Green is the color of life and springtime, but the magnificent green of the emerald has also historically stood for harmony, vigor and love. The precious green gems have been regarded for their healing properties and lucky qualities as well. Fresh and vivid, the emerald was treasured by the Incas and Aztecs of South America, where the best emeralds are still found today.
If you or a loved one is fortunate enough to have been birthed in the month of May, emerald is the birthstone. Read a bit about the gorgeous stone, including its history, mining locations and current uses in modern jewelry settings.
Where Emeralds Are Found
Colombia continues to be at the top of the list in terms of the countries in which fine emeralds are found. Columbia has about 150 known deposits – the best known names are Muzo and Chivor, where emeralds were mined by the Incas in pre-Columbian times. Approximately three quarters of Colombia’s emerald production now comes from the Coscuez Mine.
Emeralds are also found in other countries such as Zambia, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Russia.
The History of Emeralds
The first emerald mines were in Egypt, dating from 330 BC into the 1700s. Cleopatra was known to have a passion for emerald, and used it in her royal adornments. When the Spanish explorers invaded the new world, the Incas had already been using emeralds in their jewelry and religious ceremonies for 500 years. The Spanish traded emeralds for precious metals, which opened the eyes of European and Asian royalty to the emerald’s majesty.
Legend states that an emerald was one of the four precious stones given to by God to King Solomon, one of the stones said to have endowed the king with power over all creation.
The gemstone is now the birthstone for the month of may as well as the stone for twentieth and thirty-fifth wedding anniversaries.
Emeralds are used widely in a variety of jewelry settings including earrings, rings, bracelets and pendants. The durability, rarity and color of emeralds make them one of the most famous and valuable gemstones.
Now that you’ve learned a bit about May’s birthstone, emerald, be sure to visit Gold Unlimited to select a piece that’s right for you or your loved one. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Don’t worry. We will work with you to custom design a signature piece that’s just right.
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