Emerald, along with aquamarine and beryl, belongs to the beryl group of minerals and is the most precious. Emerald is always green in colour. Most emeralds have a ‘jardin’ which is the technical term for the inclusions which cloud an emerald. Because emeralds are rarely flawless, most are oiled to fill cracks, hide flaws and enhance the colour. A large, deep green, un-oiled transparent stone would be very valuable. Emeralds are brittle and sensitive to heat and pressure. They should not be placed in an ultrasonic jewellery cleaner and great care must be taken when applying heat to items of jewellery containing emeralds. Emerald is the birthstone for May.
Australia, Brazil, Columbia, Egypt, India, Norway, Sri Lanka, USA
7.5 – 8
Emerald is the grass-green variety of the mineral beryl, its beautifully cool green colour deriving from the presence of chromium and vanadium and found in granites, pegmatites and schists.
The ‘Emerald Cut’ is a step cut which is used for many gemstones, removing the corners while reducing the risk of damage during setting as emerald is a brittle stone, formed from a hexagonal crystal structure.
Most emeralds used in historical jewellery can have their origins traced back to Cleopatra’s mines in ancient Egypt around 1300 BC, when the gem was revered as a symbol of fertility and life. They were the first recorded example of sunglasses, as Emperor Nero wore flat emerald crystals to watch the gladiator games in the Italian sunshine.
Emeralds symbolize immortality and faith and are associated with the heart chakra, promoting loyalty and sensitivity in couples.