By Robin Skibicki
“When green is all there is to be, it could make you wonder why, but why wonder? Why wonder, I am green and it’ll do fine, it’s beautiful! And I think it’s what I want to be.” – Kermit the Frog, It’s Not Easy Being Green
The emerald—May’s birthstone—is the most beautiful, radiant and intense shade of green imaginable. Hence the hue: emerald green. Emeralds are also known for their signature, rectangular step-cut. Smaller sized emeralds are found in rounds, ovals, pear shapes and marquise cuts. Because of their rich color, they look spectacular when cut into a smooth-domed cabochon cut. It’s important that an emerald is transparent and isn’t too dark or too light.
Emeralds are typically found with birthmarks, or inclusions, which are often expected and do not detract from the value of the stone. But instead of calling these “imperfections,” the inclusions are often referred to as an internal “jardin,” meaning “garden” in French. Emeralds are durable gemstones with a hardness of 7.5 to 8. However, emeralds with many inclusions should be treated with some care and be protected from blows.
The oldest emeralds are approximately 2.97 million years old, and the first emeralds were mined around 1500 B.C. in Egypt. In fact, the lush green gemstone was Cleopatra’s favorite! Today, most of the world’s emeralds are mined in Colombia, Brazil, Afghanistan, and Zambia. The availability of high-quality emerald is limited; consequently, treatments to improve clarity are performed regularly.
The exquisite emerald symbolizes rebirth, wisdom, growth and patience. It is believed to grant the wearer foresight, good fortune and youth.
We’d like to wish all May babies a very happy birthday! If you’re looking for emerald jewelry, visit our Find a Jeweler search for an AGS credentialed jeweler near you. In the meantime, let these beautiful designs inspire you!
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