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The Beauty of an Emerald Engagement Ring

An emerald engagement ring is a rarity which is why it’s so special. Throughout history, there have been fabulous engagement rings which you might want to learn about here!

emerald necklace for wedding jewelry

Hey, John!

When my girlfriend, Emily, and I walked by a jewelry store, she stopped to look at emerald engagement rings. Yes, I know. Hint. HINT! She said that emeralds are associated with goddess of love, Venus. What makes emeralds so special?

Thanks!

–Greg in Gladstone, Oregon

Hey, Greg!

That’s a really interesting question. After doing some research, here is what I found.

As you might know, the ancients assigned meanings to gemstones. For instance, if someone wanted to control their anger, they wore or carried carnelians, an orange-red semi-precious stone. The emerald has a meaning too: It represents truth and love.

Emily is right: In Greek and Roman mythology, the emerald was assigned as the gemstone of the goddess of love and hope, Venus. To add to that, the ancient Egyptians thought emeralds were the source of eternal life while the Incas treasured emeralds as gifts from the gods.

The emerald is the birthstone for those born in the month of May.

In researching royal engagement rings, emeralds have only been used rarely. Here are a few that I found:

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

Queen Victoria’s Emerald Ring: 1837

Born in May, emeralds were a favorite of Queen Victoria.

A bit of backstory: According to the rules of society at the time, a man—even if he was a prince—could not ask a queen regnant (a reigning monarch) to marry him. Instead, he had to stand around and twiddle his thumbs until she decided she wanted to ask him to marry her.

Prince Albert of Saxe-Gotha and Coburg was not a thumb twiddler so while he was waiting, he commissioned a gold ring in the shape of a serpent with an emerald on its head because he knew of Victoria’s love of emeralds. When she did propose marriage to her, he immediately gave her the gift of this unusual ring representing eternal love. It was one of the first engagement rings for a royal marriage.

Queen Victoria treasured that ring her entire life!

Queen Alexandra’s Emerald Ring: 1863

When Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s oldest son proposed to Princess Alexandra of Denmark, he gave her an engagement ring which was also an acrostic because it spelled out his nickname, “Bertie,” with a beryl, an emerald, a ruby, a topaz, a jacinth, and another emerald.

The first letter of each stone spelled “Bertie.”

Queen Alexandra's engagement ring

B  beryl

E   emerald

R   ruby

T   topaz

I    jacinth (In Latin, this stone is spelled with an “i.”)

E    emerald.

Princess Alexandra, who was a bit of a fashionista, loved the ring because it was very on trend for the times.

(Just a personal note: I bet men named “Alexander” or “Christopher” are grateful they don’t have to buy engagement rings with their full names spelled out in gemstones!)

Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor: 1936

Born in 1894, he was known as a playboy prince. He was in no hurry to settle down, get married and produce the next king (or queen) of England.

Prince Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David was heir to British throne. As the grandson of “Bertie” and Alexandra, and great-grandson of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, there were certain rules he had to follow when it came to selecting his future queen. As king, he would also be Supreme Head of the Church of England; as such, he was forbidden from marrying a woman who was previously divorced and whose husband still lived.

Wallis Simpson and her emerald wedding engagement ring

“David,” as his family called him, was not a willing follower of rules.

When in 1930, he met Wallis Simpson, a once divorced and currently married American, he was almost immediately besotted.

On January 20, 1936,  his father, King George V died. Prince David took as his regnal name, King Edward VIII, to honor his playboy prince grandfather.

In July 1936, Wallis filed for divorce from husband #2.

On October 27, 1936, King Edward proposed to Wallis.  He bedazzled her with a 19.77 carat emerald engagement ring.

Realizing that he could not get the government to bend to his will and change the rules, he abdicated six weeks later.

His younger brother took the regnal name of King George VI to remind people of the calm, steady reign of his father.

You might have heard of the daughter of King George VI: She ruled as Queen Elizabeth II for seven decades.  

Let me know if you have further questions.

(BTW, Ainsworth House & Gardens might be the perfect wedding venue for you two! Stop by and take a tour!)

Your friend in the wedding business,

 

John Shyne

 

Images courtesy of Pixabay.com, People,  The History Press, and The-Cartiers.com.

© 2023. Come Rain or Shyne, LLC. All rights reserved.

emerald and diamond wedding ring