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5 Unique Facts About Emeralds, May’s Birthstone

Dana Seng

Posted on May 13 2021

The emerald sits in the precious gemstone pantheon along with diamonds, sapphires, and rubies. It is May’s birthstone as well as the conventional gift for 20th, 35th, and 55th wedding anniversaries. If you love the look of emeralds with simple diamond rings or otherwise want to learn more about the gem, get started here. 

Emeralds Share a Commonality With Aquamarine

Both emerald and aquamarine gems are made from beryl, a silicate mineral. And while all transparent varieties of this mineral are used to create gemstones, emerald and aquamarine are by far the most sought-after and well-known. Emeralds get their green hue from beryl’s chromium and vanadium content. 

Despite Their Hardness, They Can Still Crack

Emeralds are hard, durable gemstones. They range between 7.5 and 8 on the Mohs Hardness Scale; however, they can still sustain chips and cracks. Emeralds are subsequently one of the most expensive gems to set in jewelry since they can become damaged relatively easily. In comparison, diamonds are rated 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. 

Most Emeralds Feature Internal Flaws

The vast majority of emeralds feature inclusions, many of which are challenging to see without a microscope. Emeralds that are free of all internal flaws and are therefore clear are rare and worth considerable money. Some flaw-free emeralds are more valuable than diamonds. 

The First Emeralds Were Found in Egypt

While most of the world’s emeralds come from Columbia in South America, the first documented emerald mines were in Egypt. The African country featured mines in 330BC, with one named for its most famous queen, Cleopatra. The mine was named for her because she supposedly adored emeralds. Elizabeth Taylor portrayed Cleopatra in the film of the same name, and owned a jaw-dropping Bulgari emerald and diamond pendant necklace. The renowned accessory sold at auction in 2011 for $6.5 million dollars, or $280,000 per carat. 

Emeralds Were Traded By the Spanish

Incan civilizations in South America routinely worked with emeralds, which were eventually discovered by Spanish conquistadors during the 16th century. The Spanish put emeralds on the world stage, routinely trading them for precious metals in Asia and Europe. 
If you want to add emeralds to stackable diamond rings or any other pieces, contact Dang Seng Jewelry today. The Los Angeles jewelry designer creates custom accessories for clients across the country. 

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