"A thing of beauty is a joy forever.
Its loveliness increases;
It will never pass into nothingness."
Emerald compares to a poem by John Keats
The green stone of love: Emerald
Emerald, the birthstone for May, is stepped in superstition and love. It is the symbol of immortality and the symbolization of faith, and by changing it's color, it is said to reveal the inconsistency of lovers.
Emerald is said to be beneficial to the eyes and folklore has it that the Roman emperor Nero used to peer through an emerald at gladiator contests. The Romans used to polish emeralds into rather flat cabochon form which is the shape of a convex lens and would therefore tend to correct long sight if peered through. The color may also have offered some relief from strong sunlight.
Emerald is the rarest and most valuable stone
Its characteristic deep green color has given the stone its name—the world "emerald" is derived from Greek language "smaragdos" which means green stone".
Emerald is the rarest and most valuable stone of the "Beryl" group which also includes aquamarine.
Emerald is composed of aluminum beryllium silicate, its green color is caused by the presence of small amounts of chromium or sometimes vanadium. It is very stable against heat and light.
The best emeralds are from Columbia
The jewel is very brittle and can be sensitive to pressure. For this reason a special emerald cut, the ' step cut" was developed, where the four corners of the stone are truncated by facets.
The most important deposits of emeralds are in Columbia especially the Muzo mines, 63 miles northwest from Bogota. Mined by the Incas, the Muzo deposit was abandoned and again rediscovered in the 17th century. The mine yields fine quality stones of deep green color. Further emerald deposits are in Brazil, Zimbabwe, and Russia.
The emerald rivals ruby and diamond as the most precious gemstones found in spite of its tendency to carry flaws and inclusions of foreign materials within its crystalline structure, called a "jardin" (garden) by the experts.
When shopping for an emerald beware of imitations. Always purchase from a reputable place. Color is more important in evaluating a gem—a good "grass" green emerald is worth more, even with flaws than a paler stone.
By Rebecca, special to Japan Update
May 21-27, 1992
Emerald and Pearl Necklace