Green With Envy for Emeralds (May Birthstone)

The word Emerald is derived from a Persian word meaning, “Green Gem.”  It changed from Greek to Latin as smaragdus, then to esmaurde, esmralde, and in the 16th century to esmeralde.  Because of their color, emeralds are often associated with the richest greens and the lushest landscapes. Seattle, Washington is the Emerald City.  Ireland is the Emerald Isle, and Thailand’s most sacred religious icon is the Emerald Buddha.

IMG_2562 18k yellow gold contoured band with one bezel set 0.36ct princess cut emerald.  Size 7 but sizable and priced at $1400.

Emeralds have been sought after and admired since antiquity.  Pliny, who was considered the world’s first gemologist, describes Emeralds in his Natural History book, published in first century AD as, “…nothing greens greenier.”  It was recorded that Nero would watch gladiator games through flat emerald crystals because he found the color to be calming.

1-29-19-1 (1 of 1)Left: 14k white gold rectangle pendant with one 4-prong set 0.94ct emerald cut emerald surrounded by a diamond halo on a double bail.  Priced at $1100.  Right: 14k white gold flower pendant with one 4-prong set 0.85ct oval emerald surrounded by a diamond halo as well as 4 diamonds set in millegrain on the bail.  Priced at $1650.

To our knowledge, the first known emerald mines were in Egypt, possibly dating from 500 BC into the 1700’s.  Cleopatra was known to be very fond of emeralds, and often used it in here royal adornments.

IMG_250118k yellow gold latch-back earrings with one bezel set 0.23ct round emerald and pave set diamonds.  Priced at $1000.

The Cleopatra Mines were lost for a thousand years, only to be rediscovered in 1817. Today, Egypt is full of excavations and tunnels. The poor quality and small stone production explains the practical reason why the mines were originally abandoned.

emerald-from-egypt-portrait-of-severan-dynasty-princess-1st-centyre_origAncient emerald intaglio with a portrait of a Severan princess from 100 AD.

The Incas and the Aztecs had already began using emeralds in their jewelry and religious ceremonies for 500 years before they were plundered in Colombia by the Spanish invaders of the sixteenth-century.  That one event changed everything, and put South America on the gemstone map. Many countries looked to South America to supply them with emeralds.  The Spanish valued gold and silver far more than gems, so they traded emeralds for precious metals.  These trades introduced European and Asian royalty to the beautiful green gem.

18k white gold engagement ring with one 4-prong set 2.41ct emerald cut emerald with one diamond on each side in filigree detail.  Size 6.5 but sizable and priced at $5500.

Emeralds are the most famous members of the beryl family.  Their brilliant green hue comes from trace amounts of chromium and vanadium.  Trace amounts of iron will tint emerald a bluish green or a yellowish green color depending upon its oxidation state. They are found in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks all over the world.  Emerald deposits are found in California, North Carolina, Columbia, Brazil, Austria, India, Australia, Norway, and Pakistan, as well as Algeria, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zambia, and the Ural Mountains.

IMG_244714k white gold double rope ring with one 0.37ct round emerald bezel set in yellow gold.  Size 6 but sizable and priced at $490.

Legends say that emeralds have the power to give their wearer the ability to foresee the future, when placed under the tongue.  It was also said to reveal the truth and protect the wearer from evil spells, as well as to be a cure for diseases such as malaria and cholera.  Emeralds have long meant many different things for many different cultures.  For example, ancient Egyptians believed the stone represented fertility and faith, and the Chaldeans believed the stone contained a goddess.  In China, on Thursdays green and emeralds were worn for good luck.  Despite the many different beliefs, most of them believed that the stone represented something good.

IMG_235218k yellow gold swirl pendant with one 4-prong set 1.03ct marquise emerald on a 16″ 14k yellow gold snake chain.  Priced at $1950.

Today emeralds are said to have the ability to transform negative feelings into positive emotional energy.  They are also known to be great for public speakers, because they help to keep the mind in excellent condition as well as promotes a healthy memory.  They are known to be calming and balancing, and represent the balance between love and trust, while offering protection.

IMG_1703Left: 14k white gold lever-back earring with diamonds on hoop and one 4-prong set 0.37ct round emerald suspending with a diamond halo.  Priced at $1875.  Right: 14k yellow gold fishhook drop earring with one 3-prong set 1.1ct pear shaped emerald surrounded by a diamond halo.  Priced at $950.

Emeralds have a hardness between 7.5 and 8 on the mohs scale and have fair to good toughness.  With that being said they should be stored separately from other gems and jewelry to avoid damage.  In regards to cleaning, they should be cleaned a few times a year with a micro-fiber cloth to remove dirt and oil.  For deep cleaning warm soapy water and a soft toothbrush will do the job.  They should never be cleaned with an ultrasonic machine because the vibrations could cause the stone to fracture.  All emerald jewelry should be brought to a professional every once in awhile not only to be cleaned but to check on the stone and the setting as well.


Pieces can be purchased through Instagram, by phone, or in-store.