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May's birthstone - the Emerald

In May, nature turns green and flowers start to blossom, so it can’t be a coincidence that the birthstone of the month has become the emerald, a gem that shines in various shades of green. This mineral of exceptional beauty has enchanted many people from the Egyptian pharaohs through the Inca rulers to Cleopatra over the millennia, and our passion for it has remained unbroken ever since.

Origin and main characteristics of emeralds

Emerald is a member of the beryl mineral group and is one of our four most precious gemstones, along with diamonds, rubies and sapphires. Emerald is typically the second most valuable mineral, following the diamond, but its hardness ranges from 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale, making it more susceptible to scratches and more vulnerable.

The oldest emeralds are roughly 2,600 million years old, and the main source of the most beautiful pieces has been Colombia for more than 500 years - the “Colombian emerald” is the benchmark against which all others are compared. Brazil, Africa, Pakistan and Afghanistan are also valuable mining sites.

Although emerald occurs in many shades of green, the most valuable is the pure grass green version. It is important to know that most emeralds are enhanced by heat treatment. Since untreated, high-grade color is a rarity, especially if the stone is relatively clear and translucent, the price of such a curiosity can approach a high-quality diamond's of similar size.

The role of emeralds in healing

In popular belief, emerald was thought to have a healing, detoxifying and future-seeing effect. It has also been found to be very effective in improving vision and, for a while, it was believed to cure diseases such as cholera and malaria. Even if it didn’t help the latter illnesses, modern science confirms that green color relieves stress and has a beneficial effect on the strained eye, perhaps that’s why Nero, the Roman emperor (lived in AD 37-68), may have watched the deadly game of gladiators through polished emerald discs.

This is how to treat your emerald jewellery with care

When it comes to caring for our emerald jewellery, it is important not to expose it to heat and to air pressure changes, avoid contact with strong chemicals, and never put it in an ultrasonic cleaner. The safest solution is to clean it with lukewarm, soapy water and a soft brush.

Interesting facts

Finally, some interesting facts about emeralds:

- Emerald was Cleopatra's favorite gem.

- It is the jewel of the 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries.

- In 2013, Pantone chose emerald green as the color of the year.

- Elizabeth Taylor's famous Bulgari emerald and diamond necklace sold for $6.5 million in 2011 at an auction.

- Our represented brand Piero Milano has an amazing pair of emerald earrings in its 'One-of-a-kind' collection, worth nearly $1 million, which we had a chance to try on at the latest VicenzaOro fair. Click here for further details.

As we wrote earlier, green jewellery is dominant in the trends of 2021-22, so if you’re following fashion and you’re interested in this amazing gem, pick from our selection below.

Jewellery brands: Piero Milano, Garavelli Design Italy, Mattioli, Terzihan



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