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Spotlight on emerald jewellery, the birthstone for May

Spotlight on emerald jewellery, the birthstone for May


The four most precious gemstones in the world are considered to be diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. Emerald birthstone jewellery is perfect for May birthdays. Here, we take a closer look.

The perfect colour gemstone for spring babies born in May, the emerald lends itself well to all types of jewellery from rings and necklaces to emerald jewellery sets. While many people assume diamonds are the most valuable precious stone, quality emeralds are in fact much rarer than diamonds and therefore have a much higher value.

What is an emerald?

Belonging to the same gemstone family as aquamarine, the birthstone for March, emerald is a variant of beryl that is green thanks to the presence of chromium in the naturally colourless stone. It is the deep green-hued beryl that is considered a true emerald with the lighter colour being called simply green beryl.

The history of emeralds

A favourite with royalty through the ages, there is evidence that the emerald was included in the jewellery of the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra, who reportedly claimed ownership of every emerald mine in Egypt. The ancient Chinese are said to have ground it up to use in traditional medicines.

Where are emeralds found?

While emeralds occur naturally all over the world, the majority of emeralds today are mined in Columbia, Brazil, and Zambia, with Columbia accounting for more than half of all worldwide production.

What do emeralds signify?

Long associated with spring, emeralds symbolise hope and renewal, peace and loyalty.

Are all emeralds green?

While many gemstones come in a spectrum of colours like the garnet that can be any colour from green to blue, to purple and red, emeralds are only ever green. The shade of green varies however, from a yellowy-green to a deep green colour.

How to assess the quality of an emerald

Where diamonds are considered a higher quality the fewer the inclusions they have, 99% of emeralds have inclusions with experts advising that a stone without any is probably synthetic. Indeed, gem specialists look to inclusions as proof of authenticity. Gemstone cutters, in order to maintain the integrity of emeralds with inclusions, developed a particular way of cutting the stones that became known as the ‘emerald cut’.

How to care for emerald jewellery

The naturally occurring inclusions put emeralds at a greater risk of cracking if knocked or exposed to variants in temperature. Inclusions are often filled with oil or resin to protect the stone from chipping. Because of this, emeralds should never be cleaned in an ultrasound machine or with any type of chemical. Simply use warm water and a soft cloth, coating the stone with baby oil to prevent brittleness.

Antique emerald jewellery from Hemswell Antique Centres

Our antique emerald jewellery online always has a variety of items from emerald and diamond rings and necklaces, to earrings and brooches. However, it is only when you visit us in person that you will be able to truly experience the breadth of our collections, and buying from our experienced and qualified experts allows you to buy in total confidence.

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