May birthstone – Emerald

Happy birthday May babies! May birthstone, the emerald, is astonishing and perfect emeralds are among the rarest of gemstones. So keep on reading to find out more about your birthstone…

Raw Emerald

Like aquamarine, emerald is a variety of beryl, a mineral that grows with six sides and up to a foot (about 30cm) in length. The beryl (or beryllium aluminum silicate) family of minerals also include: heliodor, and morganite. Beryl contains beryllium, aluminum, silicon, and oxygen.

Color of Emeralds

 

 

Gemme Couture Emerald, Peridot And Turquoise Necklaces and Rings

 

Emerald color can range from light green (though there is some argument whether these very light beryls are truly emeralds) to a deep, rich green. Emeralds are also like aquamarine – the way the color presents itself in jewelry depends on a good cut by a skilled gemologist.

 

The very name “Emerald” is derived from the Greek word “smaragdus” that quite literally means: “green”.  The deeper and more vivid the color of green, the more valuable Emerald is. The most valuable Emeralds exhibit an intense bluish hue.

 

Emeralds are among the rarest of gems. This, May birthstone, is almost always found with birthmarks, called – inclusions. Some inclusions are expected and do not detract from the value of the stone as much as with other gemstones.

 

Never the less, most emeralds end up being heat treated to deepen or enhance the color.

 

 

Where are emeralds found?

Emeralds are found all over the world, including Colombia, Brazil, Afghanistan, India, Norway, Austria, Madagascar and Zambia. As with anything else in life, availability of high-quality emeralds is limited. Colombia produces the largest and highest quality emeralds. They were also discovered, and subsequently mined, in the Ural Mountains of Russia around 1830. In the United States, emeralds can be found in North Carolina.

Gemme Couture Emerald Diamond Ring

Emeralds are most frequently found inside a form of shale – a fine-grained sedimentary rock. Emerald-bearing shale has undergone recrystallization caused by changes in the physical environment such as pressure and temperature

Synthetic manufacture of emeralds was achieved by German chemists shortly before World War II. But growing synthetic stones of fine quality began in the United States in 1946. There are also excellent imitation emeralds on the market made of colored cut glass.

 

History of Emeralds

The history of emeralds can be traced back to ancient times. They were worn by royalty in both Babylon and Egypt. Tools for mining emeralds, dating back to 1300 B.C. (when Rameses II ruled Egypt) have been found in emerald mines in Egypt.

Cleopatra, the most glorious Egypt’s female monarch is perhaps the most famous historical figure to cherish emeralds. She even claimed ownership of all emerald mines in Egypt during her reign. Queen Cleopatra’s emeralds were believed to originate from mines in Southern Egypt, near the Red Sea.

Gemme Couture Handcrafted earrings with emeralds, diamonds, sapphires, turquoise and lolite

The Egyptians used emeralds both in jewelry, and in their elaborate burial ceremonies. They often buried emeralds with pharaohs believing this precious gem would protect them. Ancient Egyptian mummies were often buried with an Emerald carved with the symbol of verdure – flourishing greenness – on their necks. This symbolized eternal youth for ancient Egyptians.

The emerald was mined in Egypt as early as 330 BC, but some estimate that the oldest emeralds are 2.97 billion years old.

 

Gemme Couture Tanzanite Cabochon, Emerald and Diamond Ring

On the other side of the world, the Muzo Indians of Colombia also had well-hidden and prized emerald mines. These mines were well hidden. When the conquistadors first arrived in South America from Spain, they saw indigenous rulers wearing emeralds. They took large quantities of emeralds from the Peruvians during the invasion, but the source of the emeralds was not discovered. It took the Spanish conquistadors nearly twenty years to find them. Then in 1537, the Spaniards found Chivor in Colombia, now the location of an important emerald mine. They also took over the Muzo mine following the defeat of the Muzo Indians. Mining operations at Muzo have continued almost uninterrupted since the Spanish invasion. It is perhaps the most famous emerald mine in Colombia and is said to produce the world’s best emeralds.

