The stunning gem designated for May’s birthstone is the emerald! With its springtime green hues, emeralds have adorned the necks of royalty for ages. Today we are diving deep into the origins of emeralds and how you can best wear these gorgeous gemstones today!
The First Emerald
The first known emeralds were discovered and mined in Egypt around 1500 B.C. It is no wonder they are often seen adorning Cleopatra’s neck in present-day depictions. The Incas also wore emeralds mined in South America. When the Spanish discovered them there around the 16th century, they quickly began trading the beautiful gemstones all over the world. In North America, emeralds were first discovered in the Yukon territory in 1997 though no large deposits have been found here or anywhere further north. Today, Columbia, South America is the largest producer of emeralds and contributes more than half of the emeralds worldwide.
The Stunning Green Stones
Pairing perfectly with a springtime May birthday, the luscious green hues of the emerald inspire feelings of rebirth and growth. Formed from the mineral beryl, the bluish-green colors are attributed to the presence of either chromium or vanadium during formation. Emeralds rate a 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs hardness scale which measures the resistance of a gemstone to scratching. This means that they are more delicate than diamonds and require a little extra care when placing in jewelry settings, but are still a wonderful gemstone for all types of jewelry.
Emeralds have an amazing brilliance to them. Brilliance is the term used to describe the sparkle of gemstones and how the light reflects within the stone itself. A good jeweler will use precise, even cuts to enhance the verdant green of the stone. The most prized emeralds either have a tint of blue amidst their green color or are saturated evenly with a medium green tone. (Medium meaning a tone that is not too dark nor too light.) Emerald colors can have a yellow tint, blue tint, or consistent green hue throughout.
The Cut and Metal Choice
The “Emerald Cut” (which is also known as the “step cut”) is the iconic choice for many of these stones. The facets on these cuts allow the most sparkle from the gorgeous stone. The Brilliant cut is also a favorite to maximize the sparkle, but it can be difficult because of the more delicate nature of the gemstone. A combination of the emerald cut and the brilliant cut, known as a “mixed cut” creates a jaw-dropping gemstone. The crown carries the details of a brilliant-cut while the sides have the emerald step cuts. This combination also maximizes sparkling while maintaining the most integrity.
Emeralds pair well with any metal. Many decide what metal pairs best with the gemstone based on its hue. If the emerald is more of a bluish tone then it is often paired with yellow gold. This enhances the green color. If the emerald is more of a yellowish-green it is often paired with white gold or platinum, again to bring out a more vibrant green color. Rose gold is also a beautiful option to pair with the pleasant green hues of emeralds.
Choosing a Birthday Gift
Emerald jewelry is a wonderful gift and would be treasured by anyone who receives it! We have a large selection of emerald gemstones to choose from and are certain we can help you find the perfect gift! Emeralds glimmer as pendants hanging daintily around necks. Their sparkle shines even more as earrings for that special evening out. An emerald ring is sure to sparkle boldly gracing an elegant finger. We have beautiful art deco-inspired emerald jewelry as well as a large heirloom collection. What would you choose to give that special someone in your life? Giving the gift of emerald jewelry to celebrate their May birthday would be a perfect addition to their collection!
Give us a call or visit our showroom and let our expert jewelers help you find the perfect emerald birthday gift!