Emerald: An Opulent New Book from Thames & Hudson

The 'Baroda Necklace' commissioned by Sita Devi, Maharani of Baroda,  from Van Cleef & Arpels set with 154 carats of emeralds.

The ‘Baroda Necklace’ commissioned by Sita Devi, Maharani of Baroda,
from Van Cleef & Arpels set with 154 carats of emeralds.

Just published by Thames & Hudson is a sumptuous new book all about a certain mythical green stone. Titled ‘Emerald: Twenty-one Centuries of Jewelled Opulence and Power’, the book delves into the long history and significance of the gemstone, going through the trade from ancient times to modern. There are many beautiful images of historically important pieces, jewels from private collections (a number of which are being seen by the public for the first time), celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor and Angelina Jolie in their beloved own pieces, as well as examples of the best in contemporary design. Contributions to the text come from Joanna Hardy, a respected jewelry historian, Jonathan Self, a globe-trotting author and journalist with a personal love of emeralds, and Franca Sozzani, the editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia who puts emeralds into the context of fashion and art.

Emeralds are, of course, having quite the year, with the shade being named the 2013 Pantone Color of the Year, but also with the extensive promotions done by Gemfields and some truly amazing pieces commanding very high sums at auction. Hopefully the resurgence in popularity of emeralds, and other colored gemstones, is not a quickly passing trend.

This book is now in the Gem Standard Library.

Cover of 'Emerald: Twenty-one Centuries of Jewelled Opulence and Power'

Cover of ‘Emerald: Twenty-one Centuries of Jewelled Opulence and Power’

The 'Eternity' necklace by Cartier circa 1997, containing two 200+ carat emeralds  (© Cartier/Cartier Archives)

The ‘Eternity’ necklace by Cartier circa 1997, containing two 200+ carat emeralds
(© Cartier/Cartier Archives)

An emerald, rock crystal, moonstone and diamond Seaman Schepps bracelet,  circa 1940, that once belonged to Andy Warhol.

An emerald, rock crystal, moonstone and diamond Seaman Schepps bracelet,
circa 1940, that once belonged to Andy Warhol.

The Cartier engagement ring of the Duchess of Windsor, featuring a 19.77-carat emerald.

The Cartier engagement ring of the Duchess of Windsor, featuring a 19.77-carat emerald.

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