The Beauty Of Gemstones
In their rough, recently mined appearance, these gemstones look like colored rocks. There is nothing special about them except for their color. But once polished and cut to the right shape and size, these gemstones take on a whole new look as well as meaning.
One of the most treasured and possibly valued gemstones is the emerald birthstone. It is said that some cuts of this unique mineral can be pricier than a good diamond. There is just something unique and special about the emerald birthstone color that appeals to people.
Even Nero was calmed down when he looked at gladiator fights through the lens of a clear emerald jewel. To learn more about this top gemstone, continue reading our ultimate guide for the emerald birthstone.
The Legend, History, and Myth of the Emerald
There is no denying the power of the emerald gemstone. It has captivated both royalty and commoners throughout the ages. From the Maharajas of India to Egypt’s Cleopatra to the Inca of Colombia and Nigeria , this gemstone has been highly prized and sought after.
These world leaders used the Emerald to enhance their looks and added the Emerald to their jewelry lineup. But it wasn’t just the rich and powerful that took to this stone.
Many commoners saw this stone as a power that helped women remain pure and loyal to their mates. Even religious writers would talk about how the Emerald would bring good luck to those fortunate enough to own one.
Many people desired to own this gemstone simply because the myth surrounding it said the stone’s wearer could see into the future. Plus, they would be able to know the truth when it presented itself.
Where do Emeralds Come From
Te emerald birthstone or gemstone is found in a variety of other stone deposits. These deposits are granite, pegmatites, and other deposits. They are also found in a variety of alluvial deposits as well as gravel areas.
When exposed to water for a long time, the edges of the raw gemstone can be smoothed out and resemble tiny pebbles, easily missed by the emerald miner.
There is not an ’emerald’ family that gives birth to this gemstone. This gemstone comes from the Beryl mineral, and it is the impurities that enter this colorless mineral that creates the different colors you find under the Beryl name.
The two most famous Beryl gemstones are Emerald and Aquamarine, with the Emerald variety being one of the most valuable gemstones you can buy. While the first mines that produced the emerald stone were Cleopatra’s mines, there are many mines throughout the world today that concentrate on extracting the Emerald from its hiding place.
The emerald mining countries are Austria, India, Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Egypt, the USA, Norway, and Pakistan. There are also some new finds in different African nations like Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Tanzania.
The goal of these mines is to find rare and flawless emeralds, but they are usually tiny in size if they are found. Most emeralds mined have inclusions or fractures that are not always seen by the naked eye.
The Hardness of an Emerald
Some people may think that the Emerald is a very tough and robust gemstone that is durable to handle all the knocks and bangs or drops in daily life. It is not so. While it is said to have a hardness of a nine on the gemstone gauge, others have put it to 7.5 to 8 on the same scale.
What this means is that the Emerald can be pretty fragile if mishandled. It is a brittle gemstone that can easily be broken or damaged when handled in the wrong way. They can also scratch very quickly, but that damage can be easily repaired.
While they have a high hardness rating, the emerald birthstone is not as hard as a diamond. But that does not mean that this gemstone won’t last for a long time. Under the proper care and handling, you can make a family heirloom out of this stone and pass it down through the following generations.
The Specialness of an Emerald
The emerald birthstone is said to have a unique effect on people who see and handle it. That hypnotic effect may be due to the color of the Emerald. Its color ranges from light to dark green, and the tone of the color depends on how much chromium oxide and vanadium are inside the stone when it is formed.
No matter the shade of the green color, it has been said that the Emerald has had a hypnotic effect on humans throughout the ages. That may be because almost every culture has seen the color green as the color of hope since the beginning of time.
In some cases, green is the color of life or rejuvenation as each new spring season has the grass, the leaves of the tree, and other plant life return to their natural green color. With that return, a new hope for the coming year may be instilled in the people.
We know that the Emerald has been idolized for centuries, not just by Cleopatra but also by Shah Jahan, the man behind the Taj Mahal, Alexander the Great, Cortes, Charlemagne, Henry II be very fond of this stone.
In more modern times, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlene Dietrich, Grace Kelly, Sharon Stone, Angeline Jolie, and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy all loved this stone.
The unique nature of this stone knows no boundary when it comes to time and has cast its hypnotic spell over many men and women throughout history.
The Healing Power of the Emerald Birthstone
This legend may be one of the many other reasons people throughout history have prized the Emerald when they see it. The people from the first civilization, the Sumerians, often said that if you wore the ring on your smallest finger, you would cure eye inflammation.
