If you’ve ever found yourself mesmerized by the deep green lure of emeralds, you’re not alone. Emeralds have been captivating us for centuries and have a long history of enchantment and mystifying lore.
According to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the earliest known emerald mines date back to 330 B.C. and the captivating gems have been coveted ever since. Mined from the world’s largest emerald mines located mainly in Brazil, Columbia, Zimbabwe and Zambia, emeralds quickly made their mark as one of the most highly prized gems.
Generally cut using the style with the same namesake, the naturally formed 6-sided gemstones are seamlessly transformed into the beautiful stones we see today. The emerald cut was created to maximize the deep green hues of these gems.
Deep Green Lure of Emeralds
Known for their beautifully rich green hues, emeralds get their coloring from three main components. At their core, emeralds are formed from beryl, a mineral and ore of beryllium. Since beryl is primarily transparent with only hints of green, yellow, or blue, additional components are needed in order for an emerald to achieve the trademark deep green hues.
Emeralds can range in color from pale green to deeper greens and bluish greens, depending upon the additional elements found within them. The three main components found in emeralds which give them these more intense colorations are chromium, vanadium, and iron.
“The varying presence of these three elements gives emerald its range of color. Chromium and vanadium make an intense green color. Iron gives the stone a bluish tint,” explains GIA.edu.
Enchanting Emerald Lore
Named as the birthstone for the month of May, the beginning of spring and rebirth, emeralds have long been associated with rejuvenation and enchantment. As a symbol of regeneration, emeralds have been used to parallel the world’s most fertile landscapes such as the Emerald Isle, or Ireland.
Emeralds have an enchanting history going well beyond their beautiful correlation with spring, however. Ancient lore has shown emeralds connected to mystical properties such as healing powers, soothing vision ailments, and has even been said to be a stress reliever for the wearer. Other legends have said emeralds can ward off evil, give the power of clairvoyance, and even improve speech and blocked mentality.
Famous Emeralds Throughout History
The association of emeralds to royalty, deities, and the elite, practically predate civilized man. Legend has it that an emerald was one of the gifts given to King Solomon by God, which gave him power over all of mankind. Aside from religion, emeralds have also long been associated with royalty and the elite. Cleopatra famously adored the gem, believing it to hold both mystical and healing powers. As such, she frequently used the gems in all of her embellishments.
Another famous emerald includes the world’s largest piece, the Guinness Emerald. This emerald is a whopping 1,759 carats of purely gem-quality emerald crystal and was mined from the Coscuez emerald mines in Columbia. It remains uncut in the Bogota, Columbia National Bank of the Republic collection.
Long associated with wealth and status, emeralds have consistently been one of the most coveted gemstones on earth for centuries. Representing serenity, new life and good luck, it’s no wonder the emerald has captivated so many with its deep green lure.