Emerald, the Birthstone of May
Emerald is the perfect embodiment of spring with its dazzling green color, making it the perfect stone for the month of May.
Over the years emerald have been favored by the rich, royalty and nobility regarded the stones beauty and created elaborate jewelry and adornments from the stones. The oldest is dated at 2.97 billion years old originating from what is now South Africa. Egyptian pharaohs were known for their love of emeralds and Cleopatra was known for her fondness of them. The Spanish were also lovers of this brilliant green stone and created the Crown of the Andes, who’s legend states that the largest stone was taken from an Incan Emperor. Pliny the Elder of ancient Rome wrote that “nothing greens greener”.
The Crown of Andes, 24 ct emerald center with 442 additional emeralds. Image from the Metropolitan Museum of Art
“(they) have no better method of restoring their eyes than by looking at the emerald, its soft, green color comforting and removing their weariness and lassitude.”
-Pliny the Elder
Emerald is known as the stone of prosperity and is connected to the heart chakra. It encourages one to act from the heart and brining one’s own heart cleansing and clarity while also opening it to connections to others. Emerald helps attract you to not just what you need but what you desire.
Color & Materials
Emeralds are in the Beryl family and there for come in a variety of greenish hues. Yellow green (least saturated) offers the lowest price and bright green to blue green (most saturated) colorings offer the highest. Emeralds also have a lower density than say a Diamond, there for a one carat Emerald will appear larger in its size.
Emeralds are also identified by their place of origin and/or types of impurities. They are known as Columbian, Brazilian, Zambian, Russian, Cat’s Eye, Star (found in Brazil or Madagascar), Trapiche (combination of Emerald and Lucite found in Columbia), Torrington (found in New South Whales, Australia), Sandawana (found in Southern Zambia), Panjshir (found in and around Kabul Afghanistan), Swat (found in the Valley of Swat, Pakistan).
Image from Diamondbuzz.blog
Cleaning & Care
Emeralds have a Mohs Hardness scale rating between 7.5 and 8, although they require special care and sensitivity. Since emeralds have natural inclusions and flaws in their formation, they are commonly enhanced to their durability to bring out both color, richness, and durability.
To care for your emerald jewelry, it is advised to remove them while cleaning, any physical activities, and harsh chemicals such as cleaning supplies.
For cleaning emeralds at home use mild dish soap and warm water and a soft toothbrush to brush away the dirty. Avoid putting emeralds in an ultrasonic and steam cleaner since the vibrations from the ultrasonic and cause fractures in emeralds and damage the stone.
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