Emerald is the birthstone for May, a usually green time of year which excellently coordinates with the deep green tones of emerald gemstones. In fact, the word ‘emerald’ comes from Old French via Ancient Greek and literally means ‘green gem’. Emeralds are highly prized gemstones known for their association with growth and fertility. Some emeralds may actually be as old as 2.97 billion years!
Physical Properties The famous green hue of emeralds comes from trace amounts of chromium found in the stone. Due to the way that emeralds are formed, through a geological process called inclusion, their toughness is usually classified as poor.
While other stones like diamonds are prized for their toughness, as well as their clarity, neither are as important as the saturated hue of an emerald. For an emerald to be considered a gemstone, it must possess a deep verdant hue of green as well as a significant degree of transparency.
Healing and Meaning Emeralds, in their luscious green brilliance, are associated with rebirth and growth. Continuing with this theme of nature and abundance, emeralds are believed to bring luck and to bless a new venture or business.
Emeralds also have an association with the eyes and seeing clearly, and not just because of the association the Indian goddess Meenakshi has with the gemstone. In Ancient Greece, emeralds were ground into a powder and applied in an eye lotion. Today, gazing into an emerald is believed to bring clarity and calm.
History of Emeralds
In India, emeralds have long been associated with the goddess Meenakshi, who is believed to have magical eyes known for their brilliance. The Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés brought back a number of impressive emerald pieces from his explorations of Latin America that astonished Europeans. Ancient Egypt was also renowned for its emeralds where they have been mined since 330 BCE, and of course, Egypt’s famed Cleopatra owned a number of beautiful emerald pieces. The long sought after Holy Grail is also believed to have been carved from an emerald.
The Most Famous Emeralds
The most famous emerald is not an individual gemstone, but an entire city, the Emerald City in the land of Oz. First described by L. Frank Baum.
In his books, and then famously depicted in the 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz, this magical city is entirely made of emeralds, and is the glittering destination at the end of the Yellow Brick Road.
Styling Tips for Emeralds
As the birthstone of May, emeralds are deeply associated with the fresh new green growth of springtime which makes them a perfect gemstone to add to a spring look. But that doesn’t mean that the vibrant depth of the green hue of an emerald should be restricted to spring fashion alone. A gemstone with a tone so reminiscent of lush nature can also be appreciated in the depths of winter. Given the saturation of color that emeralds are known for, even small uses of the stone in jewelry can be stunning and impactful.
Care and Cleaning for Emerald Jewelry
A specific feature of emeralds, which adds to their natural, leaf or moss-like appearance, are inclusions, little veins or lines throughout the stone. These add beautiful texture but can also make the stones more vulnerable to breaking or chipping. As such, high heat, chemicals, or steam should be avoided when cleaning emeralds. Instead, mild soap and warm water should be used. In terms of care, emeralds can be treated with cedar oil, which is colorless but will improve the clarity of the stone.
There are often unique and beautiful jewelry made with Emeralds in my online store, it is a beautiful and classic to create handmade jewelry with. Shop all Emerald pieces in my online store and get your very own Emerald jewelry shipped right to your door.
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