Emeralds and May: Spring, Hope and Rebirth

Emerald is the birthstone for the month of May. The green beryl was believed to bring good luck and enhance well being in ancient India. Like the color green, its beauty has symbolized spring, hope and rebirth; it was often worn as a talisman. One such piece is the lavish gold and emerald pendant from seventeenth century Spain. Its materials came from Spanish colonies in South America. On its reverse is an intricate engraving of springlike floral and foliate motifs. An earlier pendant was designed by German painter Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543) using five emeralds and a pearl. A Mogul flat carved emerald has a floral motif and was probably attached to a turban or cloak. It was later set as a pendant necklace in France around the turn of the twentieth century. The Mackay Enerald Necklace contains a Colombian stone that is enclosed by an Art Deco diamond and platinum frame from Cartier.