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Emerald Engagement Rings and Loose Gemstones – How to Choose

Bride trying emerald engagement ring

Emeralds have been used in jewelry for centuries and have been coveted as a precious gemstone since ancient times. It’s the most popular green gemstone with the very word ‘emerald’ used as a synonym for green.

But how does emerald perform as an engagement ring stone and can it be worn on a daily basis?

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of emerald engagement rings and how to choose the best emerald for your money.  

What Is an Emerald Gemstone?

Emerald shape loose emerald

See more emeralds here

Emerald is the green variety of the beryl mineral family, and is closely related to other famous beryl gemstones – aquamarine (blue beryl), morganite (pink beryl), heliodor (yellow beryl) and goshenite (colorless beryl). 

Most emeralds come from Colombia, Zambia and Brazil but the stone is also mined in other countries like China and India. The color of emeralds can range depending on where the stone is mined from. Emeralds get their famous green hue from the presence of chromium, vanadium and iron during its formation.

Pros and Cons of Emerald Engagement Rings

Emeralds can be made into most types of jewelry, but the many inclusions and fractures within emeralds make it brittle and prone to breakage. They’re perfect for earrings, pendants, and other non-exposed jewelry types, but for engagement rings, they need to be used with care. Here are the pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Emerald is a valuable gemstone that tends to hold its value over time. It’s prestigious and is considered a precious gemstone.
  • Emerald gemstones are versatile and pair well with a range of setting styles. This gives you many options for a non-traditional engagement ring.
  • Emeralds are typically more affordable than diamonds.
  • An engagement ring with an emerald is a less common choice, making your ring more unique.
  • Emerald symbolism is perfect for a marrying couple – hope, peace, growth, fertility, healing and a strong mutual bond.
  • It’s the May birthstone which adds an extra layer of meaning if your birthday is in May.

Cons:

  • Durability is the main concern with emeralds, as they’re brittle and easily fracture. Although they have a good Mohs hardness rating  of 7.5 to 8, daily wear and tear can damage emerald rings and expose it to serious damage, which is why a protective ring setting is essential.
  • Emeralds are typically heavily included, often featuring large inclusions within them. While these are called ‘jardin’ (French for garden because of their tendril like appearance) to make them appear more desirable, they’re still inclusions albeit with a fancy name.

Emerald Engagement Ring Designs

Regardless of emerald’s softer durability, it’s still a fairly popular option for engagement rings. With proper care and a good setting, an emerald engagement ring can last a lifetime.

Emerald has a classic look when paired with yellow gold, but it takes on a modern aesthetic when set in white gold settings. It also pairs well with other gemstones, especially diamonds.

Here are some of our favorite emerald engagement ring designs and why we love them:

1- Bezel Set Halo Emerald Ring: This ring features an emerald gemstone set within a yellow gold bezel, surrounded by baguette diamonds which are also set in a bezel setting. The result is a mix of faceting patterns and colors that create a truly unique look.

Green emerald engagement ring

Emerald cut emerald gemstone with baguette halo diamonds. Check Price Here.

2- Halo Three Stone Ring: This extravagant halo ring features an emerald three stone ring set in yellow gold. The diamond halo adds sparkle to the look, which accentuates the color of the emerald.

Emerald 3-stone engagement ring

Three Stone Emerald Ring with Halo. Check Price Here.

3- Raw Emerald Ring: While faceted emeralds are stunning, rough emeralds have a natural and relaxing beauty. These are perfect for a bohemian vibe and is enhanced by a yellow gold setting.   

Rough emerald engagement ring

Rough emerald in 18k gold by Ornamento Studio. Check Price Here.

4- Emerald Floral Ring: Smaller emeralds can be cleverly crafted into intricate designs, like the imperial ring below.  It features 9 emeralds and 32 melee diamonds and because smaller stones are often less expensive, you get more bang for your buck with a design like this.

Emerald and diamond floral engagement ring

Emerald and diamond imperial ring. Check Price Here.

5- Antique Emerald Ring: Because emeralds have been used in jewelry for so long, there are many genuine antiques available for purchase. This is ideal for someone who likes the designs of yesteryear. If you like vintage designs but want a new ring, opt for a vintage-inspired ring setting like the ones featured here.

Vintage emerald ring

Victorian Emerald Ring by TRU Vintage Diamonds. Check Price Here.

6- Bezel Set Emerald: The bezel setting is the most secure for emerald engagement rings, as it provides a buffer and keeps the edges safe. It can make the stone appear smaller than it is and dim its sparkle to some extent but if security is the main thing you’re after, the bezel setting is your best bet.

Bezel set green emerald engagement ring

Bezel set emerald ring. See it here.

7- Side Stone Setting: The color and inclusions of the emerald is enhanced by the simple sparkle of the small side stone diamonds in this pave ring setting. The contrast of the cool toned green stone and the warm toned silver setting make for a chic and sleek look.

Oval shape emerald engagement ring with round shape diamond side stones

Diamond side stone emerald ring. See it here.

8- Three Stone Emerald and Diamond Ring: Three stone rings are known for their meaningfulness. If a center emerald is not your thing but you still want to incorporate some emerald into your ring, consider using them as side stones.

Three-stone emerald and diamond ring

Three stone emerald and diamond ring. Check Price Here.

9- Handcrafted Unique Designs: Emeralds go beautifully with unique handcrafted designs and perfectly suits rustic styles. This is ideal for the bride looking for a non-traditional ring option.   

lab created emerald engagement ring

Floral lab grown emerald ring by Breeze Studio Co. Check Price Here.

