In the northern hemisphere, the month of May falls in the heart of spring. It is only fitting that the gemstone of spring is also the birthstone for May. Famous for their brilliant green hues, the emerald has been a highly sought after stone for jewellery wearers throughout time. The most highly values emeralds are deep greens, with the rarest appearing intense green-blue in colour.
Emerald is a variety of the mineral beryl. The mineral species of beryl also has varieties that include the gemstones morganite and aquamarine. The green hue from the emerald variety of beryl comes from traces of chromium or vanadium.
Emerald gemstones have a lower density than diamonds, so an emerald of the same carat weight will appear bigger in size. As a result of its crystal structure, emerald gemstones can often be quite large. The most notable is the Bahia Emerald, which was recorded at a massive 180,000ct!
Emerald have a rich history. As early as 2000 BC, emeralds were yielded from mines in Egypt by Greeks. Later on these very mines are said to have supplied emerald gemstones used to make the regal adornments for the illustrious Cleopatra. The most expensive sale of an emerald per carat is Elizabeth Taylor’s emerald pendant selling for $6,578,500 – a whopping $280,000 per carat!
Throughout time emerald have been highly sought after for their purported ability to ward off evil spirits, cure ailments such as cholera, dysentery and malaria. Ancient lore has suggested that emeralds also give wearers the ability to foresee the future and reveal falsehoods in a lover’s oath. Emeralds are also a symbol of great wisdom, faith and success in love.