeller name’s progenitor – made innumerable large-scale purchases in his lifetime. However, the purchase we’re focused on today is that of an 18.04-carat octagonal emerald, which he gifted to his wife, Abby. Abby wore the emerald set into a brooch designed by Van Cleef & Arpels for many years.
After Abby’s death, her brooch was broken down, with each of her children receiving different aspects of it. The large centre emerald was gifted to David Rockefeller, the youngest son of the family. David took the emerald to a jeweller, Raymond Yard, who turned it into today’s ring. In 2017, the ring was at the auction, selling to Harry Winston for £223,000 – a record-setting price-per-carat ratio for emerald jewellery.
Queen Victoria’s Engagement Ring
It can’t be easy to ascend to the throne as ruler of Great Britain and the entire British Empire at 18. Even facing so much responsibility at such a young age, Queen Victoria established an era that is often regarded as the golden age of Great Britain. One important element of any ruler’s job is their marriage. Victoria struck gold when she received a proposal from Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. She was married at 21, and the couple were famously deeply in love.
The physical symbol of their love could be seen in their engagement ring. An antique emerald engagement ring in the form of a gold snake with rubies for eyes and an emerald atop its head was the gift given by Albert to his bride-to-be. In Victorian culture, snakes were romantic symbols, representing an unending love that never ends, the elongated shape of the snake an emblem of eternity.
These are just a few examples of emerald jewellery that stands the test of time. When a jewellery piece transcends the day-to-day, it can become something special that is remembered long after its previous owners have passed. Do you have a piece of jewellery that comes to mind when it comes to famous jewellery with that special feature?
This is a collaborative post.