Choosing the Best Emerald Gemstone

If you’ve decided that you would like an emerald engagement ring, knowing how to choose the right one will help you avoid getting ripped off. Here’s what you need to look out for:

Emerald Color

Color is the most important aspect of an emerald, so do your search diligently. Look for the best in hue, saturation and tone.

  • Hue – This refers to the primary and secondary colors of the stone. Green will always be the primary color for emerald, but sometimes yellow or blue secondary tones can also exist.
  • Saturation – This means how intense the green color is in the stone. The more vivid and saturated the stone, the more valuable.
  • Tone – Is the emerald light or dark? The best tone is medium, which shows the hue to maximum effect.

Emerald Clarity

Cushion cut emerald loose

Notice the flaws in this emerald. See the 360 degree video here.

Because clear, inclusion-free emeralds are exceedingly rare, emeralds with inclusions are generally accepted. Emeralds get their inclusions from liquids, minerals and gases that get trapped within the stone. One good thing about emerald inclusions is that you can easily tell a fake emerald from a real one – a natural emerald will always have inclusions.

As mentioned above, these inclusions are called jardin in a marketing attempt to make them more acceptable. They give emeralds their characteristic look, making emeralds one of the few gemstones that are accepted with their flaws.

Emerald Cut

Emeralds are cut to bring out the beauty of their color, rather than to maximize their brilliance. In general, the best cut for emeralds is the emerald cut which features long open facets and steps. The emerald cut also reduces the amount of emerald rough that’s wasted making it an economical choice.

Because of the clarity issues with emerald, faceting it into brilliant shapes can get tricky as the stone could fracture during the process.

Emerald Carat

Smaller emeralds are less expensive, while larger sized stones go up in price. Emeralds come in a wide range of sizes, but the deciding factor of value is the quality of the color. A large stone with poor, faint color will be considered less valuable than a smaller stone with excellent color.

Even a small emerald can be maximized in a cleverly designed ring setting, making it appear larger and more impressive than it is. This double halo emerald ring is a perfect example of that

Emerald Treatments and Enhancements

Emerald is commonly treated to enhance color and clarity. Common treatments include using oil, polymer or prepolymer fillers to fill internal fractures and enhance color.

While treatments are common for natural emeralds, it can be difficult to tell to what extent a stone has been treated. Over time, the filling can weaken and the stone can fracture or chip. Oil fillings tend to be temporary while polymer and prepolymer fillings are considered permanent.

It’s important that your retailer lets you know what treatments have been done on the stone so you can make an informed decision when purchasing.

Is Synthetic Emerald a Good Idea?

Synthetic emerald ring

Synthetic emerald ring by Tipsy Weddings. Check Price Here.

First things first – synthetic emeralds aren’t fake emeralds. They’re the real thing except they’re grown in labs. Synthetic emeralds are budget and environmentally friendly and are perfect if you want the emerald look without a big price tag.

However, they don’t have the inclusions common in emeralds and their perfection gives them away as being synthetic.

While synthetic emeralds are a great option, fake emeralds like glass or colored quartz are not worth much, if anything. Avoid these when shopping for an emerald by asking for the authenticity report of the stone or checking about its origin.

Emerald Symbolism and Meaning

Green emerald with round diamonds as side stones engagement ring

For an engagement ring, emerald gemstones, called the stone of successful love, hold the perfect symbolism:

  • Symbolizes hope and the future
  • Represents growth, fertility and renewal
  • Preserves love and passion
  • Symbolizes patience, understanding, unity and compassion
  • The green of emeralds represent healing

Cleaning and Caring for Emerald Rings

Whether an emerald engagement ring is the right choice for you largely depends on your lifestyle and how hard you are on your rings. For people who use their hands a lot for work, an emerald engagement ring might not be the best choice.

Even so, it’s always a good idea to take off the ring when engaging in physical activity or working with chemicals, including swimming, doing sports, gardening or doing household chores.

Never put an emerald in an ultrasonic cleaner, as the intense vibrations can cause the stone to fracture and craze. The best way to maintain your ring is to simply use warm water, a mild soap and a soft toothbrush or cloth to wash the ring. Don’t use abrasive materials to clean an emerald ring as this could scratch it.

Always store emerald rings in a separate pouch away from harder materials and dust.

Where to Buy Emerald Engagement Rings

If you’re planning on purchasing a valuable emerald ring, it’s important to purchase from a reputable and trustworthy site.

Emerald authenticity report

Authenticity report by James Allen

Always ensure that the retailer provides clear images and/or videos of the exact gemstone, to ensure you get an accurate representation of the stone’s inclusions.  Purchase from a reputable seller with a solid returns policy and look for an authenticity report.

For emerald engagement rings and loose emeralds, we recommend the following platforms:

James Allen

With one of the largest online diamond inventories, James Allen is known for their high-quality products and excellent customer service. They also offer wide range of emerald gemstones of all shapes, sizes and prices. Their gemstone display technology makes it easy to view each emerald carefully and cherry pick the best of the bunch.

Blue Nile

Blue Nile offers a very good collection of emerald jewelry, including engagement rings. They’re known for their solid craftsmanship, competitive prices and great customer service. Blue Nile also has an extensive collection of emerald birthstone jewelry, which make for ideal gifts.

Etsy

Ideal if you’re after a handcrafted, artisan ring or a genuine vintage piece. There’s a wide range of emerald engagement rings so take your time to sift through and find the right one. Communicate with the seller about any concerns you have and always check customer reviews.

Amazon

Amazon offers a range of emerald engagement rings often by the same retailers that also offer their products on Etsy. Ensure you carefully check each product and ask any questions from the seller.

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