Emerald, 25 facts and reasons why you'll love this green gemstone!

By Esther Ligthart on Thursday, 12 November 2015, in Inspiration

This beautiful green stone, my favorite of the expensive foursome: diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald, has been an object of desire for many centuries. Like most gemstones, its history is filled with a lot of stories, which might influence the motives for all of you wanting a piece of jewelry with an emerald. Here are 25 interesting and fun facts about this fantastic gemstone!

emeralds

Where does the word emerald come from:

When I did some research, most sources said it came from the ancient Greek word for green: smaragdus. But some speak about the origins in the Semitic languages (origins in Afro-asiatic language family, today the biggest Semitic languages are Arabic, Amharic, Tigrinya, Hebrew and Maltese)

Faberge ethically and fairtrade mined stones gemfield Emerald necklace Romanov collar 001

Faberge and Gemfields, created this fairtrade necklace called  ....the Romanov collier

Let’s start first with some facts before going to myths and stories!

  • Emerald is found and mined in many places around the globe. Most famous, perhaps, are the mines in Colombia. Other countries are f.e. Zambia, Afghanistan and Brazil.
  • Emerald is always green. The deeper the color, the more valuable the stone.

emerald

 

Piaget Emerald and diamond ring, Moksh Zambian emerald and diamond earrings, stunning necklace by  Narayan Jewellers

  • Emerald has always some inclusions. If it’s without any inclusion, it’s more likely to be a synthetic version.
  • Emerald is treated, estimated by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America), in 90% of the cases. This practice has been done throughout the ages as emerald has often some scratches and damage on its surface. This is normal and natural. Most used are oils and resins

Narayan Jewellers Elephant ring emerald 001
 Oh how I love this one!  Ring by Narayan jewellers, with the huge emerald on its back. The ring is made for a special occassion; Elephants for elephants                                               

  • Emerald is a gemstone from the Beryl family. Light green stones are called green beryl and should not be called emerald.
  • The jewelry organization in the U.S. decided in the ‘60’s that not just chrome containing emeralds (chrome gives the green color) are officially emeralds, but also those stones that contain vanadium (as the material giving its green color to emerald). This is allowed only in the U.S. Stones containing vanadium are often called: Colombian emeralds and are not recognized as emeralds in the U.K. and Europe f.e.
  • Jaipur is one of the largest emerald cutting centers of the world today.

uma thurman con pendenti di smeraldo

The ever glamorous Uma Thurman wearing the stunning emerald earrings by deGrisogono...

 

Old stories:

  • In ancient Egypt, the emerald was already mined and appreciated by Pharaoh's. In 1817, mines were discovered by Frédéric Cailliaud. We know that Cleopatra, centuries after the oldest mines were excavated, was also a true lover of the green gemstone.
  • The Romans connected emerald and other green stones to Venus, Godess of Love. It was associated with growth and spring. Something we will find also in other cultures.

DeGrisogono emerald necklace

deGrisogono diamond and emeralds....

  • In Pompei en Herculaneum, beautiful emerald jewelry was found.
  • In 800-250 B.C. Hermes, the messenger of the Gods, was connected to emeralds as it was said that this was the stone of truth. And eloquent speaking ( something I like to always try and fail to do ;-)

Crivelli Emerald ring

Crivelli from Valenza. A company well known for its high quality jewelry.

  • Nero, the Roman emperor, was said to watch Gladiator matches through a Beryl ( emerald is part of the Beryl stone family) Perhaps he thus invented the first sunglasses? Or was it to alter the color of blood?
  • Aztecs (1200-1500 A.C.) called the emerald; Stone of the Earth. It was associated with, again; fertility and one can find statues that were meant to celebrate fertility, full of jade and emeralds.

Carla Amorim earring emerald

Carla Amorim stunning cascade of emeralds and diamonds
  • In Medieval times, Christians connected the beautiful emerald to Lucifer, the devil. It was a stone, so they said, from his crown. Although it was now perhaps a devil stone, people did connect it in a more positive way. It was believed that it helped you to stay honest and well-behaved. Again, although brought in a different setting, the stone was connected to being true, speaking the truth.

DeGrisogono emerald ring

De Grisogono ...what a beautiful ring, the black color and emeralds give it a hightly sophisticated look
  • The Mystic Johannes van Ruusbroec (1293-1381 A.C.) said that the stone was indeed, the holy spirit of Jesus. Faith, Hope and Love.
  • Emerald was an inspiration for the Medieval alchemists. The Tabula Smaragdina. This emerald tablet contained a writing, done most probably by Hermes Trismegistus and it’s a connected to the origin of the Philosopher’s stone, but it's also about the creation of the world, the energy of the creation between microcosm and macrocosm. Engraved into the emerald stone, once again, for it is known to speak the truth.

Emerald tablet Tabula smaragdina

The Tabula Smaragdina

Modern stories 

If you like more modern reasons to buy emerald, but still love a good story, here is some of the reasons why you might want to choose for an emerald. I think that stories like this and the ones mentioned above, give more meaning to the stone. So when you want to buy something for yourself, you might find something that connects you and your life ( or of the one you are buying it for) and so it becomes even more meaningful. Of course, you may or may not believe the stories, I am a huge sceptic, but we love symbolism. We all do. And if you look at it that way, here are some of the symbolic values of the stone.

Emerald Gemfields

SYMBOLISM

Emerald gives:

  • Insight and seeing yourself as who you truly (here we go again!) are.
  • Opening of the heart chakra, enabling you to experience unconditional love for all that surrounds you.
  • Tranquility and inner wisdom
  • Attracts love, harmony and abundance.
  • Stone of truth
  • It’s connected to being resilient.
  • Also: enhance your wellbeing and love for esthetics
  • Growth, nature, your connection to nature, regeneration

Stefan Hafner emerald ring

Stefan Hafner ring in diamonds and emeralds

Reason nr.25:

It's simply just an amazingly beautiful gemstone!

YaelSonia Ring emerald

Yael Sonia, a very different approach of a golden ring with emeralds

A little tip: 

Emeralds are not as hard as a diamond. Because they are often treated, one should never ever use chemicals or ultrasound machines to clean it. Neither should you clean it using heat in any way. Pay attention to all chemicals when wearing it. Clean it, preferably, with some warm water and just rinse it.  Let it dry and then rub it with a very soft cloth. 

For more information go to :

www.gia.edu

www.wikipedia.org

 

Bulgari emerald necklace

Bulgari

Buccellati emerald necklace

Buccellati

BapalalKeshavlal emerald ring

Bapalal Keshavlal

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