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Gemstone Information Infocenter at Holisticonline.com

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Comprehensive Gemstone Information

 

Emerald - Birthstone of May

Introduction

The name Emerald comes from the French "Esmeraude." This word comes from the Greek root "Smaragdos." It simply means "Green Stone."

Emerald is the birthstone for May. Emerald is the anniversary gemstone for the 20th, 35th and 55th year of marriage. It is the perfect emblem of an enduring love.

The Emerald is a green member of the popular beryl family of minerals. The green color occurs when pure, clear beryl contains either chromium or vanadium.

Colombian Emeralds are among the world's most beautiful and sought after. They are blessed with rich grass-green coloring that's often kissed with a touch of blue. Quality Emeralds are also found in India, South Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, and Zimbabwe.

History

Emerald has a rich history. There is archeological evidence that the Babylonians may have been marketing Emeralds as early as 4,000 B.C. The mining of Emeralds goes back to  more than 3,000 years ago, during the time of the Ancient Egyptian Empire. Emerald bracelets, Emerald earrings and Emerald rings have all been worn and sought after since ancient times. Mummies were often buried with Emeralds. The ancient Romans associated Emeralds with fertility and rebirth, dedicating it to Venus, their goddess of love and beauty.

The "green fire" was highly valued and sought after in the courts of Europe. The Spanish Conquistadors went on a bloody campaign to find the location of the emerald mines in South America. In 1557, the campaign finally ended with the discovery of the spectacular Muzo and Chivor mines in present day Colombia - still the world's major source of emerald.

Emeralds have been an ornament of power and politics that have created legends and molded world history.

Since the time of Cleopatra and continuing today, emeralds have set the standard for the ultimate color in green gemstones. A fine emerald is truly breathtaking. It has earned its place among the "big four" gemstones along with sapphire, ruby and diamond.

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[ Emerald part 2 ] [ Emerald part 3 ] [ Emerald part 4 ]

See Also:

Products with Emerald

Therapeutic Power of Emerald

Gemstone Infocenter Home

Gift Selections incorporating Gemstones

Guide to Caring for Gemstones

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