Why Do We Love Emeralds So Much?


In simplest terms, an emerald is little more than a beryl with traces of chromium. A colored gemstone, the emerald is famous for its broad range of green hues. Current mining operations in Zambia, Colombia and the United States ensure that the market demand for these gems is met. Since it is possible to grow the crystals that make up emeralds in the lab, it is not unusual to see notations of “laboratory created” included in the description of jewelry pieces featuring these stones.
Society has always had a bit of a soft spot for emeralds. The gem is the birthstone for anyone born in the month of May. Zodiac adherents have connected it to those sharing the astrological signs of the Cancer, Gemini or Taurus. Among Europeans, the Spanish conquerors are credited with starting an emerald craze after bringing back sacks of these gems from raids into Colombia.
Over the centuries, emeralds graced the heads and necks of royalty. In some cases, gem sizes were so extraordinary that the pieces were included in royal collections. Darker events surrounding particular pieces of jewelry also connected scary bits of lore to individual gems.
Bahia Emerald. Once of the oddest tales surrounding an emerald comes from an 840-pound rock found in Brazil’s Bahia. Valued at about $400 million, it was once seen on eBay for $75 million.
Mogul Mughal.Engraved with the year 1695, this gem is one of the largest on record. Hailing from Colombia, it was thought to have initially belonged to an officer of Aurangzeb, the sixth Mughal emperor. The gem once sold for about $2,272,400.
Chalk Emerald. Mined in Colombia, this emerald once graced the neck of India’s Queen Saheba. The pendant was eventually re-cut and set into a ring. It is now in the possession of the Smithsonian.
Crown of Andes. Set into a 100-pound golden crown, numerous emeralds adorn the headdress found in the city of Inca. It dates back to 1590, when the plague was ravaging the countryside. This crown is said to have been an offering to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, in the hopes that she would continue to spare the city from the effects of the disease.
Gachala Emerald.This gem was found very recently in 1967. Mined in Colombia’s Gachala, it features 858 carats, weights 172 grams and measure five centimeters.
Devonshire Emerald.Given to the sixth Duke of Devonshire as a gift in 1831, this uncut emeraldweighs 1,383.93 carats. Emperor Pedro I of Brazil owned this gem, which was mined in Muzo, Colombia. It is currently housed in London’s Natural History Museum.
It is clear that European rulers, Indian royalty, Arabian sultans and anyone who could afford these famously green gems would go to great lengths to possess one even if just for display purposes.
Peter Suchy Jewelers is located in Stamford Connecticut and specializes in vintage and estate jewelry. We have many emeralds to choose from both inside our store and also on eBay.
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