Gemme Couture Tanzanite Cabochon, Emerald and Diamond Ring

On the other side of the world, the Muzo Indians of Colombia also had well-hidden and prized emerald mines. These mines were well hidden. When the conquistadors first arrived in South America from Spain, they saw indigenous rulers wearing emeralds. They took large quantities of emeralds from the Peruvians during the invasion, but the source of the emeralds was not discovered. It took the Spanish conquistadors nearly twenty years to find them. Then in 1537, the Spaniards found Chivor in Colombia, now the location of an important emerald mine. They also took over the Muzo mine following the defeat of the Muzo Indians. Mining operations at Muzo have continued almost uninterrupted since the Spanish invasion. It is perhaps the most famous emerald mine in Colombia and is said to produce the world’s best emeralds.

Gemme Couture Tanzanite Cabochon, Emerald and Diamond Ring

On the other side of the world, the Muzo Indians of Colombia also had well-hidden and prized emerald mines. These mines were well hidden. When the conquistadors first arrived in South America from Spain, they saw indigenous rulers wearing emeralds. They took large quantities of emeralds from the Peruvians during the invasion, but the source of the emeralds was not discovered. It took the Spanish conquistadors nearly twenty years to find them. Then in 1537, the Spaniards found Chivor in Colombia, now the location of an important emerald mine. They also took over the Muzo mine following the defeat of the Muzo Indians. Mining operations at Muzo have continued almost uninterrupted since the Spanish invasion. It is perhaps the most famous emerald mine in Colombia and is said to produce the world’s best emeralds.

Gemme Couture Tanzanite Cabochon, Emerald and Diamond Ring

On the other side of the world, the Muzo Indians of Colombia also had well-hidden and prized emerald mines. These mines were well hidden. When the conquistadors first arrived in South America from Spain, they saw indigenous rulers wearing emeralds. They took large quantities of emeralds from the Peruvians during the invasion, but the source of the emeralds was not discovered. It took the Spanish conquistadors nearly twenty years to find them. Then in 1537, the Spaniards found Chivor in Colombia, now the location of an important emerald mine. They also took over the Muzo mine following the defeat of the Muzo Indians. Mining operations at Muzo have continued almost uninterrupted since the Spanish invasion. It is perhaps the most famous emerald mine in Colombia and is said to produce the world’s best emeralds.

Elizabeth Taylor’s famous emerald necklace and emerald pendant

Several famous historical artifacts were made out of emeralds. Among them is the Crown of the Andes, said to be made from emeralds worn by Atahualpa, the last Inca (king) of Peru. The crown is set with about 450 emeralds, collectively weighing 10 ounces (1523 carats).

The Crown of the Immacculate Conception, known as the Crown of the Andes — known in Spanish as La Corona de los Andes – is a votive crown, originally made for a larger than life-size statue of the Virgin in the cathedral of PopayánColombia. The diadem was made around 1660, and the arches were added around 1770. The crown includes emeralds taken from the captured Inca Emperor Atahualpa (1497–1533). As of December 2015, the crown belongs to the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Angelina Jolie dressed up her Ferragamo leather skirt and silky blouse with an emerald pendant necklace and matching earrings at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards.

Jamie-Lynn Sigler donned stunning diamond and emerald drop earrings at the InStyle Golden Globe Awards after party.

Victoria Beckham had “upgraded” her engagement ring a lot of times. Rather than wearing one ring throughout her marriage, she prefers to switch from ring to ring according to her mood and outfit. David surprised her in 2007 with this absolutely stunning emerald and diamond ring. Cut in an oval shape, the vivid green hue of her center emerald is surrounded with the sparkle of a diamond halo. 

Sofia Vergara astonished everyone with incredible emerald jewelry and a dress of the same color. Despite her jaw-dropping good looks, Vergara still manages to be humble. When asked if she ever has a moment where she doesn’t look gorgeous she responded: “Please, this is hours of hair and makeup and $400,000 million carats of jewelry. Who doesn’t look good like this?” she said, later adding, “You don’t look at my imperfections when I’m wearing something like this.”

But emerald, this beautiful gem, is just at home in an unassuming pendant as it is in an ornate tiara. So don’t hesitate when choosing the right jewelry for yourself or as a gift – emerald is definitely a great choice.

Gemme Couture Emerald Diamond Earrings

 

 

Find your favorite emerald piece today at Gemme Couture!

 

 

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