Posted on Monday, April 29th, 2013 at 5:53 pm by Debbie Fox
Although emeralds were discovered around 300 BC, it wasn’t until the time of Cleopatra (69 BC - 30 BC) that they became highly prized. An avid collector, existing mines near Cairo were named after her.
In the sixteenth century, Spanish explorers discovered the rich emerald deposits in Columbia. These emeralds were of superior color and quality, and they quickly became popular with the European elite.
Today, Columbia remains the largest supplier of emeralds, although significant gems come from Brazil and Zambia.
Above all else, emeralds signify love. Emeralds were the sacred stone of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. Emeralds also mean loyalty and devotion, so they are an ideal gemstone to give and receive with a loved one.
Probably because of their vibrant green color, emeralds are associated with spring, creativity and new beginnings. So when you want to begin a new phase in your life, give yourself a piece of emerald jewelry!
What is an Emerald?
Emeralds are a beryl gemstone that is green. Beryl comes in several colors: blue beryl is called aquamarine, pink beryl is called morganite, and yellow beryl is called golden beryl. The very rare red beryl is called bixbite.
Beryl is hard enough for everyday jewelry, as long as it is worn with care. This is especially important for rings and bracelets, as they are easier to bump than earrings and necklaces. You can increase durability by purchasing an emerald with a higher clarity and putting it in a more protected setting.
Many people choose an alternate vivid green gemstone for May’s birthstone, especially when they want a more durable gem. These include green diamonds, tsavorite garnets, green tourmaline and chome diopside. Come visit us and we’ll show you the difference!
Choosing an Emerald
When selecting an emerald look at color and clarity, but the most important part is a gem that you find captivating! The following helpful information will guide you, but the ultimate decision is your opinion of a beautiful emerald.
Color is the biggest factor in the desirability of an emerald. Many people believe that a darker color is a finer gem, but that is not always the case. If there is not enough saturation (intensity or strength of color) the gem will not be as vivid and full of life.
Emerald-and-diamond-ring-necklace-earringsAlmost all emeralds have natural microscopic “inclusions” or fissures. These are bits of gas, minerals, liquid or crystals within the gem. Expect to see these; as long as they are not excessive they do not significantly affect the price and beauty of an emerald.
Highly included emeralds should be avoided, as not only does this affect the beauty, but it also makes them vulnerable to breakage.
Cut and Polish
Unlike diamonds, colored gems are cut to display the beauty of their color, with an even saturation throughout the stone. A well cut emerald will be cut symmetrically, maximize the color and minimize the inclusions. The polish should be good with no visible pitting or polishing lines.
May Birthstone and 55th Wedding Anniversary
Whether to commemorate your May birthday, your 55th Anniversary, a new beginning in your life, or simply because you’ve fallen in love with the gemstone, emeralds are an enduring addition to any jewelry wardrobe!