Lavishly Illustrated Coffee-Table Book ‘Emerald’ Pays Homage to May’s Official Birthstone

Emerald, the lavishly illustrated coffee-table book, may be the most ambitious retrospective ever published about the intoxicating green gemstone that is 20 times rarer than a diamond — and happens to be the official birthstone for May.

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Featuring 400 color illustrations and bringing together the work of four leading authors, the large-format book opens with a review of style icons wearing their favorite emerald jewelry. Included are celebrities ranging from Elizabeth Taylor and Angelina Jolie to Diana, Princess of Wales.

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The second part of the book showcases dozens of the world’s most famous pieces of emerald jewelry, including many previously unseen designs from private and royal collections. Historic creations almost 5,500 years old are represented alongside those designed by modern jewelry houses.

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The final part reveals the backstory of how emeralds find their way from mine to market. This section is illustrated with specially commissioned photography from across four continents.

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Emerald is the result of the collaborative efforts of writers Joanna Hardy, Hettie Judah, Jonathan Self and Franca Sozzani.

The Daily Telegraph wrote, “This chic tome is almost as beautiful as the fine jewels it celebrates.”

Added Architectural Digest, “Gem lovers will be green with envy turning the pages of Emerald, an extravagant tome with stunning photos of verdantly bedecked royals, socialites and movie stars.”

Formally titled Emerald: Twenty-one Centuries of Jewelled Opulence and Power, the book was produced by Violette Editions and published in December 2013 by Thames and Hudson.

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