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Emerald: Rare and Beautiful

Emerald is extremely rare. For longer than people have believed in God, people have loved this special gemstone. Emerald is always a good choice. It exudes power in any piece of jewelry. From the Queen of Egypt to your neighbor; anyone, anytime, anywhere people get happy with emerald.

Golden ring with emerald and diamond

The Beryl Family

Emerald is a form of beryl mineral. Its chemical composition is officially called aluminum-beryllium-silicate. You may also be familiar with aquamarine (blue in color). This is also a form of beryl mineral. Bixbite (red in color), heliodore (yellow in color) and morganite (pink in color) are slightly lesser known minerals from the same family. The beryl family is also called the mother of gems because a wide variety of stones belong to this group. Most shades of green beryl are called emerald. Emeralds are known for having inclusions/imperfections. This means that the stone has small cracks. With many other gemstones this would be seen as imperfection, with emerald it is just the opposite. Inclusions make the stones unique and distinctive just as, for example, birthmarks make us unique. Of course, there is a limit to the amount of inclusions; the stone must be visibly smooth and clear to meet the requirements of high-quality gemstones. Therefore, the most important factors in determining the value of emerald are: purity of color, transparency, purity and brilliance (or clarity). Synthetically formed emeralds often lack the inclusions; these are actually too perfect and are therefore relatively less valued. Emerald inclusions are also called jardin (translated from French: garden), because the inclusions are reminiscent of branches or crops in a garden.

Where does the name come from?

The name emerald comes from the Latin word smaragdus. In Greek, smaragdos means green gemstone. Smaragein translated from the Greek is thunder or thunder. This would imply that the stone is lightning or a thunder stone. In Arabic, achmardi means greenish and in Hebrew, bârekét means brilliant stone. These translations could also be origins of the beautiful, green gemstone.

Emerald deposits

Colombia is the main place of discovery. Emeralds have been mined here for centuries in the world-famous Muzo mine, just north of Colombia’s capital Bogotá. Most emeralds from this mine have a specific green color called muzo green. This color is characteristic of the mine, hence the name. Other important deposits are in Egypt and Russia, although most of the resources there are now exhausted. Emerald is also mined in Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Madagascar, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Trapiche emerald

A very rare type of emerald is the trapiche emerald. The beryl mineral that makes up this stone crystallizes in a hexagonal shape (six corners). When these angles are visible in the stone we speak of the extremely rare sector zoning. This is almost never found in stones and certainly not in set jewelry, but when it does occur it is highly likely that these stones come from Colombia or Brazil. The inclusions that indicate these sectors can be black or white and make for a very special gemstone. Then there is the specific emerald cut.

This is a special way of grinding whereby the emerald is shown to its best advantage. The emerald cut can be recognized by its smooth straight cut, with rounded corners. This type of cut symbolizes a heart that is open. The emerald cut is often used for gemstones in crown jewels.

Emerald jewelry

Cleopatra was already completely captivated by the magical green gemstone in her time (she was born in the year 69 BC). Cleopatra loved the beauty of emerald so much that she claimed emerald mines located in Egypt so she wouldn’t have to share the winnings with anyone.

A few centuries later, the ancient Romans named emerald the birthstone of their goddess Venus: the goddess of love and beauty. Influential women of our time can also appreciate emerald. Queen Elizabeth, Princess Diana and our own Queen Máxima (have) owned small collections of jewelry with the green gemstone incorporated. In 1845, Queen Victoria received an emerald tiara from her husband Prince Albert. The tiara also included earrings, a brooch and a bracelet. Victoria had herself immortalized in paintings several times while wearing this jewelry. Later, her granddaughter Victoria continued to wear the jewelry and today the set is on display in an exhibit at Kensington Palace. Lady Di used an emerald necklace to make a fashion statement. She did this by wearing the jewelry, which originally belonged to Queen Mary, not as a necklace, but as a diadem. The necklace still belonged to Queen Elizabeth II in between, but she never wore it. She gave the jewelry to Diana as a wedding gift and after Diana, no one ever wore it again.

Queen Máxima currently owns an emerald parure, consisting of a tiara, a necklace, earrings and a brooch. The emeralds once belonged to Wilhelmina of Prussia. Then Queen Emma gave the set as a gift to her daughter Wilhelmina. Today, the set, often in combination with other emerald jewelry, is proudly worn by our queen.

Spiritual emerald

For more than four thousand years, emerald has been worshipped for its beauty and the associated healing powers it possesses. The gemstone is a symbol of power and immortality. It also symbolizes rejuvenation and eternal youth. Emerald is not only used in jewelry because of this symbolism. Especially in the past, people put emeralds in their homes for decoration and to radiate status. The birthstone of May has a special connection with the constellations: bull, lobster, waterman, archer and scorpion. Emerald also has a healing effect. For example, the stone helps to reduce eye ailments, probably because the green stone is associated with clairvoyance. Furthermore, emerald helps with epileptic seizures and insomnia.

Emerald owes these special powers to its special green color. With ruby, for example, the color is indicated by a comparison to an animal or a thing (pigeon blood red). The color of emerald is so unique that this color green can be indicated as “emerald green”.