Emerald is one of the most valuable gems on the market today. The brilliant green of a fine emerald is unmatched by any other stone, and the extreme rarity of top-quality emeralds - the most prized of which come from just a handful of mines in Columbia - make it fairly costly. However, there continue to be supplies of emeralds coming out of other mines. The most valuable form of beryl and one of the world's most precious gems, emerald's color comes from chromium. Green to bluish green, almost all emeralds have inclusions in them. The fewer the impurities, the rarer and costlier the stone. Natural emeralds also tend to have thin scratches on the surface. A layer of wax or oil is usually applied to smooth out their appearance and enhance their color. This layer may have to be replaced professionally every few years.
Emerald is believed to sharpen wits, bring wealth, foretell the future, and cure all types of evil and illness.
Emerald is the birthstone of May. It has a Mohs hardness rating of 8 but because of its common inclusions, emeralds can be brittle, so protect your emeralds from hard contact when you wear them. Ultrasonic cleaners, which use vibrations to remove dirt and buildup, can be dangerous to heavily included emeralds.