Emerald is the name given the green variety of beryl and
ranges between 7.5 and 8 on the Mohs
scale. The name Emerald is derived from the French "esmeraude
and the Greek root "smaragdos which means 'green
gemstone'. Top quality emeralds are a deep grass green with
a slightly bluish cast, but many lesser quality stones are
lighter shades of green and can have a more yellowish tone.
Emeralds are found in many countries, but Columbia and Brazil
are the major producers and Columbia is recognized as the
source for the finest stones. They are also found in Pakistan,
Russia, Australia, South Africa, India, Norway, and the United
Because emeralds usually contain many cracks, fissures, and
inclusions, the majority of these stones are "oiled".
This means that they are immersed in oil which reduces the
visibility of the inclusions, and also improves the clarity.
Oiling is almost universal and because it is so common today,
it is not considered necessary to disclose this fact
Emeralds are brittle stones and care should be taken when
wearing or cleaning them. They should never be immersed in
an ultrasonic or subjected to steam cleaning.
Emeralds were used as amulets to ward off epilepsy in children
and thought to cure diseases of the eye. Folklore suggests
that these stones will improve memory, intelligence, and enhance
clairvoyance thus helping to predict future events. They are
also worn to enhance love and contentment. Cleopatra prized
emeralds above all other gems.
Additional information about emeralds can be found on the
(International Gemstone Association) website.
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