Dedicated to the goddess Venus, emerald is symbolic for immortality and faith.
Emerald represented resurrection to the early Christians. In the eleventh century Marbode wrote that emerald improves memory, eloquence and can bring joy to its wearer . Pilny described that emeralds were recommended for bringing rest and relief to the eyes.
The name emerald is from the Greek “smaragdos” meaning green.
The first recorded history of the gemstone emerald dates back to the earliest known gem market in Babylon in the year 2000 B.C. It was under Cleopatra in Egypt later that emerald mining began, supplying most of the ancient world with the gemstone. The Egyptians treasured emeralds as they represented fertility and life.
Emerald and aquamarines are two colors of the mineral known as beryl. Emerald is one of the most precious gemstones. The verdant green color is due to traces of chromium and vanadium in the beryl crystals. The ideal color is a deep uniform green with no or few inclusions.
Emerald inclusions are known as jardins (gardens). These inclusions appear as white or black specks resembling leaves and branches.
Emeralds are often oiled to camouflage the inclusions so the emerald may look more valuable initially. The oil however will often seep out of the stone over a period of time and the emerald will begin to lose its deep green, even color, also making the inclusions will be more visible.
Flawless emeralds of a large size are extremely rare. Intensity of color and clarity are the most essential considerations in evaluating emeralds.
The value of an emerald increases (per carat) dramatically with weight because large crystals are rare. Beryl crystals are six sided prisms with the hardness of 7.5-8.0 on Mohs’ scale, making emerald a harder mineral. However, because of multiple inclusions and fissures in the crystal growth, emeralds are prone to breaking and chipping easily. The more inclusions, or cracks in the crystal, the easier it is for the stone to break. For this reason emeralds should never be cleaned in ultra sonic cleaners and should be worn with care.
The most common cut for an emerald is the elongated octagonal outline with corners cut at diagonals. This trap-cut style became known as the famous emerald cut. The emerald cut shows the deep green color the best given the few plane facets.
Some of the most beautiful emeralds are found in the Andes of Colombia, in the Muzo and Chivor mines. The natives knew the value of these beautiful green stones because they used them for barter for trading with neighboring tribes which extended as far North as Mexico and South as Peru.
When Pizarro conquered Peru he sent four trunks full of emeralds back to the Queen of Spain. Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada conquered Colombia in 1537 and was presented with nine large incredible green stones in the town of Cuacheta. The locals kept the location of the mines secret from the invaders until a youngster gave the invaders the whereabouts Chivor mine.
This mine then became the first known emerald mine in Columbia. In addition to South America, emeralds have been located in Austria, Russia, Zambia, Pakistan, Brazil and the United States.
Janet Deleuse Designer Emerald & Diamond Ring