Emerald, the May birthstone, are a symbol of rebirth. The stone is believed to give the wearer a heightened sixth sense and extrasensory perception. The term ‘Emerald’ comes from the Greek 'smaragdos' via the Old French 'esmeralde', which basically means 'Green Gemstone'. Emeralds range in color, from bluish-green to yellowish-green. They are also very popular and costly.
In ancient Rome, Emerald green was the represented of Venus, the goddess of beauty and love. It has also been the color of beauty and constant love for centuries. Many cultures and religions still value the color; for instance, in Islam Green is the holy color. In the Catholic Church green is regarded as the most natural and elemental of the liturgical colors. Many Arab League states have the color green in their flags to signify the unity of their faith.
Emeralds clarity is graded using the naked eye, unlike diamonds, whose apparent clarity must be evaluated using a 10x magnification. The stone tends to have numerous inclusions and surface breaking fissures, known as ‘Jardin’ (a French term meaning ‘garden’), thus they are usually treated due to their mossy appearance. However, there are innumerable synthetics and imitations. It is therefore advisable to buy Emerald from a trusted specialist. Reputable gemological institutes have modern techniques to distinguish between natural and synthetic emeralds.
Most of the world’s emeralds are mined in Colombia, Brazil, Afghanistan, and Zambia. However, Emeralds are believed to have been mined in Egypt since 1500 BC. Today, Colombia produces over 50% of the world’s Emerald. Rare 'trapiche' Emeralds found in Colombia, distinguished by a six-pointed radial pattern consisting of ray-like spokes of dark carbon impurities. Zambia is responsible for 20% of Emerald production worldwide. Other countries that produce Emeralds include Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, China,Ethiopia, France, Germany,India, Italy, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Tanzania, United States, and Zimbabwe.
Fun fact, Emerald is the traditional gift for the 55th wedding anniversary. Its iconic green color is closely linked to spring and rebirth making it a perfect stone for the month of May!
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