Emeralds are mysterious, and rare. These deep green gemstones have been coveted since 2,000 BC. Some of the most famous emerald mines in antiquity were the Cleopatra Mines in Egypt. No wonder we often envision her, when we see these queenly stones. According to the International Gem Society (IGS), the world’s largest emerald is the 840 pound Bahia emerald, found in Brazil in 2001. While we don’t plan to promote any ridiculously large emeralds (except for one eight carat dandy) in the jewelry we’ve chosen here, if you’re interested in learning more about the world’s largest emeralds and a bit more of their history, check out the IGS website, just for fun. Many of these stunners are really mind-blowing.
Since emeralds are the birthstones of May babies, we thought we’d feature some beautiful emerald rings, earrings and necklaces that are, for the most part, pretty affordable. But unlike lots of others, these May birthstones are more expensive, due to their rarity. The majority of the world’s highest quality emeralds come from South America and South Africa, although a few are mined elsewhere. They are one of the stones from the Beryl family that also includes aquamarine and morganite. They rank as a 7.5-8 on the MOHS’ hardness scale, so they wear well, and resist chipping, where as diamonds are the hardest, at 10, to give you some reference.
The key to buying quality emeralds, as with most gemstones, is finding stones with excellent depth of color, and lack of major inclusions. That’s kind of what makes buying emeralds tricky, because they are quite naturally included, and those that are nearly perfect, as a rule, are unaffordable. In part, that’s why lab created emeralds have become so popular. They deliver that same stunning green color, and are real emeralds, they just aren’t natural. They have the same chemical properties of mined stones, but they lack those inclusions and are far more affordable. For the purposes of this post, we’ve included some of each, because you should get to decide what’s perfect for you or someone you love.
If you’re attracted to emeralds, but you’re not quite sure why, gem theorists say emeralds are known to be stones of deep love and passion, as well as offering protection from evil. They are also said to be a stone of domestic bliss and loyalty, as well. Wow, that’s some powerful stuff. Perhaps when you check out the Best May Birthstone Jewelry: 10 Elegant Emerald Pieces, you’ll find the perfect gift for yourself or your partner in life. Be sure to look at all of our birthstone jewelry recommendations for February, March and April as well, because you might find other gems that are even more appealing than emeralds. (But we don’t think so.)
1. Sterling Silver & 14k Yellow Gold Created Emerald & Diamond Art Deco-Style Ring
This classic art deco style ring would make one huge impression for any special occasion, and it’s the perfect May birthstone jewelry piece for you, or the lady you love. A showy 1.33 carat created emerald center stone features the classic emerald cut, and it’s beautifully framed by 0.12 carats of glittering white diamonds, surrounded by a frame of 14k yellow gold. The mixed metal look is especially eye catching in this weighty ring, that also features a beautifully embellished shank and band. Milgrain edging and sterling silver beading add to the presence of this stunner, and the created emerald is especially breathtaking for it’s superb green color, free most of the inclusions found in natural emeralds.
2. Platinum Bezel Set Emerald Band Ring
Pure simplicity is the absolute draw of this ever-so-elegant emerald ring. Polished to a high shine, the platinum is 3mm wide. It would be the perfect May birthstone jewelry piece for any woman or man. At the center of this shimmering band is a bezel set 0.03 carat natural round cut emerald, beautifully faceted and sparkling. This delicate band would look elegant worn alone, or as a stacking ring with another platinum band, or a white gold band with bezel set diamonds as an accent.
3. Genuine Emerald & White Diamond 14K Yellow Gold Ring
A brilliant green half carat emerald solitaire is the stunning centerpiece of this dainty diamond studded ring. Perfect as a cocktail ring, promise ring, or May birthstone ring, the elegant emerald piece is one any woman would be overjoyed to receive. Eight prong set brilliant white diamonds flank the emerald, cascading down each side of the shimmering 14k gold band, and you can feel good about the fact that these stones are certified conflict-free, meaning they were mined ethically. To capture the latest jewelry trend of uniquely side set stones, the Dainty 14k Yellow Gold Diamond and Emerald Rope Design Stackable Ring features a lovely oval cut center stone flanked by diamonds. The classic three stone ring design is also more popular than ever, and the 14k Yellow Gold Three Stone Round Emerald and Diamond Dainty Rope Design Ring comes in at under $150.
4. 14k Gold Natural Green Emerald & Diamond Stud Earrings
These beautiful emerald stud earrings feature a whopping 1.45 carats of classic emerald cut natural stones, prong set in 14k yellow gold studs. Topped with a crown of 0.15 carats of brilliant white diamond, each earring is a work of art. This May birthstone jewelry is a bit of a splurge, but you or your emerald loving lady is going to be wowed by both the impressive look and size of these stud earrings, which feature 14k gold compression backs to hold them securely to the ear. If they’re over budget, you can always get small natural emerald stud earrings for less than $60, while you save up for the more glamorous ones. They too are set in 14k yellow gold. You can also get fifty percent larger emerald solitaire studs with .66 carats of stones for under $100. For a lot of look, without a lot of expense, the sterling silver flower stud earrings are elegant at under $20, and the natural emerald and sterling silver stud earrings feature 1.90 carats of brilliant green stones, for under $50.
