Prized for its vivid, rich green color as far back as the pharaohs of ancient Egypt, Emerald boasts a long history as a jewel fit for kings and queens. Emerald is revered as a talisman of good fortune, believed to bring health and wealth to its owner. Emerald derives its name from the Greek word “Smaragdos” meaning green stone.
Emerald is a complex aluminum beryllium silicate. It is the most precious member of the Beryl group of minerals and owes its intense green color to the presence of traces of chromium. Emerald can vary in color from light to dark, sometimes revealing a blue-green or warm yellowish green. The more vivid and saturated the green, the more valuable the Emerald. The color is very stable to heat and light. Only the finest, highly prized Emeralds are truly transparent, most Emeralds are clouded by inclusions, which are not necessarily considered faults, but indicate natural Emerald, know as “The Garden of the Emerald”.
May’s birthstone is also the chosen gift for the 20th or 35th wedding anniversary, and is upheld as a symbol of devotion. Contentment and undying love, Emerald traditionally has been thought to protect and renew relationships.
Emeralds are formed by hydrothermal processes associated with magma, and also by metamorphism. Deposits are found in biotite schist, clay shale, and limestone. Mining is nearly exclusively from host rock, where the Emerald has grown into small veins or on walls of cavities.
Emeralds are traditionally enhanced with oil or resin, which help fill natural fractures and inclusion, thereby stabilizing the gem. As a result extra care must be taken when cleaning and repairing Emerald jewelry: Clean with a damp cloth, avoid ultrasonics and any harsh chemicals.
Emerald Fine Color Gemstone Jewelry by Mark Schneider Design
At Schneider’s we keep a wide selection of loose Emeralds and Emerald jewelry; our designers are always ready to create that special heirloom piece for you. Mark has created many beautiful pieces with Emeralds, including the Elite Emerald Ring.
The Gemstone Handbook by Arthur Thomas, 2008, Fall River Press, New York
Gemstones of the World, Revised Edition by Walter Schumann, Sterling Publishing Co., New York