The enchanting emerald is May's birthstone. Lush and vibrant green in colour, emerald is also the gemstone of spring. Symbolising peace, growth and new beginnings, emeralds are one of the four recognised "precious gemstones" (the others are ruby, sapphire and diamond).
Coveted for centuries, the first known emeralds were mined in Egypt around 1500 BC, while the oldest emeralds are about 2.97 billion years old! Nowadays almost 50% of the world's emeralds come from Colombia. Made of beryl, just like the gemstone aquamarine, emerald gets its luscious green colour from trace amounts of chromium.
One of our all time favourite gemstones, here are the some of the reasons why we're emerald obsessed:
1. The best quality emeralds are rarer than diamonds
When we think of expensive gemstones, sparkling white diamonds usually spring to mind. However the best quality emeralds can be more than 20 times rarer than diamonds, therefore they often command a higher price per carat.
2. Emerald's unique and vibrant green colour
It's no surprise that emerald is known as the gem of spring. Radiating new life with its vivid and bright colour, the most desirable emeralds are bluish green to pure green, with even colour saturation. Most, in fact 99%, of emeralds have some type of inclusion. Instead of the term imperfection, emerald inclusions are often referred to as the internal jardin ("garden" in French).
3. Emeralds are steeped in history and folklore
Of all gemstones, emerald is perhaps the most legendary; they have been revered in many cultures for longer than 6000 years. In ancient Egypt, Queen Cleopatra adorned herself in emerald jewellery, while the Romans cherished them as symbols of fertility and love.
Our buying tip for emeralds:
Measuring between 7.5 to 8 on Mohs Scale of Hardness, emeralds are relatively durable gemstones, though they are susceptible to chipping and cracking. Therefore, since they are more susceptible to damage than the other precious gemstones (ruby, sapphire and diamond) this is a factor to carefully consider if you're buying emerald jewellery, especially if you wish to wear your emerald jewellery every day.