Emerald Gemstone Guide
All you need to know about Emeralds
Did you know that emeralds were believed to belong to the goddess Venus? Or that they’re rarer than diamonds? If you’re captivated by emeralds, here’s everything you need to know about this scrumptious gemstone, synonymous with Gods and royalty.
Where are Emeralds found?
Emeralds date back almost three billion years, with the first emerald being mined in Egypt around 1500BC. Since then, they’ve been loved by many different cultures, from the Incas and the Aztecs to the Greeks and Romans. The name ‘emerald’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Marakata’ which means the ‘green of growing things’, taking inspiration from its dazzling green colour and presence in nature. Emeralds are found in many countries, with Colombia being the world’s largest producer, constituting 50-95% of the world's population. Other countries where emeralds are mined include Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, France, Germany, India, Madagascar, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, the USA, and Zambia.
The technical stuff: How are Emeralds formed?
Emerald is a variety of beryl which has a hexagonal crystal pattern. It gets its green colour by trace amounts of chromium and vanadium. Emeralds range in colour from a light yellow-green to a darker blue-green. Emerald is rated on the Mohs hardness scale as having a 7.5-8, meaning it can be easily moulded and shaped into jewellery, but it needs more care and attention than other gemstones as they still lean towards the softer side. Emeralds are 20 times rarer than diamonds and often have a higher price.
Why are Emeralds so special?
Emerald is one of the most popular gemstones and is part of the ‘Big Four’ gems, alongside diamond, ruby and sapphire. It is often used for celebratory jewellery or engagement rings. Known for her extensive collection of engagement rings – 14 to be exact! – Victoria Beckham owns a huge cushion-cut emerald ring, set amongst a band of diamonds. Jackie Kennedy also had an iconic Emerald engagement ring that featured a 2.84-carat emerald and a 2.88 diamond in an open halo setting.
What does Emerald Symbolise?
Emerald is one of the birthstones for the month of May and is the zodiac gemstone for the Cancer star sign. In ancient alchemy, emerald was traditionally used to counteract poison, and is believed to cure diseases, improve headaches, and strengthen eyesight. Emerald has many mystical and healing properties, and is said to regenerate the body, brighten energy, and bring luck and fertility. It’s a beautiful and meaningful gemstone that would make the perfect birthday, anniversary, or wedding gift for the most important people in your life.