May’s Birthstone: Emerald

“…nothing greens greener” – Pliny the Elder

If you’re born in May you probably already know that Emerald is your birthstone, but did you know it’s also the stone for 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries?

Emerald’s name comes from the greek word “smaragdus” meaning “green gem”. This stone has been exciting the imagination and calming the mind for centuries. The first emerald mines were located in Egypt, and Cleopatra was said to be very fond of Emeralds. She used them in many of her royal adornments.

There are many legends and lore surrounding emeralds. Many believed that if you placed an emerald under your tongue you could see the future and be protected against evil spells. It was also believed that an Emerald could protect you from Cholera and Malaria.

Today we still believe that Emerald’s bring luck and enhance your well being!emerald-ring-no logoColor

When it comes to Emeralds the color is most important! If an Emerald is too light, it becomes just a green beryl. The most desirable color is a blue green to pure green, with vivid saturation.

Clarity

Emeralds are full of inclusions that experts call “Jardin” or garden. Since Emeralds are a softer and more fragile gemstone they are commonly treated with fillers to reduce the visibility of the fractures in the stone. This is an industry standard, and at Giraux we do treat our Emerald’s with oils.

Cut

Emerald’s are most commonly cut into rectangular steps called “Emerald Cut”. This is due to the shape of the Emerald’s interior crystal structure.

Carat

Emerald has a lower density than Diamonds, so a 1ct Emerald will appear much larger than the same 1ct Diamond.

syntheticemerald

Synthetic Emeralds

Emeralds are one gemstone that does have a synthetic counterpart. Synthetic Emeralds are grown in a lab, but still have the same chemical, physical and optical properties of naturally forming Emeralds. The biggest difference is the clarity. Because these Emeralds are grown in a lab, they lack the “jardin” found in natural Emeralds.

 

 

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