Stone of Love, Devotion and Much More
Egyptians wore them for fertility; Roman warriors for focus and Liz Taylor asked Richard Burton to put them around her neck after he asked her to get married. Emeralds, one of the original four elite gemstones (diamonds, rubies and sapphires are the others) have captivated, fascinated and decorated celebrities and royalty for ages. Emerald's name is derived from the Greek word smaragdus, meaning “green gem.”
The dark, intense-green emerald, the Stone of Venus, discovered in Cleopatra’s mines three millennia ago, is the birthstone of May. Part of the beryl family, like aquamarine, emeralds come from all over the world but mainly from Columbia as well as Brazil, Afghanistan and Zambia.
Besides the brooch that Liz wore, famous emeralds include the 632-carat Patricia Emerald on view in at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C., and the Iranian Crown Jewels where stunning emeralds adorn the Shah’s Coronation Belt, the Imperial Sword and several royal necklaces.
Emeralds come in as many shades of green as the sea does in blue and many times they cost more than diamonds. The rarest emerald gemstones will appear to be an intense green-blue color.
Like diamonds, emeralds are valued by the four C’s: cut, color, carat and clarity. One notable difference, however, is inclusions in emeralds are often viewed as desirable features. From its discovery to today above all one thing hasn’t changed: the emerald remains the stone of love, devotion, harmony and joy of life.