The gemstone “Emerald" is the birthstone for month of May and has captured hearts and minds through the ages beloved for the millennia. This unique and rare gemstone is widely regarded as the definition of vibrant green. Variations of this rich color suggest soothing greenish transluscent waters and lush gardens. Legend has it that emerald has power to make the wearer more intelligent and it was once believed to cure illness. Today, emerald is the gemstone given for the 20th and 25th wedding anniversaries.
Best known in history from Egyption pharoahs to Inca emperors, emerald has been associated with royalty. Ruler of Egypt, Cleopatra was known for her passion for emerald used in her royal adornments and jewelry.The spanish also revered emerald, according to lore, the Atahualpa emerald which is Spains largest stone was taken from the last emperor by conquistador Francisco Pizarro. Spain recieved emeralds and other colonial riches from the New world retrieved from the sunken 17th century Spanish galleon.
The country of Columbia has been the primary source for the finest emeralds for over 400 years, and Columbian emeralds are the standard in the gem industry by which all other origins are measured. The three primary mines in Columbia are Muzo, Chivor and Coscuez. Each locality of mine produces a range of saturated colors in green. Emeralds can also be found in Africa known as Zambian emeralds as well as Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Emerald is a 7.5 - 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness and emerald is also often treated to improve its color and clarity. Treatments include Dyeing to enhance color, fracture fills used to fill surface fractures using oils, waxes and resins. Emeralds require special care, avoid chemical cleansers, exposure to heat and never put in an ultrasonic machine used for cleaning jewelry. The best and safest way to clean emeralds is my gently scrub them with a soft brush and warm soapy water.