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The Velvety Green Emerald Jewelry

A near perfect emerald ring has an exotic quality about it. It's like a lush rainforest, dewy green and sparkling in the rays of sun. Stones of incomparable quality are often more valuable and desired than diamonds.

Emerald Jewelry: What is an emerald?

The emerald is the Queen of the Beryl family. There are several other beryl stones, like aquamarine, that are certainly beautiful. But, emerald jewelry is made with one of the original four precious gems. Stones of fine quality are valuable and way more valuable than other members of the beryl family.

The chemical make-up of beryl stones is beryllium, aluminum and silicate. The luscious green color comes from trace amounts of chromium and vanadium. It is the different combinations and amounts of these two minerals that create all the different shades of green, blue-green, sea green and more.

Emerald Jewelry: Flawed perfection

There is no such thing as a flawless emerald and that is okay. The very nature of how the gem grows lends to some inclusions. Because of their chemical make-up and the tension involved in their formation, small fissures, cracks and bubbles occur. Because of this, emeralds are not graded on the scale as diamonds and other precious gems. A great find is a rich green shade with minimal visible inclusions. Of course it will also cost a pretty penny. The very rarity of finding a nearly flawless stone of exceptional color is why they are so much more expensive than fine quality diamonds.

Really, these "flaws" make each emerald unique and gives it character. Gemologists and collectors refer to the shapes and fissures found in the stone as the "jardin" or garden because they do add a unique beauty to the stone. However, what makes it unique also makes it vulnerable. While it is a relatively hard stone, the presence of these fissures means that if it takes a hit in just the right spot, the stone chips or even breaks in two.

Emerald Jewelry: Special occasions for a special gemstone

The emerald birthstone celebrates all birthdays in May. This designation comes from the traditional and modern birthstone charts. The mystical chart lists the emerald as a beneficial stone for January. The Zodiac chart puts under the sign of Cancer and Taurus with Venus as the ruling planet. As one of the four original precious gems, it also commemorates two significant wedding anniversaries- the 20th and 35th.

The traditional wedding and engagement rings are changing and instead of diamonds, precious gems like the emerald, ruby and sapphire are being used instead.

Emerald Jewelry: Emerald mines of the world

Colombia is probably the most significant supplier of stones for emerald earrings and other pieces. African mines are found in Zambia and Zimbabwe. Asia has emerald deposits in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. Brazil and Madagascar supply represent the supply from South America and then Russia has some mines as well.

Emerald Jewelry: History and magic

The name has its origins in ancient Greek and the Old French language. The Greek took the Old French word "esmeralde," meaning green gemstone, and gave it the Greek word "smaragdos" which means emerald.

It isn't too far-fetched to picture Cleopatra wearing a huge emerald pendant with the rest of her regalia as she adored this rich green gemstone. It must have had a dramatic effect when she wore the stone because of her dark hair and olive skin. Cleopatra's mines were located near the Red Sea but she along with other Egyptian pharaohs cleaned out the supply long before modern man discovered the barren mines in the early 1800s.

The emerald is also one of the gemstones used to represent the 12 tribes of Israel in the Book of Exodus of the Bible. These stones became the model for the traditional and modern birthstone charts.

Some believe that the emerald has the power to cleanse the body as well as elevate mood. It is believed to expose infidelity in marriage by paling in color once the deed is done. It can also warn of othersí evil intentions.

Emerald Jewelry: Caring for the gemstones

Never put emerald necklaces or other pieces in an ultrasonic cleaner. While this gemstone ranks a 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness, because of the natural inclusions, it is vulnerable to cracking under extreme heat as well as rough wear. Soak it in warm water with gentle soap to remove grime of every day wear. Because most emeralds have been treated with oils to fill in the external flaws, never use harsh chemicals that could damage the finish.

Don't be afraid to wear an Emerald Bracelet emerald bracelet or ring, just be mindful of not knocking them into things. They donít have to be reserved for special occasions. Wear them every day and bask in their exotic warmth.