8 Aug 2010
Emeralds were first discovered in a collection of mines near the Red Sea in Egypt in what came to be known as Clopatra's emerald mines. The first discovery of emeralds in Australia was in 1890 in New South Wales.
The word "emerald" derives from the Persian word smaragdus which means green.
Emerald belongs to the beryl family which also includes gems like aquamarine. The colour of the highest quality emeralds is almost pure spectral green, sometimes with a faint touch of blue. Emeralds derive their green colour from chromium and vanadium.
Emeralds are rarely found as clear crystals and often contain fine inclusions that are evidence of it being a natural stone.
Even though emeralds are a fairly hard stone, they can chip easily as they are slightly brittle.
Emerald is the birthstone for May and the 55th wedding anniversary gemstone.
Click here to view a few examples of emerald rings.