Learn About Emeralds
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. Even among that group, however, there’s a difference of opinion about what’s considered “too light.”
Emerald Birthstones & Anniversaries
As the gem of spring, emerald is the perfect choice as the birthstone for the month of May. It’s also the gem of the twentieth and thirty-fifth wedding anniversaries.
Overview of Emeralds
Emerald’s name is derived from the Greek word smaragdus, meaning “green gem.”
Like aquamarine, emerald is a variety of beryl, a mineral that grows with six sides and up to a foot in length. Emerald color can range from light green (though there is some argument whether these very light beryls are truly emeralds) to a deep, rich green. Emeralds are also like aquamarine in that the way the color presents itself in jewelry depends on a good cut by a skilled gemologist.
The deeper or more green an emerald is, the more valuable it is. The rarest emerald gemstones will appear to be an intense green-blue color.
Emerald gems are found all over the world, including Colombia, Brazil, Afghanistan, and Zambia. The availability of high-quality emerald is limited; consequently, treatments to improve clarity are performed regularly.
History of Emeralds
Emerald gemstones were mined in Egypt as early as 330 BC, but some estimate that the oldest emeralds are 2.97 billion years old.
Cleopatra is perhaps the most famous historical figure to cherish emerald gemstones. She even claimed ownership of all emerald mines in Egypt during her reign.
The Egyptians used emeralds both in jewelry and in their elaborate burials, often burying emerald stones with monarchs as symbols of protection.
On the other side of the world, the Muzo Indians of Colombia had well-hidden and prized emerald mines. These mines were so hidden, it took the Spanish conquistadors nearly twenty years to find them.
Today, emerald is a symbol of loyalty, new beginnings, peace, and security, making it not only a beautiful gem to wear, but also a meaningful jewelry gift to be treasured by the receiver. It is still widely prized by the rich and famous, with Elizabeth Taylor’s famous emerald pendant selling for $6.5 million in 2011.
Frequently asked questions about Emerald gemstones
Learn more about colorful gemstones, their symbolism, which stone represents your birthstone, which stone to celebrate an Anniversary with and more ways to incorporate colorful gems in to your jewelry box.
Visit us in any Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry location to browse a more robust assortment of emerald earrings, emerald necklaces, emerald bracelets, David Yurman emerald jewelry and many more. Shop more jewelry trends at any Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry store near you. In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry store is located inside the Mall of Louisiana and there is also a Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry store located at the corner of Corporate Boulevard and Jefferson Highway near mid-city. In Lafayette, Louisiana, a Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry store is located on Ambassador Caffery. In Shreveport, Louisiana, a Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry store is located on Youree Drive at East 70th. Just outside of New Orleans, Louisiana, in Metairie, a Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry store is located on Causeway Boulevard at Lakeside Shopping Center. In San Antonio, Texas there are two Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry stores. Find one at The Shops at La Cantera and another located inside the Northstar Mall on San Pedro Avenue. In Jackson, Mississippi, visit a Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry store located at the Renaissance at Colony Park on Highland Colony Parkway. Visit the newest Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry store, located in ABQ Uptown of Albuquerque, New Mexico.