Emerald is a variety of the beryl species and is related to aquamarine and green beryl. It has the chemical formula Be₃Al₂SiO₆

Emerald derives its intoxicating green color from trace elements of chromium and vanadium.

The first known emerald mines were in Egypt.

Colombia has been a leading source for emerald for centuries. Other sources are Afghanistan, Brazil, China, Madagascar, Russia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Emerald gemstones have also been found in North America in Hidden, North Carolina, and the Yukon Territories in Canada among other locations. 

Emerald has a hardness of 7.5-8.0 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.

Emerald is the only stone with a cut named after it.

Emerald's color reflects new spring growth, which makes it the perfect choice of a birthstone for the month of May. It’s also the gemstone for twentieth and thirty-fifth wedding anniversaries.

The rarest variety of emerald is called Trapiche. Due to it's wheel like spokes Trapiche is named after the Spanish word for the grinding wheels used to process sugarcane in Colombia. For more on trapiche please see https://www.gia.edu/gia-news-research/emerald-superstar-trapiche-gemstones

Emerald Care and cleaning:

To minimize scratching and wear, store each piece of fine jewelry separately in a soft cloth or padded container.

Emerald jewelry should not be exposed to heat or pressure, which could affect the fillings.

Emerald jewelry is best cleaned with warm, sudsy water and a tightly woven microfiber or other soft cloth.


Emerald Treatment:

Roughly 99% of emeralds are treated and it is considered common practice in the trade. Due to the process by which emerald is formed, fractures often occur in in these stones. Treatments have been developed to diminish the appearance of these fractures, and increase the transparency of the gem. These treatments include filling fractures with oil, paraffin, resins or polymers. Any treatments should be disclosed to the buyer.



History and Lore:

gemstones have been beloved throughout human history, evoking rebirth, renewal and spring. The word “emerald” comes from the Greek word “smaragdos,” which means green stone. Variations of its rich color suggest soothing, lush green gardens. The Roman Emperor Nero is said to have used slices of emerald placed before his eyes to view gladiator fights.

Emerald’s lush green has soothed souls and excited imaginations since antiquity. Its name comes from the ancient Greek word for green, “smaragdus.” Rome’s Pliny the Elder described emerald in his Natural History, published in the first century AD: “…nothing greens greener” was his verdict. He described the use of emerald by early lapidaries, who “have no better method of restoring their eyes than by looking at the emerald, its soft, green color comforting and removing their weariness and lassitude.” Even today, the color green is known to relieve stress and eye strain.

There are other green gems, like tourmaline and peridot, but emerald is the one that’s always associated with the lushest landscapes and the richest greens. Ireland is the Emerald Isle. Seattle, in the US state of Washington, is the Emerald City. Thailand’s most sacred religious icon is called the Emerald Buddha, even though it’s carved from green jadeite.

The first known emerald mines were in Egypt, dating from at least 330 BC into the 1700s. Cleopatra was known to have a passion for emerald, and used it in her royal adornments.

Emeralds from what is now Colombia were part of the plunder when sixteenth-century Spanish explorers invaded the New World. The Incas had already been using emeralds in their jewelry and religious ceremonies for 500 years. The Spanish, who treasured gold and silver far more than gems, traded emeralds for precious metals. Their trades opened the eyes of European and Asian royalty to emerald’s majesty. 

Emerald is the most famous member of the beryl family. Legends endowed the wearer with the ability to foresee the future when emerald was placed under the tongue, as well as to reveal truth and be protected against evil spells. Emerald was once also believed to cure diseases like cholera and malaria. Wearing an emerald was believed to reveal the truth or falseness of a lover’s oath as well as make one an eloquent speaker.

Legend also states that emerald was one of the four precious stones given by God to King Solomon. These four stones were said to have endowed the king with power over all creation.