Emeralds are a fascinating gemstone. Having the most intense and most radiant green imagined: emerald green. The name emerald comes from the Greek ‘smaragdos’ via the Old French ‘esmeralde’, meaning ‘green gemstone’.
Emeralds are regarded as the traditional birthstone for May. It is a month in which flowers blossom, grass unfolds, and everything seems new again. Emeralds capture all spring’s verdant splendor, ranging in color between a bluish green to chartreuse. For this reason Emerald and May make a perfect pairing.
The magnificent green of the emeralds is a color which conveys harmony, love of Nature. The human eye can never see enough of this unique color. It is said that green gladdens the eye without tiring it. Green is also considered as the color of Venus, the goddess of beauty and love.
Emeralds belong to Beryl family having a hardness of 7.5-8 Mohs. Unlike other beryl’s, emeralds usually contain inclusions and other flaws. These flaws are not looked as negative aspects for emerald like for other gemstones. Indeed, these flaws are considered part of the character of the stone.
The world’s source of emerald supplies has traditionally been Egypt. For thousands of years the famous Cleopatra mines, to be found some 440 miles southeast of Cairo, were worked by the Egyptians and then the Romans and the Turks. Today Colombia, Brazil, and Zambia mine most commercial emeralds. While other countries, such as Pakistan and Zimbabwe, mine smaller amounts. Although Brazil produces more emeralds annually, Colombia dominates the trade by setting the standards for size and color. It is Colombian emeralds against which all others are judged. Colombian emeralds have a unique look, a green lightly touched with blue. Muzo, the original mine, remains the most important emerald mine in the world.