image of uncut emeralds stones, still attached to the rock, in a black background

5 Alluring Facts About Emeralds


Emeralds have been a captivating gemstone for centuries.

They have been associated with intuition and love, and have been used by jewelers and healers to bring these amazing qualities to their wearer.

Admit it, we can all use some extra love vibrations in our lives.

And if we can bring them thanks to an alluring emerald jewelry piece, all the better!

But, first, we think you should get into the mood to evoke their power and beauty.

Today, we bring you five facts about emeralds, along with our selection of stunning accessories to make others green with envy.

Ready?

1) When Did Emeralds Start Being Used?

yellow gold cocktail ring with diamonds, sapphires and emeralds.
Yellow gold ring with diamonds, yellow sapphires, and emeralds

The earliest records available on emerald mining date from ancient Egypt. It’s known that they were the gemstone of choice of Queen Cleopatra, who used it in her royal jewelry.

Obviously, she wasn’t the only iconic figure in love with emeralds.

Other famous emerald lovers were Aristotle, Charlemagne, Alexander the Great and many generations of Indian dynasties.

Even though these early stories date from a few hundred years BCE, it’s known that the oldest emeralds come from South America. Some geology experts estimate that they’re over two billion years old.

Many lovers of all things mystic believe that emeralds give their owner a higher sense of intuition and tune them into a loving frequency.

We’re not 100% sold on these claims, but wearing a gorgeous cocktail ring like this one can brighten any woman’s day. This impressive 18kt yellow gold ring features 6.06cts of cabochon cut yellow sapphires along with 1.73cts of cabochon emeralds and 0.32cts of round diamonds in a design that’s ready for springtime. Feel like a powerful woman as you wear this ring from the Dome collection.

2) In Which Countries Can You Find Emeralds?

A trapiche emerald stone from Colombia.
A trapiche emerald

Unlike other gemstones, emerald mines are found in many countries in almost all continents.

In particular, America and Africa are the continents with more active emerald mines.

The largest producer of emeralds is Colombia, where they are responsible for more than 50% of the world’s production. Colombian emeralds have been highly requested in the 21st century, leading to a 78% increase of mining activities in the first decade.

Here’s a curious fact about Colombian emeralds:

There is a rare variety of emeralds known as trapiche which can only be found in the mines of the eastern cordillera of Colombia. They own their name to the radial pattern of dark impurities found in the stone, which evokes the shape of a grinding wheel of a sugar mill (known as trapiche in Spanish).

Zambia is the second country in worldwide emerald production. The Kagem mine is the world’s largest open pit mine for gemstones.

“20% of the world’s emerald production comes from the Kafubu area” – The Mineralogical Record

Some other countries with emerald mines are Austria, Brazil, China, Madagascar, Nigeria, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Spain, and Zimbabwe.  The United States also has a fair production of emeralds, which can be found in five states of the union.

3) Cutting an Emerald Stone Is a Challenge for Jewelers

When a jeweler has an untouched emerald stone in his hands, he has a large task ahead of him. Some key traits of emeralds make it difficult to get the right shape for the gem piece, while avoiding any harm to the stone.

According to the GIA, those four traits are the following:

Fractures

Emerald stones tend to have many fissures and inclusions. It has a hardness scale of 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale. This makes it stronger than peridot and tanzanite gems but weaker than topaz gems. A jewelry cutter must ensure that these fractures have little to no effect on the final look.

Delicacy

Because of this, emeralds are very vulnerable to damage in the process of polishing the gem and even during regular wear of an emerald gem piece. To prevent this, you must take very good care of your emerald accessory, take it to regular maintenance if needed and make sure that all prongs are protecting the gem properly.

Color Preservation

Color is the thing that makes an emerald much more valuable than another. Highly valuable emeralds go between blue-green and pure green, with an even tone distribution. However, it’s very susceptible to change, depending on the cut and polishing of the facets of a finished gem.

“The finest emerald are approximately 75% tone on a scale where 0% tone would be colorless and 100% would be opaque black.” – PGT Labs

Increasing the Green

Many emeralds have light tints of yellow or blue, depending on the presence of minerals like chromium, vanadium and iron within it. In order to get closer to the ideal emerald green, jewelers like to orient the table of the gem in a perpendicular angle to its length.

4) Some of the World’s Largest Emeralds Hail from Colombia

If looking at a small emerald ring makes us drool, what could happen with an alluring emerald of 38 carats?

Recently, we made a countdown of some of the most famous diamonds in history. However, legendary emerald gemstones, most of which have come from Colombian mines, deserve their own list.

close up image of the Duke of Devonshire emerald
The Duke of Devonshire Emerald

The largest emerald ever mined is known as the Duke of Devonshire Emerald. It’s believed that it was mined in the early 19th century in Colombia. It weighs 1,383.93cts, and to date, it remains uncut. This emerald owes its name to the 6th Duke of Devonshire, who acquired the gem in 1831 and brought it to England.

Can you imagine an emerald this big? Here’s another large stone:

view of the Gachalá emerald, iluminated from below
The Gachalá Emerald

The Gachalá Emerald is another large emerald stone, which owes its name to the Colombian region from where it was mined. It was discovered in 1967, weighing around 858cts. Both its size and its astounding color have made it popular among gem lovers. It belongs to the Smithsonian Institute since 1969.

Front view of the Mogul Mughal emerald
The Mogul Mughal Emerald

The Mogul Mughal Emerald is also known for its big size and luxurious history. It’s known that it was mined in Colombia and made its way to the Mughal Empire in the 17th century, now part of India. This stone weighs 217.80cts and it is valued at over 1 million dollars. Currently, it belongs to the Museum of Islamic Art, in Doha, Qatar.

And now, for a wearable famous emerald, we have this one:

A close up look of the Chalk emerald, cut into a ring with diamonds.
The Chalk Emerald

Another notorious Colombian emerald is known as the Chalk Emerald. Originally it weighed around 38.40cts, but it was recut to 37.82cts and set in a ring designed by Harry Winston.  It’s believed that before it was cut, it belonged to an Indian Maharani. These days, it’s on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

5) May Is the Month of Emeralds

a yellow gold bracelet with diamonds and emeralds.
Stretch Yellow Gold Bracelet with Diamonds and Emeralds

Let’s end this list with the main reason behind it: the fact that emerald is the birthstone of May!

Emeralds are celebrated during this month because they represent the peak of Spring season, thanks to their vibrant green color, reminiscent of freshly cut lawns.

They are also the astrological birthstone for those born under the Cancer sign. Some of the traits associated with emeralds tend to also be linked to Cancerians, such as love, kindness, and intuitiveness.

If you want to carry the spirit of emeralds for the entire month of May, you need to have this yellow gold stretch bracelet. Made from 18kt gold, it showcases 11.06cts of beautiful emeralds, along with 0.79cts of sparkling round diamonds. It’s easy to wear around all day long without any discomfort, so make sure it’s part of your capsule wardrobe for Spring.

Want more colorful gemstones? Head out to www.zydo.com and pick up a little something to start the new month in style.


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