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History of Emeralds
If you have a May birthday, you are one of the lucky ones, because your birthstone is Emerald. The vibrant, energetic tones of an emerald stone perfectly embody those born in May. If you can think of someone in your life with a May birthday, the characteristics to describe them are probably something like: delightful, passionate, motivational, and impressive. As impressive as they are, they deserve a birthstone to match. Thus we present to you, the emerald.
A 75.47-carat Emerald worn by Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II, the last sultan of the Ottoman Empire. It is said he wore this emerald as a belt buckle. The diamond setting was made in 1950 by Tiffany & CO. Photo by Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History.
The first emeralds were mined in 330 B.C.. The infamous Egyptian Emerald mines, also known as Cleopatra’s mines, were the world's primary source of emeralds until many mines were discovered in the Americas in the 16th century. The stone got its name, Emerald, derived from the Greek word “smaragdus” which means “green”. Ancient Hindu writings called the Vedas speak of emeralds too. In the 21st century, consumers often coincide emeralds with spring and summertime, the seasons bringing life and symbolizing rebirth.
Three emerald rings & one emerald bracelet shown from our collection, available in store.
When gemology first began, stones were classified by their color. Any green stone was called an emerald, from green sapphires, peridot, tourmaline, even green quartz, were all considered the same. Ancient scholars had no way to chemically tell the stone types apart. Scholars had found a few ways to try and test stones, for example, by scratching with a file they could distinguish between glass and a gem. Pliny the Elder, a Roman philosopher, in his famous book Natural History, described 12 varieties of emeralds, which makes it obvious that many types of stones were considered the same. Pliny once wrote the following about emeralds:
no stone has a color that is more delightful to the eye, for whereas the sight fixes itself with avidity upon the green grass and foliage of the trees, we have all the more pleasure in looking upon the emerald, there being no green in existence more intense than this.
Now that you know a little bit about the history behind Emeralds, what do you think of the stone? Comment on our most recent instagram picture what you found most interesting about this article! Whether or not emerald is your birthstone, it is a beautiful gem with deep, rich color, bringing confidence to anyone who wears it.