Emerald is the green to bluish-green variety of the mineral beryl and is the most precious of the gem group. This coveted coloring is due to the element chromium. Emeralds are most valuable when they are a vibrant green and are almost inclusion free.
Eye-clean specimens are rare since emeralds are prone to have internal fractures making them arduous to mine and cut.
Major deposits of emerald are in Colombia, Zambia, and Brazil. Colombia being the most important resource for producing the most desired color of the gem.
An Ancient Favorite
Even emerald's name is notorious as it changed and developed through several languages of each civilization it captivated. First from the Persian word 'zumurrad' to Greek 'smaragdos' to old French 'esmeralde', all to mean "green stone".
Emerald has been humanity's favorite for so long that is was recorded in the world's oldest book, the Papyrus Prisse, a 4000 year-old document.
The verdant gem was also known to be a favorite of Queen Cleopatra as well as the featured jewel of Queen Victoria's crown. It is an empowering stone that exudes power and wealth.
Emeralds are a sensitive stone and are a trial to cut since rough is often fragile with inclusions. It takes an expert to fashion an emerald to fully display inclusion free color without risking stone integrity. This gave birth to the emerald cut, invented during the Renaissance, which reduces stress when cutting and setting emerald gemstones.
The jewel is often faceted, carved, or cabochon cut depending on color and condition. It must be carefully set in a protective surround, typically worn as earrings or necklace.
Colombian emeralds are often emerald cut, certified, and the pride of anyone's jewelry box.
Emerald is the birthstone for May and is the traditional gift for the fifty-fifth wedding anniversary.
Emeralds should be handled with care and cleaned by a jewelry professional, but they can be wiped clean with a soft cloth. When stored, they should be wrapped to prevent scratching or damage. Avoid harsh chemicals when wearing this stone or any kind of jewelry.