Updated: Aug 28, 2020
Emerald is one of the most timeless gemstones in the world, and it has long been associated with renewal and rebirth. Emerald is an excellent stone for spring, which is why it is the May birthstone.
The History and Meaning of Emerald
Emeralds are beloved by royalty, and they have been worn by everyone from Incan emperors to Egyptian pharaohs. The Crown of the Andes, which was created in South America, prominently features the emerald. Cleopatra was also well known for loving emerald stones, and she incorporated the gem into much of her royal jewelry. Emeralds were also some of the things sent from the New World to Spain, as evidenced in emeralds that were recovered from the Nuestra Senora de Atocha shipwreck.
Emerald is derived from an ancient Greek word used to describe green stones. Pliny the Elder described emeralds as the greenest substance on earth, and he also believed that it had therapeutic and soothing qualities that could aid in healing. Some thought that emeralds had magical powers and that, by wearing one or placing it under your tongue, you could see into the future or become a more talented public speaker.
One of the most popular countries for mining emeralds is Colombia. It has high-quality stones that are often the standard by which other emeralds are measured. There are shade variations in emeralds depending on where they are mined. For example, Muzo is known for having very deep green stones, like Coscuez has yellow-green stones. The deeper that the green shade is, the more valuable that the stone is.
Taking Care of Your Emerald Jewelry
Emeralds are between 7.5 and 8 on the Mohs scale, so they are more easily scratched than diamonds but harder than soft gemstones. Emeralds can be treated to boost the hue or improve clarity. Some of the most common treatments include filling fractures with oils and waxes and dyeing pale emeralds with green. When caring for your emerald jewelry, avoid exposing it to heat or changes in air pressure. Never place emeralds in ultrasonic cleaners. If your emeralds were filled, you should avoid exposing them to hot water. The best way to clean emerald gemstones is a soft brush and warm water with a little dish soap.
How Much Are Your Emerald Jewelry Pieces Worth?
Whether you have an emerald bracelet that you cherish or are looking to see the value of another birthstone jewelry piece in your collection, SAZ Gem & Jewelry Appraisal is here to help. For more information, give us a call at 425-785-1871.