Fall Hill Bead and Gem

Stone of the Month – Emeralds

Stone of the Month – Emeralds

Birthstone for May

How appropriate the emerald is the stone for May. Here in central New York, May is the month when the green of spring really turns up its vibrancy. Electric lime of early spring begins to mix with the deeper more variegated shades greens as the season begins to settle in. Gardens are beginning to bloom, and with them comes this verdant stone with it’s own “jardin” (garden). In fact, the word “Emerald” itself is derived from a Persian word meaning “green gem.”

Emerald, Zambia. Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh PA

How Does the Jardin Grow?

One of the most interesting features of emeralds is the “jardin,” French for garden. This is referring to the natural inclusions inside the emerald stones. It world be extremely rare to find an emerald that is completely clear, and in my humble opinion, the garden of the stone is what makes each stone so unique and special.

This emerald ring is a good example of the “jardin” within the stone

Emeralds in antiquity were mined in Egypt since 1500 BCE, and in India, and Austria since at least the 14th century CE. Emeralds were also discovered in Columbia, and highly prized by by the Mayans and Aztecs. Eventually, the commercial mining operations ceased elsewhere and today Columbia is the world’s largest producer of emeralds.

columbian emerald chess set

Zambia is the world’s second biggest producer, with the main mines in the Kafubu River area deposits .

may birthstone
natural Zambian emerald crystal

Emeralds are found all over the world, and in the US, emeralds have been found in Connecticut, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, and South Carolina. In Canada, in 1997 emeralds were discovered in the Yukon.

emerald
Emerald bracelets which demonstrate the color variation

Healing Properties

Metaphysically, emeralds are thought to bring love, loyalty and wisdom into one’s life. They are referred to as “the stone of successful love.” It encourages bonding between two people, and can help to strengthen communication. Traditionally, emeralds are thought to bring prosperity. It brings in positive actions and eliminates negativity from your environment. There are many varieties of emeralds on the market that can be used in healing.

Tumbled emerald in quartz stones

There are quite a few famous emeralds in the world, from the Bahia Emerald (180,000 carat specimen in rock housed at the Los Angeles Police department) to the emeralds in the collection of the British Monarchy. In all of its forms, the emerald is simply delightful. It is a vivid and dynamic stone. If you’re lucky enough to own an emerald, know that you have a stone that has a history almost as colorful as the stone itself!

sculpture made from Colombian emeralds.

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