FUN FACTS ABOUT MAY'S BIRTHSTONE: EMERALD

 

Emeralds are one of the most desirable gemstones in the world, but how much do you really know about emeralds? We've rounded up some fun facts about this wonderful gemstone.

 

  • Emerald is the birthstone of May and is the traditional gift for the 20th, 35th and 55th wedding anniversary in the US.

 

  • Emerald corresponds to the astrological signs of Taurus, Gemini and Cancer.

 

  • The word "emerald" comes from the Latin word “Smaragdus” meaning green gemstone.

 

  • Emerald is a variety of Beryl. It is a green-colored, transparent (usually) and semitransparent precious stone.

 

  • Emerald gemstones are found in over 30 countries.

 

  • Emerald gems measure between 7.5 – 8 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. The scale runs from 0 (softest) to 10 (hardest).

 

  • Emerald gets its green coloring from trace amounts of chromium and/or vanadium.

 

  • The cut given to an emerald stone before it’s set into jewelry largely determines its shade of green.

 

  • The deeper and richer the green, the more valuable the emerald. If the color is not lush enough, the stone is often classified as beryl.

 

  • Emerald gemstones usually range in color from green to bluish-green and rarely, yellowish-green.

 

  • Today emerald, together with ruby and sapphire, form the “big three” of colored stones. The “big three” generate more economic activity than all other colored stones combined.

 

  • More that 50% of the world’s emeralds come from Colombia. The most expensive emeralds in the world are not from Africa, but actually come from the rich soil of Colombia. Because of the rich black soil and abundance of rain, Colombia is able to grow deep green precious stones that are also perfectly clear. This is unlike African emeralds which have more cloudy coloring.

 

  • The highest-quality type of emerald is the Zambian, but only 10% of all emeralds mined are of top quality.

 

  • Natural emeralds have flaws, or inclusions, in the stone. These are sometimes called ‘jardin’, or garden. Each stone is distinct because of its own inclusions, adding to the appeal for many collectors. Due to this, a highly saturated emerald with inclusions is more valuable than a low saturated emerald with zero inclusions.

 

  • An unflawed natural emerald is so rare that one may be worth more than a top-quality diamond of the same weight.

 

  • A 1-carat emerald appears larger than a 1-carat diamond because of its lower density.

 

  • Weighing a massive 752 pounds, the Bahia Emerald is the largest single shard of rough emerald ever discovered. The Bahia Emerald and is worth about $400 million.

 

  • Emerald jewels encourage growth, reflection, peace and balance. They also represent healing and fertility.