May is the month for emeralds! The lush green of emerald has soothed souls and excited imaginations since the antiquity. The name comes from the ancient Greek word for green, “smaragdus”. Rome’s Pliny the Elder described emerald in his Natural History, published in the first century AD as “nothing greens greener”.
In very broad terms, the difference between a cameo and an intaglio is whether the gem engraving is cut into the stone or raised up from the stone.
I have always adored intaglios, the carved “into” gemstones. They are experiencing a resurgence in popularity so if you have one, bring it out!
Strictly speaking, engraving means carving in intaglio (the design is cut into the flat background of the stone). En relief (raised) carving means the design projects out of the background of the stone, exploiting the layers of a colored gemstone, which is a cameo.
Rubies have long sat atop the gem world, serving as one of the most historically significant stones and commanding at times the highest per-carat price of any gem.
Burmese rubies, in particular, always have been regarded with a certain reverence, encapsulating the best the gemstone has to offer.
At the Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva next month, there will be the largest and finest fancy vivid blue diamond ever seen at auction before. The “Oppenheimer Blue,” a rectangular-cut, 14.62-carat stone, is expected…