Emeralds: History & Meaning
“If you hold this dazzling emerald up to the sky,
It will shine a billion beautiful miracles
Painted from the tears of the Most High.
Plucked from the lush gardens of a yellowish-green paradise,
Look inside this hypnotic gem and a kaleidoscope of
Titillating, soul-raising sights and colors
Will tease and seduce your eyes and mind..."
― Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem
Being one of the most desirable gemstone of all times, emerald was discovered in Egypt over 3000 years ago and was regarded as a symbol of life, fertility and eternal youth by Ancient Egyptians.
In ancient Greece and Rome, emerald was a gemstone of the goddess Venus, symbolising friendship, peace, harmony, and domestic bliss by enabling its owner to both give and receive unconditional love.
Cleopatra was believed to be fascinated with these gemstones, having owned one of the most famous & impressive collections of emerald jewelry.
Nowadays, these magnificent gems remain to symbolize prosperity, intelligence, beauty, harmony and tranquility.
They have always been all the rage among celebrities & royalties: from Elizabeth Taylor & Duchess of Cambridge to Anne Hathaway.
The emerald is the birthstone for May and it also commemorates the 20th and 35th Anniversary.
Where Do They Come From?
Colombian stones are considered the purest emeralds in the world, hence most desirable, as they exhibit stunning deep green, vivid, slightly bluish colour.
Brazilian mines produce lighter, yellowish green, often free of inclusions stones, while Zimbabwe & Zambia - small, but very good quality gems.
South African & Russian emeralds lack good quality and often cut en cabochon.
Austrian Tyrol produce paler stones.
The rarest (and hence highly prized) are Indian emeralds from old mines.
Other sources include Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Africa.
Cut, Colour & Clarity
Emerald is a green variety of beryl and with hardness of 7.5 on the Mohs Scale.
Usually faceted in its signature emerald step-cut to maximize its’ distinctive green color.
Lower quality gems are cut en cabochon.
Emerald clarity refers to what the gemstone looks like on the inside. Most emeralds have inclusions which include tiny bits of minerals and crystals. Presence of flaws or/& traces of oil makes it easy to identify a natural emerald.