Color(s): pure green, yellow-green, bluish-green
Hardness (Moh's): 7.5 - 8
Treatment(s): Oiling, Waxing, Filling
The Emerald Isle of Ireland, The Emerald City of Oz- emeralds have captured our imaginations for centuries. One of the most famous precious gemstones of the beryl family, emeralds have been mined and prized for their vivid green beauty for over 4000 years. They are the perfect birthstone for May since their deep green hues signify the regeneration of nature and new beginnings.
Emeralds get their green tone from impurities in the crystal structure, from a mixture of chromium, vanadium and iron. Specimens with bluish overtones are widely regarded by connoisseurs as some of the world’s finest emeralds. Emeralds are a truly unique stone, in the sense that no two emeralds pulled from the earth have the same inclusions and imperfections. These inclusions act as the gemstone’s distinctive fingerprint and significantly drive up the price for each individual stone.
The finest emeralds in the world are sourced from Columbia, Brazil, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia. Columbian and Brazilian natural emeralds are some of the highest priced gemstones in the world. Madagascar, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria also contain rich emerald deposits.
Did you know?
- Cleopatra was fascinated by the beauty of emeralds, and adorned herself and her palace in the finest sourced emeralds from the coasts of the Red Sea.
- Shah Jahan, the Mughal Emperor who commissioned the Taj Mahal, had emeralds inscribed with sacred texts. His inscribed Mogul Mughal Emerald is one of the most famous emerald pieces of all time. It weighs 217 carats and dates back to 1695.
- Richard Burton famously bought Elizabeth Taylor a suite of magnificent emerald pieces during the filming of Cleopatra in 1962.