Emeralds are the traditional and modern May birthstones. They are green members of beryl mineral family that includes: heliodor, aquamarine and morganite. The name emerald was derived from the French word: esmeraude, and Greek root: smaragdos, meaning green gemstone. This green color occurs when pure. The hardness of Emeralds range from 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale. These May birthstones are the traditional gift for the 55th wedding anniversary, and are found in many countries around the world with Brazil and Columbia being the major producers. Sometimes it is also used as 20th and 35th wedding anniversary stone too. Green Tourmaline, Tsavorite Garnet, and Carnelian along with Bright Green Gemstones are considered the Alternative birthstones by Gem Dealers, Jewelry Designers, and Jewelry Manufacturers.
There are several historical artifacts which are made of emeralds. The most popular one is the crown of the Andes which was worn by the last king of Peru called Atahualpa. Another traditional artifacts of emeralds are the Egyptian emeralds which were introduced to the world approximately 4,000 years ago. However, these emeralds have dull green color and are considered to be of low quality by modern standards. Traditionally, these May birthstones are worn to enhance healing, love and pleasure. It is also believed that, wearing an emerald can bring patience, growth and wisdom. Other traditional believes about emeralds include special properties to: reject evil thoughts especially in women, increase wearer's ability in diplomacy and speech, and give warning to the person wearing the stone of any incoming dangers.
Emeralds are usually incorporated in jewelry and presented as gifts to those born in May. The jewelries include: bracelets, rings, earrings, necklaces, pendants, cufflinks, pins and brooches. These birthstones vary in color ranging from light to deep green. It is believed that the green color originates from the presence of chromium or vanadium, substituting some of the aluminum in the mineral's structure.
Emerald is considered to be one of the most difficult to cut gemstones. Although they are hard in general, they also crack or chip easily when not handled carefully. In most cases, they are fashioned in rectangular step-cut style, known as emerald cut. These May birthstones have the ability to withstand heat without changing the color easily. Another characteristic of these birthstones is that, they have many small fissures and fractures in their crystals. Emeralds are therefore oiled so as to prevent further cracking. All forms of oils can be used in this process. The stones should not be immersed in ultrasonic process or subjected to steam cleaning.
Emeralds, May birthstones, are often found inside mica schists, a form of shale, between granitic rocks. During crystallization, some geological turbulences occur, making the emeralds to be found with bubbles, cracks, carbon fleck or other foreign crystals inside them.
The price and quality of these birthstones are found in different ranges in the market. The prices range from cheap to expensive depending on the quality which ranges from fake to sensational. To ensure that you buy a high quality and original emerald, you should always do your shopping from reliable dealers and those who have been in birthstones market for quite sometimes. More often than not, other precious stones such as zircon, green garnet, peridot, and tourmaline are used to mimic emeralds.
If you are interested in custom jewelry set with Emeralds or Tourmaline, please Contact Me to request an estimate.