This Gemstone Spotlight is all about emeralds. Emeralds are known for the luscious green color and are the birthstone for May babies! Interestingly enough, emeralds are also the gem of the twentieth and thirty-fifth wedding anniversaries. Shop our emerald and green jewelry collections here.
Gemstone Spotlight: All About Emeralds
Rough Cut Emerald, GIA
Emeralds are classified by their color, clarity and weight. Further, they are know for their softness and fragility. The first emerald dates back to 2.97 billion years from South Africa, but today, most emerald production originates in four source countries - Colombia, Zambia, Brazil, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe. "Emeralds from what is now Colombia were part of the plunder when sixteenth-century Spanish explorers invaded the New World. The Incas had already been using emeralds in their jewelry and religious ceremonies for 500 years. The Spanish, who treasured gold and silver far more than gems, traded emeralds for precious metals. Their trades opened the eyes of European and Asian royalty to emerald’s majesty."
From a historical figure perspective, Cleopatra is closely associated with emeralds because she had a deep love for them. Additionally, in 2011 the sales price for Elizabeth Taylor’s emerald pendant was valued at $6,578,500 - a record $280,000 per carat.
This gemstone is a bluish green to green variety of beryl, a mineral species that includes aquamarine.
Its color reflects new spring growth and "variations of this rich green color suggest soothing, lush gardens. Legend has it that emerald has the power to make its wearer more intelligent and quick-witted, and it was once believed to cure diseases like cholera and malaria."
Polished Emerald, GIA
Information and photography courtesy of GIA. More information here.