Other myths and legends state that the Emerald would help during childbirth, ensuring that the child was protected from any complications. Then some claimed the emerald birthstone healed different ailments ranging from bone and skin issues to internal organ problems.
The list is long for the many diseases or ailments the Emerald is said to have influenced or cured, including helping those people overcome the effects of poisoning. But the Emerald was not confined to just healing physical ailments.
Over the years, it has been said to help cure many mental ailments, especially in the area of transforming negative influences into positive ones. It is also noted that the Emerald can help bring people closer to God.
The Emerald is supposed to help upgrade that poor ability and make it better for those who lack a great memory. As Nero found out, the Emerald can produce a calming and balancing effect that helps one enjoy the finer things of life.
The results vary, and the ones you get may differ from the ones other people have said they have received through their handling and wearing this precious gemstone.
The Emerald Birthstone and Romance and Religion
With its many claimed healing prowess, it is no wonder that the Emerald has been linked to great romance and long-lasting marriages. Mythology has tied this stone to the goddess of love, Venus, and it was no giant step to connect the stone to all aspects of romance.
The owner of the stone could expect to have a very chaste and faithful wife and control each mate’s passion for the other. With the concept of restoring faith and hope in life, the Emerald also restored confidence and hope in a marriage or romantic union.
In other words, the Emerald birthstone could be called the lover’s gemstone, and the owners could expect to find perfect love and trust between the two partners. But it wasn’t just the romantics that were drawn to this beautiful stone.
The Roman Catholic Church leaders saw its worth and held it to be one of the most natural colors in their liturgy. You will find the emerald green in many of the priests’ and bishops’ robes as they lead their mass services.
Then the leaders of Islam saw something in the Emerald green color that was evident among the romantics. They saw unity as an element a religion needs when it wants to have members from all cultures.
The many Arab countries that belong to the Arab state organization see emerald green as the unifying color. They have placed that color in their flags to show that they are unified under their religious beliefs even though they live in different parts of the world.
In the Jewish faith, the Emerald birthstone was the 4th stone in the breast[plate of the priests’ robes. The priests all came from the tribe of Levi. For them, the stone meant attached, joined, united, and knotted and gave light to the people.
The Cut of the Emerald Birthstone
It is probably the most critical aspect of the Emerald or any gemstone. If cut properly, the full beauty of the color within is revealed and outshines most objects around the stone. A lousy cut would ruin the stone and have it lose all of its unique attributes.
The stones are cut into different carat sizes depending on their raw size. The variety of carat weight ranges from several hundred down to a fraction of a carat. The larger sizes are usually found in museums or private collections.
The value of this gemstone, like other gemstones, rises with the size, clarity, and beauty of the cut stone. The giant Emerald birthstone ever found it is called the Bahia as it was found in a mine in Bahia, Brazil. It weighs 1.7 million carats or 782 pounds and is worth around $400 million.
The Gaushala Emerald was found near Bogota, Colombia, and it weighs 828 carats or about half the size of the Bahia emerald. It is housed in the Smithsonian Museum. The ones you find in jewelry stores will only weigh a fraction of that size.
The Care of an Emerald Birthstone
Even though this gemstone has a lot of strength, toughness, and durability, it can still be fragile when mishandled. That is why the care of this stone has to be done with a gentle touch and not with any rough handling.
You may be surprised to learn that all you need to clean this valuable stone is a little soap and water. That is mild soap and only warm water. You can clean your emeralds right in your bathroom sink if you want to. Just make sure to put a tiny screen down at the drain just in case you drop it.
Avoid using steam, hot water, chemicals, or other heat-producing cleaning tools. High heat can damage the Emerald birthstone and ruin its value as well as its look. If you want to hide any of the flaws or inclusions, then you can use cedar oil.
Just wipe it on, and the oil should hide most of the inclusions you can see with the naked eye. If you wipe the Emerald just right, you should not harm the interaction between the light and the stone.
Some Final Words
Emeralds have an enchanting look to them. The clear green color mesmerizes many people who look at the emerald birthstone. Like gold or diamonds, emeralds seem to tap into the people’s minds and create a desire in them to have that stone no matter what.
It is a versatile gemstone that can be used in religious robes, jewelry, or other applications. It has also inspired and motivated different religions and used it for their religious purposes and worship. Even the Incas worship this stone.
Husbands, if you want to encourage fidelity in your female partner, give her an emerald birthstone or two to help the two of you find everlasting love.