5. Sterling Silver & Pear Cut Natural Emerald Earrings
Because natural emerald drop earrings can be pretty pricey, getting beautifully cut stones set in sterling silver can really make the investment in May birthstone jewelry more realistic for folks. With these emerald earrings, there are two key highlights. First the incredibly unique swirling sterling silver design has a puffed three dimensional look, and it’s polished to a brilliant shine. Then, each earring features four beautiful pear cut stones to set off the sterling, that add up to an impressive 2.60 carats of natural emeralds. The 10k Yellow Gold Pear Shaped Emerald with Diamond Accent Flower Stud Earrings feature five beautiful emerald petals with a tiny diamond center stone. And if you’re buying for the love of your life, the heart shaped sterling silver and emerald stud earrings feature 1.35 carats of natural stones, beautifully round cut. At just $50.99, they’re a gorgeous gift for any woman.
6. 10k Gold Cushion Checkerboard Cut Created Emerald Leverback Earrings
If you’ve ever wondered about the difference between lab created emerald earrings, and those made with natural stones, there are a few important things to consider. First, the affordability factor is far greater with lab created stones, but before you rush to judgement about how they’re not real, lab created stones are chemically identical to natural stones. Surprising, right? Not only are they more approachable in terms of price, but lab created stones are flawless, versus natural emeralds which have many inclusions – or if they don’t, are out of the price range for most of the world. These beautiful emerald earrings feature 3.3 carats of deep green stones, featuring the popular checkerboard cushion cut. More facets mean more sparkle and these emerald earrings have that in spades. Prong set in a traditional basket mount, they delicately dange from a leverback wire that snaps closed to keep them secure. You can get the gorgeous emerald necklace to match and come in at just a few dollars over $300 total. The 14k Yellow Gold Oval Emerald Bezel Leverback Earrings are another beautiful option at under $100.
Price: $135.69 (10 percent off MSRP)
7. 14k White Gold Natural Emerald & Diamond Dangle Earrings
There was simply no way to leave these amazing dangle earrings off our list, despite the fact that they’re pretty expensive. This May birthstone jewelry makes a huge statement, and these earrings are the kind that will become family heirlooms, passed from one generation to the next. An impressive 5.48 carats of gorgeous green pear cut emeralds act as the centerpiece. They hang inside double gold teardrops, studded buy 1.5 carats of natural white diamonds. These stunners feature a comfortable post, with a snap-back closure to ensure they’ll never fall off or get lost. For a little more than an extra $300, you can also order them in 18k gold, and since you’re splurging, why not? We have to mention the matching necklace that goes with these earrings. For a mere $5,789 you’ll get 14.8 carats of gorgeous emeralds and diamonds, in an unforgettable dangling setting. Anyone would swoon over this baby. For another impressive gift idea, the 18K Yellow Gold Oval Gemstone & Round White Diamond Earrings feature 1.44 carats of lab created emeralds, surrounded with nearly a half carat of sparkling white diamonds. Right now, they are an amazing 71 percent off, so you can get them for under $500.
8. 18k Gold Plated Emerald & Diamond Filigree Medallion Pendant Necklace
An emerald and diamond necklace is always a romantic gift choice, because emeralds are thought to be heart healing stones that also activate love and passion. The beautiful, Victorianesque filigree necklace is carefully crafted out of sterling silver, and then plated with brilliant 18k gold to give it an expensive look, without the big price tag. This sweet pendant necklace is set with a tiny center diamond stud, which is surrounded by four marquise cut natural emeralds. Around the outer edges of the pendant, four round cut emeralds add to the gorgeous green impression. The gemstone laden filigree is surrounded by a sterling silver circle, with silver beading that almost mimics the look of more diamonds. This pretty emerald necklace features .37 carats of natural stones, and it hangs from delicate 18 inch chain. This is a perfect entry-level piece of May birthstone jewelry. Another lovely emerald necklace option that features a completely unique look is the Emerald and Sterling Silver Hourglass Pendant. The tiny hourglass is half filled with .75 carats of brilliant green natural emerald dust, and hangs from an 18 inch sterling silver chain. It comes in at less than thirty bucks.
9. Sterling Silver White Cultured Freshwater Pearl & Emerald Necklace
If you’re looking for an absolutely elegant piece of May birthstone jewelry, this freshwater pearl and emerald bead necklace is a winning gift idea. Creamy 8-9mm pearls are hand linked with sterling silver loops, and alternate with faceted deep green emerald beads. The 18 inch beauty would look stunning with business or evening wear, and it features a sturdy sterling silver lobster claw clasp. For an longer pearl and emerald necklace, the opera length version is a 50 inch strand that can be worn long, or double wrapped for a more dramatic look. Another affordably priced option that features the popular stacked stone look is the Freshwater Pearl Pendant with Emerald Beads.
10. Green Emerald, Tsavorite, Diamond & 14K Yellow Gold Pendant Necklace
We certainly saved the best for last. If you’re looking to treat someone special with an emerald pendant that delivers the ultimate wow factor, this could definitely be in the running. A whopping 8 carat pear cut natural green emerald delivers that classic dark green color, and it’s topped with a round cut tsavorite stone, a rare and unusual type of grossular garnet. This stunning pendant necklace is set in 14k yellow gold, and both the green stones are surrounded by twinkling white diamonds for added sparkle. The two larger stones are separated by a larger diamond stud, making to total gem weight of this amazing necklace an impressive 10 carats. This gorgeous piece hangs from an 18 inch 14k gold box chain that keeps all the focus on the amazing pendant. We know this is super spendy, so if you’re searching for a lovely emerald and diamond pendant that’s more in the budget category, the 10k Yellow Gold Emerald and Diamond Halo Pendant Necklace, is a more dainty and affordable option at just under $160. Another May birthstone jewelry option is the 14K Solid Gold Necklace with Twisted Briolette Emerald, that features a weighty 15.25 carat stone that’s been uniquely shaped rather than faceted. We think it’s truly beautiful.