Of all the colors, “green” is one of the most evocative when it comes to the English language. We use the word to signify a variety of feelings and concepts. Green means go. It’s associated with nature, money, luck, and health.
Fittingly, the best-known green gemstone, the emerald, is also known for variety (and for being the May birthstone — spring, renewal, get it?).
The stone has a storied past. For centuries, it’s been tied to religious rites and was considered something of a superpower. Cleopatra and Queen Isabella of Spain were said to be fans, and emeralds were mined in Egypt in B.C. times.
Emeralds have long been associated with plundering colonizers and conquerors too, from Zambia to South America. This history hasn’t been fully erased from our industry today. That’s why Bario Neal works diligently to ensure an ethical mining supply for emeralds, or we reach for recycled gemstones. We launched our first emerald jewelry collection in fall 2016 only after finding a mining collective that values people and the environment in Northern Zambia.
Emerald is the green to greenish blue variety of a mineral called beryl. (The bluer variety of beryl is the aquamarine; see that stone set in our Aquamarine Halo Ring.) But “green” alone, for its myriad meanings, can’t do the emerald justice. Depending on inclusions and variety, the stone can be bright green or pale green or smoky green. Inclusions mean that emeralds, while quite hard and hard to scratch, are often passed over when it comes to daily wear pieces because of durability. But we love emeralds in engagement rings. (You’ll see why when you peek at the emeralds in this custom ring and this one.) They’re a colorful flip side to diamonds, and many people wear emeralds every day trouble-free. Trust your instincts on what will work for you.
Emeralds are on the list of so-called “cardinal stones” (along with amethyst, ruby, sapphires, and diamonds), gemstones that have traditionally been considered the most precious. Our emerald rings and emerald earrings are a hat tip to that rareness — but true to the Bario Neal ethos, our designs are accessible and intended to feel special and authentic but not affected.
Our custom Emerald Sol Ring captures the multi-definitioned green with its prongs. The ring setting’s like an eclectic embrace for the contemporary octagonal cut emerald at the center.
The design of our Open Lash Ring, with not one but two ethically sourced emeralds, makes it ideal for stacking. For a pairing that’s as naturally captivating as the Northwest’s Palouse region join it with our custom Emerald Ray Ring, with an emerald cut emerald.
The Ray Ring sets off its emerald with a metal fringe. Tip for May babies: The stylish folks at Catalyst Wedding Co. think this emerald ring “pairs together the sun imagery with your birthstone perfectly.” If you’re the type to celebrate your birthday with a pink cocktail, look at our rose gold band option for the Ray Ring.
Emerald Earrings & Necklaces
Our Ray Studs were part of the collection launch mentioned above, and we’ve never fallen out of love with these emerald earrings. At the time, Bario Neal co-founder and designer Page Neal said the designs were “inspired by architectural drawings and photographs of transoms and window frames.” The Ray Pendant carries the look with a strong fringe design on a necklace. And our Ray Drops are elegant earrings that dangle with a purpose.
Whether or not you have a May birthday, our emerald designs make great gifts or presents to self. (Note: Even though emeralds are among the costliest gemstones, our emerald jewelry prices fit many budgets.) Pick a new piece because it’s spring. Or because you love color. Remember, green means go. Loosely interpreted: Order now.