Emeralds are one of the most valuable gemstones on the market today, and can be more expensive than diamonds. The first known emerald mines were in Egypt and date back to 33 B.C. In fact, Cleopatra, history states, had a passion for emeralds and used them in her royal garments. Emeralds are thought to make its wearer more intelligent and quick‐witted. They were also thought to cure diseases like malaria and cholera.
Emeralds range from pale green to bluish green. Almost all emeralds have inclusions in them. In fact, emeralds are the rare exception to the rule that inclusions are bad. Gemologists will use the flaws in the emerald as evidence of its authenticity. However, as with diamonds, the fewer the impurities, the rarer and costlier the stone.
Emeralds are a member of the beryl family.
Emeralds rank between 7.5‐8.0 on the Mohs scale, making them harder than many gemstones, but less durable than diamonds, sapphires and rubies. Emeralds are an excellent choice for everyday wear and will last for years, provided they are well taken care of.
Natural emeralds 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. Most natural emeralds have been exposed to some sort of treatment or fracture‐filling process.
Emerald is the traditional birthstone for those born in May.
Emeralds are hard, however they can be chipped or scratched. Store them in a lined box or a soft pouch away from softer gemstones. Since most emeralds have been fracture‐filled with oil, they should never be cleaned in steam or ultrasonic cleaners. Use warm water and a mild soap to clean your emeralds, and dry them with a soft, lint‐free cloth.