May’s birthstone holds a vibrant rich green colour which symbolises love and the rebirth of spring in all its glory. Its no surprise that the Emerald is adored by many across the world, with their deep colour spectrum matching all skin-tones and complimenting most in their everyday looks. Gifted at 20th, 35th and 55th wedding anniversaries and commonly found in many engagement rings, the emerald lives up to its reputation of being the stone of love and cherishment to many.
(May’s birthstone, image courtesy of ShamrockGift)
Its name originates from the Greek word of ‘smaragdus’ and was originally thought to relieve stress and eye strain from its tranquil hues. As opposed to peridot and tourmaline, emerald has always been considered the lushest and richest green of all the world’s bountiful gemstones. This gorgeous stone was first mined in Egypt dating back from at least 330 BC into the 1700s, with the famous Cleopatra adorning this gem in all its glory during her reign. Ancient Egyptian mummies were often buried wearing an emerald which had the symbol of verdure carved into their necks to symbolise eternal youth. Moreover, emeralds were a part of the plunder when sixteenth-century Spanish explorers invaded the New World and used these ungems to trade in return for precious metals. One of the largest uncut emeralds ever found was the Duke of Devonshire Emerald, weighing 1,383.93 carats.
(The Duke of Devonshire Emerald, image courtesy of Jem Box)
In spiritual respects, the emerald holds many magical properties: These abilities include foreseeing the future when placed under the tongue, revealing truth, guarding against memory loss, enhanced intuition, and protection against evil spirits. It was also believed to cure diseases such as cholera and malaria. Although this gemstone is thought to symbolise love, it can also decipher if your lover’s feelings are true by acting as a sort of love potion, enticing out the true feelings of another.
(Enchantress Emerald Necklace, London DE, £40,000)
The most sought-after emeralds are those which display a deep blue-ish hue amongst their intense green bodies, often being sold at a higher value than regular emeralds. Their green colour originates from trace amounts of chromium and/or vanadium in their bodies. These stones, which are some of the rarest gems in the world, are often found with inclusions throughout their mass; these do not detract from the value of the stone and instead add greater characteristic to each individual piece. Jewellery dealers like to call these inclusions ‘internal jardin’, which in French translates to garden – representing their rich, green branching interiors. Furthermore, if you’re looking to get 1 carat of an emerald you’re bound to get more for your money due to its density being much less than the diamond, meaning that a carat of emerald yields a larger stone than those of diamond.
By Victoria Fletcher