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The history and meaning of emerald

Emerald--It's History and Meaning

…and how it relates to Esmeraude herself

Emerald belongs to the gem family beryl. Its color varies from emerald green, light green, yellow-green to dark green, and are formed by rising magma and metamorphism. They register a 7-8 on the Mohs' hardness scale, though they chip rather easily due to brittleness. Colombia, Brazil, and Zambia are the major producers, but there is an increasing shortage of fine emerald, and producers are having trouble keeping up with world demand.

Emerald is rarely free of flaws. More often than not emeralds contain numerous natural "inclusions," or small foreign bodies inside the stone. The inclusions can be tiny crystals of other gems that formed while the emerald itself was forming, small gas bubbles, or little pockets of liquid trapped inside the stone.

Flawless emeralds are so rare that inclusions are expected in genuine emerald. When there aren't any inclusions, one wonders if the stone is in fact an emerald. Inclusions in emerald are very important. They can tell a jeweler many things about the stone, including whether or not it is genuine. In more than in any other stone, the inclusions themselves are part of the stone's look and personality. The French word jardin, meaning "garden," is a lovely and often-used term to describe inclusions in emerald.

Emerald is the birthstone for May and the zodiac stone for those born under Cancer's sign. Throughout history emerald has been one of the most desired and coveted of gems. Associated with Venus, the Roman goddess of love, the emerald was believed to bestow upon the wearer faithfulness and unchanging love. Gazing into an emerald was also beneficial to the eyes.

Click here to see an uncut emerald

Or click here to see several cut ones

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