Rings of any sort first appeared in history a few thousand years ago in places such as Ancient India and Egypt. According to the GIA, the first known emerald mines were traced back to Ancient Egypt in approximately 330 BC, also the exact time Alexander the Great conquered the known world. These mines were in operation mining emeralds up until the 1700s.
So when did humans begin start wearing emerald rings? In some fashion or another, probably around 2000-2500 years ago.
Emeralds appear in the bible according to BibleStudy.org, as "rabbinic legend states that God gave King Solomon four gemstones that gave him the power to rule over all creation".
Emeralds are introduced to us in Greek culture by Pliny the Elder in the first century AD. In Chapter 1(1) of his famous book Natural History he outlines "The First Use of Precious Stones". In Chapter 3 Pliny the Elder first discusses emeralds under the "The Jewel of Pyrrbus". He later goes on to emphasize that nothing "greens greener" than emeralds.
Fast forward to approximately 1100 AD and the Incans in what is now modern day Colombia showed an affliction for the green gemstone emerald, attaching significant value. According to the GIA, when the Spanish invaded the New World in the 1600's they coveted gold and silver more than gemstones, and traded emeralds for gold and silver. However, this trade also opened up the eyes of the Europeans helping them realize emeralds were sacred in other parts of the world too.
Over the following centuries emeralds would grow in popularity amongst the royalty in Europe. Emerald rings didn't become mainstream in society until the 20th century. The early eras of the Victorian and Art Deco sytle rings ushered innovation to emerald rings. Emeralds were combined with diamonds to create custom, sparkling designs.
Synthetic emerald jewelry and emerald rings were introduced iin the 1960s. Synthetic and lab created emerald rings have pressured some modern day jewelers to embrace their sales, as the lower price point is appealing to new customers. That being said, the resale value for lab created emerald rings is very low as the rarity value is no longer there. Natural emerald rings preserve their value far more than lab created emerald rings.
Emerald rings continue to evolve since the first emerald mines opened over 2,300 years ago.
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