This week we will be discussing emeralds; the May birthstone. One of the oldest, most precious and cherished gemstones across all civilizations and decades. Emerald’s shine and luster radiates from far, the soft yet vibrant green makes them irresistibly attractive. Emeralds are one of the 4 most valuable gemstones, along with rubies, sapphires and diamonds.
In this blog post you will learn:
- Emerald’s Main Characteristics
- Interesting Facts
- Symbolism and Folklore
Emeralds are made from beryl, just like aquamarines. The vibrant green color occurs due to the presence of chromium and/or vanadium. Emeralds measure between 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. Although they are durable gemstones, emeralds can crack and chip; because of this, emeralds are often treated with oil or resin to fill in the cracks and prevent chipping. PRO TIP: only clean your emerald jewelry with warm water and occasionally coat these gorgeous stones with baby oil, to prevent the stones from becoming brittle.
As for the origin, Colombia yields over 50% of all emeralds in the world. Other popular emerald origins are Russia, Zambia, Ethiopia, and Brazil. The first known emeralds were mined in Egypt around 1500 BC. Cleopatra loved emeralds and owned many jewelry pieces featuring this royal green stone.
Inclusions are to be expected in emeralds, the French jewelry dealers call them the internal “jardin”(garden). In rare cases, emeralds can be so clean, that they don't even need oil, or resin treatment to fill the cracks. Emeralds with little to no inclusions are extremely rare and can be worth more than diamonds.
For emeralds, one of the most important factors is the color. The most desirable color is a vivid green with even saturation and no color zoning.
- Elizabeth Taylor owned an emerald pendant necklace which sold for $6.5 million in 2011, making it about $280,000 per carat.
- The Duke of Devonshire Emerald is one of the largest uncut emeralds, weighing 1,383.93 carats.
Symbolism and Folklore
According to ancient folklore, emeralds possess various healing properties. They were thought to guard against memory loss and enhance intuition. The soft, calming color of emeralds was believed to relax and relieve eye strain. The Romans and the Aztecs believed that emeralds could cure infertility and help during childbirth. It's interesting, the fact that two civilizations were on the opposite sides of the world and have never been in contact, and yet believed in the same mystical properties of emeralds.
In Pompei, stunning emerald jewelry was found buried under the ash from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. The emeralds were perfectly preserved by the rock-like ash.
The Bottom Line
When choosing emerald jewelry, look for origin, color, appearance to the eye and carat weight. If the budget allows, definitely consider investing in a genuine stone - it’s truly a magical and scientific process, for the gemstone to go from the earth deposits to your hands.
EMAIL US AT INFO@JACKWEIRANDSONS.COM IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS!