Ancient folklore believed that placing an emerald under your tongue would make it possible to see into the future. Emeralds were used as good luck talismans and as a negative spirit deterrent, however now they make for the perfect birthday gift for those of us born in May!
Let's take a closer look at the history and beauty of the enchanting emerald!
Derived from the Greek word “smaragdus” which means “green gem”, emeralds come from the beryl mineral family. You might recognise the beryl family from our blog post on the March birthstone, aquamarine!
This delicate emerald and yellow gold pendant is currently available in our Staines-Upon-Thames branch for £175
Emeralds have been mined for thousands of years after originating from Cleopatra's Egyptian mines, with some of the oldest emeralds being almost 3 billion years old! This type of beryl gets its beautiful green colour from the presence of chromium and vanadium within the mineral when found on rocks.
Said to induce peace and calmness, emeralds have been attributed with healing powers, soothing the mind and increasing intelligence. They are also said to promote love and commitment, which makes it a lovely gift for someone special this May.
Where are emeralds found?
Emeralds are most commonly found on three types of rock:
The main chemicals found within an emerald are beryllium (hence being part of the beryl gemstone family), aluminium, and traces of chromium and vanadium. These elements can all be found in the Earth’s crust.
This magnificent 2.91ct emerald and diamond ring is currently available in our Staines-Upon-Thames branch for £10,750
When molten magma rises from the Earth’s crust and carries chromium and vanadium traces onto the surface, it creates the gorgeous emerald green colour we see today. During this process the elements are exposed to heat, which is how the cracks and fractures within the gemstones form.
Emeralds can be found in certain deposits all over the world, but most commonly in Colombia. This is also where the finest diamonds are said to be found.
Other countries such as Brazil, Russia and Tanzania are some of a few that are known for a great production of emeralds. One of the largest uncut emeralds in the world is the Duke of Devonshire Emerald, which weighs a whopping 1.383.93 carats!
the anatomy of an emerald
When looking for an emerald, it is rare to find one without any inclusions (any marking within the stone), so finding a flawless one can be very difficult and expensive.
However some of the most intriguing emeralds have inclusions within them, which gives them a mossy or garden-like appearance. This is where the term “le jardin” is inspired from, when talking about emeralds, as it is the french word for garden.
This iconic emerald and diamond trilogy ring is currently available in our Staines-Upon-Thames branch for £4,495
In terms of durability, emeralds come under a hardness of 7.5-8 out of 10 which is quite soft. Therefore they are more prone to fractures and breakage, which is why they are usually oiled (or in some cases filled with proxy) in order to fill and disguise cracks, hide flaws, and deepen colour of the stone. This is because emeralds can dry out easily and do not take well to high amounts of heat.
The best way to care for your emeralds would be to gently clean them by hand with warm water. We avoid putting them into ultrasonic cleaners as this can weaken an emerald's structure and cause cracks. An emerald can be maintained and rejuvenated by an oiling procedure which brings moisture back into the stone. This is because water, chemicals and extreme temperatures can weaken and dry it out.
It is common for the facets (and the edging around the cut) to become worn down over time thus losing some of its shine. But don't worry, you can always maintain the moisture by bringing it into one of our stores for our goldsmith to treat and rejuvenate for you.
birthday gifts at burrells
our top 3 emerald pieces
If you’re looking to treat yourself or a special person for a May birthday, we have a gorgeous selection of green emeralds for you to choose from. Here are our favourite picks online at Burrells:
1 - 9CT WHITE GOLD EMERALD AND DIAMOND HALF ETERNITY RING
Sometimes a subtle sparkle is all you need. This elegant eternity ring features a half row of alternating emeralds and diamonds. Dainty and understated, this ring is perfect for an everyday look, and will complement most styles.
2 - 18CT YELLOW GOLD 0.60CT EMERALD AND 0.84CT DIAMOND GATSBY EARRINGS
We love these intricate emerald and diamond earrings, for they have such impact! The dazzling assortment of diamonds capture the light in a sparkling manner. This then shines straight onto the beautiful centre emerald, bringing out the best of its green colour. Available with a matching necklace, these earrings will be the perfect accessory for that evening occasion.
3 - 18CT WHITE GOLD EMERALD AND DIAMOND HALO RING
If you're looking for big and bold, how about this radiant green emerald halo ring? It features a stunning vivid emerald, beautifully set amongst a framework of sparkling diamonds. This piece is perfect for showing a loved one just how appreciated they are.
This ring can also be purchased as an engagement ring, for adding colour to engagement rings is an increasing trend! Take a look at our YouTube video on this very topic for some inspiration.
As mentioned before though, due to the brittle and delicate structure of an emerald, it can sometimes struggle to withstand extreme temperatures and a lot of moisture. Therefore if chosen to be that timeless engagement ring, extra care needs to be taken to maintain it's condition.
enchanted by emeralds?
Hopefully emeralds have now captured your attention, and you're all set for some birthday shopping this month. We would love to see you in one of our Burrells stores, and to have the opportunity to show you our incredible emerald collection. Visit us today and try on some of these luxurious pieces for yourself!
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