When it comes to emeralds, diamonds and sapphires there are few people who loved them more - or wore them better - than Elizabeth Taylor.
Her Bulgari emerald and diamond suite - a gift from husband Richard Burton - was a movie star blockbuster. The matching pieces included a necklace, ear-rings, pendant brooch, ring and bracelet which she wore in different ways.
Princess Diana loved emeralds, sapphires and diamonds too. We now sometimes catch a glimpse of famous pieces once worn by her adorning her sons’ wives, Meghan and Kate.
Emeralds in particular appear to be adored by the rich and famous the world over. At the Golden Globes in America, famous faces often complete their outfit with a striking emerald. People like Catherine Zeta-Jones and Zoe Kravitz.
You may think owning a giant emerald is a distant dream but it’s not out of reach. You could add film-star glamour to your outfit and get that Elizabeth Taylor feeling.
Amazing Rings Sourced for Auctions
Auctions regularly source and sell striking pieces of vintage or antique jewellery, which are affordable compared to high street prices – and our August 15 Jewellery Auction underlined this fact. It shimmered with a collection of emerald and sapphire rings worthy of a movie star’s finger.
Such was their quality our head of jewellery and gemstone expert Helen Smith couldn’t stop talking about them. She was bowled over by the size of the stones and colour.
The beauty of auctions is that people regularly sell unusual, high-quality pieces shimmering with impressive gemstones. These pieces achieve good prices for our sellers thanks to global competition from bidders but also benefit buyers who would pay much more for such stunning gems on the high street.
So there really is a way to own the jewellery of your dreams, featuring a gemstone that lasts forever. Our August sale boasted a rich array of emerald and diamond and sapphire and diamond rings with guide prices ranging from £200-£300 to £5,000-£6,000.
Often, pieces like this featuring precious stones are passed down through generations of families before reaching us.
Jewellery gains a new lease of life with a new owner, who may even choose to have it remodelled into something new. Sometimes clients sell a piece they’ve owned for many years to enable them to buy something different at auction. But beware, once you fall in love with antique and vintage jewellery, you’ll be hooked for life.
Precious Stones Important in Ancient Times
Gems have dazzled the world for centuries - and been utilised in many different ways. All have made their mark in history.
For example, many cultures throughout time have believed the emerald to be an enormously powerful stone. In China, Thursday is the day to wear your emeralds to bring good luck.
Green, by nature, is the most calming of all colours. It encourages growth, reflection, peace and balance. It also represents healing and fertility.
The emerald is so prized, that carat for carat, a fine emerald may be two to three times as valuable as a diamond.
Records show emeralds were sold in markets in Babylon as early as 4000 BC. It’s been worshipped by the Incas and is mentioned in the Bible.
The earliest reference to emeralds in Western literature come from Aristotle. He believed owning an emerald increased the owner’s importance in presence and speech during business, led to victory in trials, helped settle litigation and comforted and soothes eyesight. I think we all need one!
He also stated: ‘An emerald hung from the neck or worn in a ring will prevent the falling sickness (epilepsy). We, therefore, commend noblemen that it be hanged about the necks of their children that they fall not into this.’
They are a relatively soft stone in gemstone terms with a hardness of 7.5-8 on what’s known as the Mohs scale of hardness. A diamond is a mighty 10 – the hardest substance known to man.
Emeralds tend to be cut into ovals or emerald cuts, hence the name, as this suits the crystal structure and ensures the stone looks its best. Those featuring a vivid green colour command the highest prices.
Emeralds are sourced across the globe including Columbia, Zambia, Namibia, Australia, South Africa, Austria, Brazil and India and come in different shades ranging from yellow-green to blue-green. Today, Columbia is the largest producer of emeralds.
Jewellery Entries Invited For Auction
But you don’t have to go that far to find a nice one, though. Even if you missed out on some of the gems in last Thursday’s auction, jewellery features in all of our monthly Antiques and Collectors sales. We’re gathering pieces now for September and also for our Fine Jewellery, Watches and Silver Auction in October.
Drop by to see Helen Smith for free valuations every Monday or Friday, 9am-4pm, at Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire, DE65 6LS, or email: [email protected]. Alternatively, on Thursday (Aug 22), 10am-3pm, TV’s Kate Bliss will be offering free jewellery valuations at Bishton Hall, Wolseley Bridge, Staffordshire, ST17 0XN, our new country house auction showroom.
Picture credit: Elizabeth Taylor image: Wikipedia