Emerald is a member of the Beryl family of minerals. It is significantly more valuable than all other beryl varieties and is among the most treasured of gemstones. Emerald is the birthstone of May. Click here to view our selection of Emerald engagement rings.

Emerald History

The name Emerald is derived from the French word ‘esmeralde’ via the Latin ‘smaragdus’ meaning ‘green gem’. The ancient Egyptians mined emeralds over 3000 years ago, the Egyptian queen Cleopatra was said to be an avid collector.

In the 16th century, Spanish explorers found large Emeralds in the possession of the Aztecs and Incas. This lead them to discover the now-famous Cosquez, Chivor and Muzo mines in Colombia.

Green emerald

What Colour is Emerald Green?

The shade of an emerald can vary and many experts around the world argue over exactly which shade is the best. The blue-green to pure green Emeralds are the most desirable. Are all green beryl specimens Emerald? If a stone’s hue is too pale or too yellow or blue in colour it will not be given the Emerald label, instead, it will be called Green Beryl, Yellow Beryl or Aquamarine. 

Are Emeralds Suitable for Everyday Wear?

When choosing an Emerald look for the strength of colour. Emeralds are typically heavily included, the correct term for these inclusions is ‘Jardin’ which is French for garden. Unfortunately, these inclusions indicate structural weakness within the crystal. As a consequence, Emeralds need to be worn with care, as a perfectly clean Emerald is relatively uncommon.

At 7.5-8 on Moh’s scale of hardness, Emeralds are fragile gems. We recommend that Emerald jewellery be designed to protect the gemstone from knocks as these can damage the brittle gemstone, and this includes when they’re being placed in engagement rings. Your jeweller will be able to assist you in choosing a suitable emerald for your ring.

Improving the quality of gemstones by treating them is common practice. Some common treatments include glass filling and oil filling which are techniques used to fill cracks, chips, and fissures. Filling these makes the Emeralds appear greener and clearer. These treatments, as with all treatments of gemstones, must be always declared by the seller.

What are the World’s Most Famous Emeralds?

Elizabeth Taylor’s Emerald pendant is one of the most expensive Emerald jewels. In 2011, Taylor’s pendant fetched an amazing $6,578,500 at auction.

There are many Royal Emerald Jewels around the world. One of the most famous and expensive being the Emerald and Diamond Tiara that belongs to the Swedish Royal Family worth $12.76 million.

Green emerald

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