Emeralds are fascinating gemstones as they have the most intense, radiant and beautiful green that can possibly be imagined. In top quality, fine emeralds are even more valuable than diamonds.
The name for the gemstone comes from the Greek word “Smaragdos” via the old French “Esmeralde” which means “green gemstone”. Countless stories have grown up around this fantastic gem. The oldest known finds were once made near the Red sea in Egypt. Here emeralds were extracted by the Pharaohs between 3000 and 1500 B.C. The area now known as Cleopatra’s mines was only recently rediscovered in the 19th century.
One of the world’s largest emeralds is the so-called “Mogul Emerald”. It is about 10cm in size, weighs 217 carats, and dates from 1695. One of its sides is inscribed with prayer texts, and the other is engraved with magnificent floral ornaments. In 2001, this historical emerald was auctioned for a reported 2.2m US dollars…
The green of the emerald is the colour of life and longevity. In ancient Rome, green was the colour of Venus, the goddess of beauty and love. It also holds major significance in some Religions today as a symbol of life, unity and faith. The Incas and Aztecs of South America, where the best emeralds can still be found today, highly regard the emerald as a holy gemstone.
In modern times Colombia is at the top of the list in terms of fine emerald mining. The country has about 150 known deposits, the best being Muzo and Chivor. These deposits have a strong historical background related to emerald mining. Fine emeralds are also mined in various other countries including Zambia, Zimbabwe and Brazil.
Today emeralds are used for various purposes from jewellery and clothing to décor. Whenever buying emeralds it is advisable to purchase them from a specialist that guarantees responsible sourcing and recognised authentication.