The Gem of Spring! The Gem of New Beginnings!
Emeralds are associated with spring and the lushest landscapes and the richest greens… Its color reflects new spring growth, which makes it the perfect present to mark and celebrate new beginnings.
Emerald is the bluish green to a green variety of beryl. Beryl is the mineral species that also includes Aquamarine. Gem experts differ on the degree of green that makes one stone an emerald and another stone a less-expensive green beryl. Most gemologists, gemological laboratories, and colored stone dealers call a stone green beryl when its color is “too light” for it to be classified as emerald. But who is to say how light a stone should be to be considered as beryl. That’s why GIA uses lab-graded comparison stones to determine if the green color is dark enough and saturated enough to be called emerald. One thing is for sure - The most valued variety of beryl - Emerald was once cherished by Spanish conquistadors, Inca kings, Moguls, and pharaohs.
The first known emerald mines were in Egypt, dating from at least 330 BC into the 1700s. Cleopatra was known to have a passion for emerald and used it in her royal adornments. The Incas had been using emeralds in their jewelry and religious ceremonies for 500 years before the sixteenth-century when Spanish explorers invaded the New World.
Legend also has it that emerald was one of the four precious stones given by God to King Solomon. These four stones were said to have endowed the king with power over all creation.
Many cultures ancient and modern alike celebrate this vivid color and associate with it. Ireland is called the Emerald Isle. Seattle, in the US state of Washington, is the Emerald City. Thailand’s most sacred religious icon is called the Emerald Buddha. (Even though it’s carved from green jadeite.)
Today, fine Emeralds come from Africa, South America, and Central Asia are among the “most wanted” color gems. Once you have seen The Green Glow of Faceted Emerald you carry it around forever.
Photos Courtesy of GIA