Emerald Quick Facts
Color: Medium green to dark green
Mohs Hardness Scale: 7.5 to 8
Symbolism & Meaning: Hope, love, rebirth, and renewal
Official Birthstone Month: May
Zodiac Signs: Taurus and Gemini
Other Recognitions: Traditional gift for the 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries
What is Emerald?
Emerald is a radiant gemstone featuring a vibrant shade of green that’s reminiscent of the lushness of the spring season, making it the perfect birthstone to represent the month of May. The most precious stone in the beryl group, its rich green color comes from the presence of trace amounts of chromium or vanadium. In general, the more vivid the color, the more valuable the stone. Emerald gems without visible inclusions are scarce, making this another determining factor of a stone’s value.
As previously mentioned, emerald is a member of the beryl family and is formed by metamorphism and hydrothermal processes associated with magma. The first known emeralds were mined in Egypt, where the gemstone flourished. Emeralds were known to be popular with Cleopatra and are still favored today amongst royalty all over the world. The gem’s appeal spread around the 1500s after Spanish invaders brought emeralds to Europe from South America.
Today, emeralds can be found all over the world but are mined mainly in Columbia, Brazil, and Zimbabwe. Colombia is the world’s largest producer and has been sourcing some of the most beautiful emeralds for more than five centuries.
Emerald Care & Cleaning
Emeralds need to handled with care, or they can begin to show wear in the form of scratches and chips. The emerald jewel is a 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, which makes it more susceptible to scratching than a diamond, ruby, or sapphire. Inclusions, or internal birthmarks, are common in emeralds and can often be seen with the naked eye. Emeralds are often treated to improve their color and clarity in order to minimize the appearance of inclusions. Standard treatment methods include dyeing and fracture filling, in which oils, waxes, and resins are used to fill fractures or other faults.
Emeralds require special care when it comes to cleaning, so it is best to use only mild soap and warm water. You should never put your emerald in an ultrasonic cleaner as the vibrations and heat could cause the stone to crack. We recommend having your emerald jewelry professionally cleaned and checked three to four times a year. When not being worn, emerald jewelry should be wrapped in a soft cloth and kept separate from other jewelry to help protect it from scratches and other damage.
Emerald Jewelry & Gift Ideas
Emerald jewelry makes a wonderful gift idea for any occasion. The emerald is the traditional gift for the 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries as well as the official birthstone for the month of May.