Cultures have admired Emerald for its intense grass green colour for centuries. Historians estimate that the Egyptians mined emeralds as early as the 4th century BC, although some say that the Romans knew of an Emerald mine in the European Alps as far back as the 8th century BC. Egypt was the only major source of emeralds until the 16th century, when Spanish Conquistadors found an abundance of the mineral in Colombia.
Emerald is a variety of the mineral beryl, a species (family) that includes aquamarine as well as morganite and red beryl.
Almost all emeralds have inclusions that are visible to the naked eye, eye-clean emeralds are especially valuable as they are incredibly rare. Fractures are often oiled to create a smoother appearance.
Where is emerald mined?
The most desirable emeralds are said to come from Colombia. However Emeralds of equal quality are being mined the world over including South America, Central and South Eastern Africa, Madagascar, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia.
Emerald is 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale.
An emerald can only be called emerald if the colour is akin to a deep grass green, otherwise it is known as ‘green beryl’.
Birthstone and Anniversary Stone
Emerald is the Birthstone for May. Emerald is also traditionally given as a gift for a 20th or 55th wedding anniversary.