May Birthstone Guide: EMERALD
When I think of Springtime, I think of GREEN! After a loooong winter in the midwest, we get to see little pops of color work there way up from the ground after the snow melts. Spring = Green grass, little green sprouts, blossoming trees, colorful fashion, and of course: green GEMS!
May is a WONDERFUL month to be born in, as the colored stone that represents your birth month is EMERALD, a beautiful stone indeed.
Emerald is the most precious stone in the beryl group. The name comes from the old French word 'esmeralde', which was derived from the Greek word 'smaragdos' meaning 'green stone'.
The historical green color of emerald is unparalleled in the world of gemstones and it is considered as one of the most 'precious four' of all gemstones, which also includes sapphire, ruby and diamond.
Emerald is similar to Aquamarine in some ways. Like aquamarine, emerald is a variety of beryl, a mineral that grows with six sides and up to a foot in length. Emerald color can range from light green (though there is some argument whether these very light beryls are truly emeralds) to a deep, rich green. The deeper or more green an emerald, the more valuable it is. The rarest emeralds will appear to be an intense green-blue. Emerald color is owed to trace amounts of chromium and vanadium, and color is best admired under natural daylight
Almost all natural emeralds contain distinct characteristic inclusions and almost all are treated with oil or resin to fill tiny fissures and cracks. It is the presence of these flaws and oil which makes it quite easy to identify and distinguish natural emeralds amongst other similar gemstones.
The emerald was mined in Egypt as early as 330 BC! But now, emeralds are found all over the world, including Colombia, Brazil, Afghanistan and Zambia. The availability of high-quality emerald is limited; consequently, treatments to improve clarity are performed regularly.
Emerald mining is almost exclusively done from host rocks, where the emerald has grown into small veins or on walls of cavities. The emerald has been a highly sought after gemstone for many years. The Muzo Indians of Colombia had well-hidden and prized emerald mines. These mines were so hidden, it took the Spanish conquistadors nearly twenty years to find them! Colombia is the international center of emerald mining. The Muzo Mine, northwest of Bogotá, produces fine-quality stones of a deep green color.
Emerald is a 7.5- 8 on the Moh's scale of hardness. What makes emeralds more unique from other gemstones is their inclusions. Though clarity is important, inclusions are tolerated more in emeralds than virtually any other gem. Unlike other beryl gems, emeralds often contain inclusions and other flaws. These flaws are not looked upon as negative attributes for emeralds, as they would be for other gemstones.
Alternative May Birthstones:
A beautiful and popular alternative May birthstone is GREEN QUARTZ. As you can see below, green quartz is very beautiful and an affordable alternative to emerald.
We are a jewelry store located in Historic Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin- in BEAUTIFUL Door County. We like to write informational Blogs to keep all of our supporters up-to-date on current & upcoming trends. We also use our blog to introduce new jewelry designs, and share information on gemstones and birthstones.
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125 N. 3rd Ave.
Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
Phone (920) 743-7793
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*Birthstone information by American Gem Society, and GemSelect.