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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Emerald - May's Birthstone - Facts and Folklore

When purchasing jewelry as a gift, you may want to consider buying jewelry that includes a person's birthstone. For this month, the month of May, emerald is the birthstone of choice. As stunning as this popular, precious stone is, there is much to consider when purchasing it. You may be in the market for a loose emerald stone, emerald ring, emerald anniversary band, emerald diamond ring, three stone emerald ring, emerald bracelet, emerald necklace, whatever your choice, there is much to look for and consider. Learn about emeralds and buy with confidence. The 4c's cut, clarity, color and carat., apply to emeralds as well as diamonds, and to all gemstones. There is also much folklore and history that surrounds the emerald stone.

Emeralds, belonging to the beryl family most often found in different shades of green. Depending on the presence of minerals, chromium and vanadium, the emerald's color can range from a grassy green to yellowish or bluish green. The finest quality emerald bears a "lime jello" color. Color is the most important factor when determining its' price. In fact, smaller emeralds with richer, better color, command a higher price than bigger stones with a weaker color. When it comes to cut, the precision and delicacy of the cut determines the price of the stone.

Emeralds can be cut in a variety of ways including the traditional "emerald cut" as well as rounds, ovals, squares and cabuchons. Heavily flawed stones are most frequently given cabuchon cuts. As far as clarity goes, (clearness of the stone) unlike diamonds, emeralds, almost always have inclusions and are rarely flawless. In fact, emerald connoisseurs will not purchase an emerald unless they can see the inclusions because they assume they are fake or laboratory created. Emeralds are measured in carat. Emeralds with the best color and few inclusions become very expensive, as they are so rare.

Emeralds have a fascinating history. Traditionally, emeralds are worn to promote healing and enhance love and contentment. Emeralds are traditionally thought to enhance the clairvoyance of their wearers. Mummies were often buried with emeralds and the gems were popular in ancient Rome, but some think that many of the stones called emeralds in ancient times were actually peridot. . They have graced Crown Jewels and embellished the thrones of some of the oldest dynasties in history. In ancient times emeralds held a real fascination for the people. Emeralds were, in fact, considered to be a cure for many diseases. As a result of such claims, emeralds were greatly sought after and a profitable trade was established between Egypt and nations as far away as India.

The Egyptian monopoly on the world supply of emeralds lasted right up until the Sixteenth Century, C E. Cleopatra valued her lustrous emeralds so greatly that the ancient mines in Egypt are now called Cleopatra's Mines -- there they discovered emeralds of breathtaking size and beauty. From mines in the Egyptian desert, not far from the Nile River, emeralds made their way to all parts of the 'known world'... The finest emeralds are found in Colombia; other sources are Russia, Zimbabwe, and Australia.

In ancient times emeralds were believed to improve low I Q and poor eyesight. Emeralds have an interesting legacy of violence, romance, and controversy. Scholars wore emeralds to strengthen their memory and become more eloquent. Unlike diamonds and rubies, there is no abundance of emeralds, and that is probably the reason why these mystical pagan green gems are more expensive than any other jewel. And, carat for carat, they are the most expensive gems in the world. Why such a high price? A large part of the reason is that emeralds are rare gems.

Buying emerald jewelry for the May birthday girl, makes it that much more personal and special. The emerald, so brilliant, beautiful and steeped in history and folklore, will make the perfect gift, as long as you know what your buying, so you get the best quality for your money.

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