6 Designers Create Eye-Catching Pieces for May’s Emerald Birthstone

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The emerald is at once breathtaking and soothing. Its deep grass-green tone is said to have calming properties. And alongside rubies and sapphires, it is part of the Big Three—the powerhouse trio of colored stones that generate the most economic activity in gemstones around the planet. Reportedly, Egypt is the site where the earliest emerald mines surfaced (though other fruitful sources emerged in Colombia, Brazil, and Zambia), and the gem has continued to transfix civilizations throughout history. Emeralds adorned Cleopatra’s royal accessories and were used in ancient Incan religious ceremonies. They also caught the eye of Elizabeth Taylor, whose prized 23-carat Colombian-emerald pendant brooch sold for more than $6.5 million, making it the world’s most expensive emerald design sold at auction. The 10 designs here frame the emerald in a range of styles that express the beloved gem’s enduring appeal.