Ten Dazzling Facts About Emeralds
Emerald is a beautiful green gemstone that is associated with the month of May. If you are born under the astrological signs of Taurus or Gemini, then you are likely to be a loyal and trustworthy friend. The ancient Greeks dedicated this gemstone to the goddess Venus, believing that it represented the heart, honesty, and nurturance. Here are 10 interesting facts about emeralds that you may not know.
1. Emeralds were first mined in 1500BC
Emeralds are some of the oldest gems in existence, with records of them dating back billions of years. However, they were first mined commercially in Egypt in 1500 BC. Ancient Egyptians believed that emeralds had the power to grant everlasting youth and so they would often bury mummies with these gemstones. However, recent research has shown that the emeralds found in Egyptian tombs are actually peridots which were mistaken for emeralds due to their similar green colour. It is said that the people of the Inca and Aztec empires worshipped emeralds as gods due to their rare and beautiful nature.
2. Emerald is made from the mineral Beryl
Beryl is a mineral that can be found in many different gemstones. It is usually colourless, but when it comes into contact with chromium and vanadium, it turns green, forming the emerald gemstone.
3. The emerald is More than a birthstone
Not only are emeralds the birthstone for May, but they also are the stone to celebrate 20th, 35th + 55th wedding anniversaries.
4. Cleopatra was obsessed with Emeralds
Emeralds have long been associated with wealth and power, and Cleopatra was no exception. The Egyptian queen loved emeralds so much that she adorned her jewellery, robes, and crown with the green gemstones. According to legend, Cleopatra even took away the emerald mines from the Greeks so that she could keep the gems for herself. Her palace was also said to be embellished with emeralds, further reinforcing her status as a powerful ruler.
5. Emeralds are rarely found alone
When it comes to emeralds, it's all about pairs. These beautiful green stones are rarely found alone - they're usually alongside quartz deposits. This speaks to the loyalty and love that the emeralds represent.
6. The magical powers of emeralds have been revered by many cultures throughout history.
The ancient Egyptians and Romans believed that emeralds had the power to heal a range of ailments. For the Egyptians, this precious gemstone was thought to relieve eyestrain and even enable wearers to see into the future. The Romans, on the other hand, believed that emeralds could help with complications associated with birth and fertility.
7. Emeralds are softer than diamonds
Emeralds are a soft gemstone ranking a 7.5 on the Mohs Scale of mineral hardness. They are durable, but also susceptible to chipping and cracking, so must be handles with care.
8. Some emeralds are more valuable and rarer than diamonds.
Emeralds are one of the most beautiful and precious gemstones in the world. They get their characteristic green colour from traces of chromium and vanadium, and are typically found with some imperfections or inclusions. However, completely flawless emeralds are extremely rare and therefore much more valuable than diamonds. The value of an emerald is also determined by its colour; those with a more even colour are more valuable than those with a less consistent colour. Ultimately, emeralds without eye-visible inclusions and an even colour are not easy to find, making them a lot more valuable and expensive than diamonds.
9. The only gemstone that has a cut named after it.
The emerald-cut is a type of cut that is named after the emerald gemstone. This type of cut is designed to protect the corners of the emerald and to prevent fractures. The straight linear facets in this type of cut also create a 'Hall of Mirrors' effect that enhances the colour and beauty of emeralds. Today the emerald cut is used for many gemstones, and is an especially popular cut for diamonds.
10. 50% of the world’s emeralds come from Columbia
Have you ever wondered where emeralds come from? These beautiful green gems can be found in many places around the world; however, a large portion of them are mined in Colombia. In fact, it is estimated that around 50% of the world's emeralds come from this South American country. The most valuable emerald in the world, known as the 'Gachalá Emerald', was discovered in 1967 in a mine in Gachalá, Colombia. It weighs an impressive 858 carats and is now on display at the Smithsonian Institution. So, the next time you see an emerald, remember that it might have come from a small town in Colombia called Gachalá.