ML - Michigan Avenue

Michigan Avenue - 2015 - Issue 8 - Winter - Sandra Lee

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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Page 109 of 147

Emeralds have captured the imagination of fine jewelry lovers from the Queen of Egypt to Queen Bey. Now they're capturing the market, too, with increased demand and boundary-pushing designs that bring emeralds' ancient allure to modern collectors. by ROBERTA NA AS egend has it that an emerald placed under the tongue can endow a person with the ability to see the future. Another ancient belief is that an emerald protects its wearer from evil spirits and spells. The gem's vivid green color has spa rked t he i mag i nat ion for cent u r ies, a nd it s a l lu re remains as powerful today. In the recent must-read New York Times best seller Luckiest Girl Alive, the emerald engagement ring worn by the protagonist—an über-glamorous magazine editor—represents the perfect life she aspires to. And the 2015 Grammy Awards saw no less a luminary than Beyoncé rocking 80 carat emerald and diamond earrings on the red carpet. Queen Bey is just the greatest and latest star to adorn herself with emeralds, a trend that was kicked into overdrive by Angelina Jolie when she wore dra- matic emerald drop earrings to the 2009 Academy Awards. Since then, a slew of celebs, including Taylor Swift and Emma Stone, have embraced the craze for emeralds, the likes of which we haven't seen since 1953, when JFK pre- sented an emerald engagement ring to Jacqueline Bouvier. This renewed obsession with emeralds is increasing demand for the gem and yielding an abundance of new designs in the fine-jewelry market. "Now more than ever before, the world is paying attention to color in jewelry," says Melvyn Kirtley, chief gemologist at Tiffany & Co. "Color allows more individuality when complementing a wardrobe, and as people become more educated about emeralds, they want to own these enchanting stones." In response to t his heightened interest , top players in t he jewelr y a nd gemstone industry, as well as private and government-owned emerald min- ing companies, gathered in Colombia in October for the first International Emera ld Sy mposium. Exper t s from t he major emera ld-producing coun- t ries— Colombia, Brazil, Zambia, Russia, Afghanistan, Madagascar, and Pakistan—came together to discuss the many facets of mining and market- ing, with a focus on how to modernize production, set uniform standards worldwide, and provide consumers with more information. FROM THE GROUND UP Emeralds were born in the earth's crust 500 million years ago, in a process initiated by the tremendous heat and pressure created by the movement of tectonic plates. Most of the world's emeralds are mined in Colombia, Brazil, and Zambia, with the rough stones in each region having a slightly different coloration, depending on the amount of chromium, vanadium, and iron in t he cr ystal. According to the Gemolog ical Institute of A merica, experts differ on how green a stone must be to be called an emerald rather than a less-valuable beryl, but the consensus is that an emerald is saturated with color—a deep, verdant green—while a beryl is lighter. The pricing of emeralds is largely a function of supply and demand—and their supply has always been quite limited, due to the rarity of beryllium, an essential component of emeralds' molecular structure. In fact, emeralds are rarer than diamonds. "But in the past few years, with the emerald mining in L GREEN is the new BLACK LAC LAC PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFF CRAWFORD; STYLING BY FAYE POWER; MANICURE BY MICHELLE MATTHEWS USING DIOR VERNIS; MODEL: BELLA / PARTS MODELS NYC 108 MICHIGANAVEMAG.COM

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