Green is the color of hope, symbolizing nature, wealth and freshness. That being said, crowning the beautiful emerald as the stone of May, the month when nature overflows with greenery should not come as a surprise. Together let's dive into the green emerald kingdom.
Emerald is one of the few gemstones, which has been used by people for decoration purposes for thousands of years. Archaeologists found ancient Emerald mines of Egypt (2 BC), near Sikait, which suggests Egypt be one of the first sites of Emeralds after the European Ancient civilization.
On the opposite side of the world, in Asia, Emeralds were being cut into mini Buddha sculptures, and in Central America, Emerald was considered a sacred stone of the Inca and Aztec empires. These were one of the many reasons why emerald was the symbol of wisdom, logic and prosperity for great ancient minds.
One of the big Four
Behind the beautiful color of Emerald, are responsible three different elements: Iron, Vanadium and Chromium. Considering that the beautiful deep green color of the stone is perhaps its most prominent feature, the fact that emeralds can be of other colors might surprise you. The so-called ‘Brazilian Emeralds’ can be of lighter colour with a hint of yellow, while gems that originated from Zambia may have a hint of blue.
Along with Diamond, Sapphire, and Ruby, Emerald belongs to the most valuable gemstones in the world. Today, there is only one kind of Emerald, however, in the past, all types of Beryl were considered Emeralds. On the Mohs Hardness scale, Emerald reaches 7.5-8, which was also the reason why in the past, the gemstone was close to being categorized as a semi-precious stone (to find out more about the differences between gemstones and semi-precious stones you can read our past article here). That being said, Emerald and the other three gemstones form the ‘top four gemstones’.
Adored since the time of pharaohs
The first documented findings of Emerald date back to the period between 3 – 1.5 B.C. The evidence suggests the stones were found in the area near the Red Sea in the mines of Egyptian rulers. This is also the reason why these mines were later given the name ‘Cleopatra’s mines’.
From the period of conquistador conquest of South America, until now, the most significant Emerald mines are found in Colombia, however, Emeralds are also being mined in Brazil or Zambia. In 2017, an Emerald weighing 360 kg was mined in Brazil!
Other Emerald mining sites can also be found across Africa, Australia, Afghanistan and Siberia.
Out of the Beryl gemstones, Emerald is the most fragile one, therefore, one must be extremely careful when treating it. Emerald cutting is extremely difficult, and so in order to prevent any possible damages to the stone, gemstone cutters prominently use one typical cut- “the Emerald cut”. This is an elongated, rectangular shape with chiselled step cuts with straight linear facets. The corners of Emerald cut gemstones are usually cropped in order to prevent fractures and provide stability.Other typical cuts of Emeralds are teardrop or oval-shaped, but you can also find Emeralds with trapiche cuts, which resemble a six-pointed star. This cut is quite controversial, as it divides gemstone lovers and investors into two groups- those who love it and those who despise it.
Emerald, just like a diamond, is a stone of love, loyalty, happiness and relationship bond. Thus it is assigned to the planet of Venus, the month of May, and it’s a symbol of the 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries.
Just like a diamond, Emerald is also a great investment opportunity. As previously mentioned, Emerald belongs to the group of the most expensive precious stones (its price is higher than the price of a diamond of the same weight), and its value continues to grow exponentially. An interesting fact about Emerald is that it has a lower density than diamond does, and so when comparing 1ct of Emerald with 1ct of diamond, it is the Emerald that appears to be bigger.
Accessorize yourself with an Emerald decorated jewel
Emerald jewels have been adored by famous and beautiful women like Cleopatra, Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor, Jacqueline Kennedy as well as the latest fashion icons like Jessica Alba or Angelina Jolie. And of course, we do love Emeralds too.
Beautiful pieces of Emerald decorated jewellery can also be found in our store Antiques Cinolter. Thanks to the large variety of loose gemstones we have to offer, we would be more than happy to design and create a jewel perfectly tailored to you too.
The Most Precious Emeralds
Mogul Mughal Emerald – with 10 cm in height, and 217.80 carats in weight, one of the largest world’s Emerald stones was sold to an anonymous buyer in 2001 in London.
Patricia Emerald - the gemstone weighing 632 carats is displayed in a museum in New York.
Hooker Emerald – Heritage of the Ottoman Empire, worn by the last sultan Abdul Hamid II., was later on purchased by Tiffany & Co., and set into a tiara. It is currently on display and can be viewed by the public in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.
Crown of the Andes – Despite whether you’re passionate about visiting museums or not, this astonishing work is a valid reason to pay a visit to the Metropolitan Museum.
Other beautiful pieces of Emerald wealth are the stocks of the Bogota bank, these, however, cannot be accessed by the public...
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