Emerald is considered the gem of joy and fun. Since ancient times people believed that it is meant to inspire the creativity of poets, artists and musicians.

emerald many gems

The emerald is a gemstone of the beryl group. Its most famous "relative" is aquamarine. It is considered separately from other beryl minerals due to its specific color. Its green color is caused by inclusions of trace elements - chromium and vanadium. The difference between emerald and green beryl is in saturation and the "depth" of the color. If the green color is pale or yellowish, the stone is classified as a green beryl.

emerald monocrystals
emerald monocrystal

The hardness of emerald by Mohs scale is 7.5-8, which makes it fourth after diamond, sapphire and ruby. It is considered the last in a series of first-class precious stones. The most valuable emeralds are crystals in clear bright green color. Its value is estimated also depending on the location of its production. Currently emerald "place number 1" is Colombia (Muzo mine in the near Bogota). There are mined the stones of the most magnificent "emerald" green grass color.


Emerald is one of the most ancient jewels known by people. In ancient times it was mined in the mines in the area of upper Egypt, near to Red sea, known as "the emerald mines of Cleopatra". In the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead was written that the Egyptians got the emerald as a gift from the great god Thoth. The green color of the stone reminds of spring, and it was considered a symbol of eternal youth.

Another well known ancient deposit was in the mountain Zabara and is believed to be owned by the Queen of Sheba. It was believed that emeralds in this mountain are guarded by evil spirits.

emerald oval cut

There is a Christian legend saying that Satan lost the emerald from its crown when he was overthrown. This emerald was cut in the shape of the cup which Jesus Christ used it at the last supper. Later Joseph gathered in it the blood of Jesus Crucified. Hence there was the legend of the Holy Grail.

Inca Indians believed in “Emerald goddess”. It was a crystal the size of an ostrich egg. They sacrificed her children: smaller emeralds. Despite the persistent efforts of the Spanish conquistadores they failed to find this wonderful stone - priests got to hide it better.


The ideal emerald is a transparent stone in even saturated color. As it is with all gemstones the color is the main criterion of quality of the gem, in second place - transparency. Natural emeralds almost always have cracks and splits. Usually they are handled by oil, mostly pine.

emerald cabochon

The great value of emerald demands great responsibility when cutting. For this purpose a special stone cut is developed - emerald. This rectangular or square design with dull corners gives a special beauty of this gem showing off its stunning color and protects it from damage. The rich of inclusions and cracks crystals usually are made cabochons or emerald pearl.

In general emerald is cheaper then ruby but more expensive than blue sapphire. Today large and high quality emeralds are rare and can be sold at a price higher than the price of diamond of the same weight which shows the great demand for this gems. But unlike diamond emerald with beautiful color does not lose much in value if it has inclusions.

Quite often there are fake emerald as doublets or triplets - combined stones consisting of two or three parts. For example, the base of the composite stone is glass, quartz, or other cheap stone, and top is a real emerald stick by green glue. Doublet may also consist of two different quality emeralds. Such fraud is the most difficult to distinguish.

Distinguishing artificial from natural emerald is not easy. Methods for making synthetic gems are constantly improved. As a result on the market there are artificial stones which can be recognized only by professional expert.

Emerald jewels should be stored separately. Due to the constant contacts with harder minerals its surface might becomes dull, stone loses shine and it may be scratched. In addition this gem is rather fragile and can be cracked if hit.

emerald pear cut

Some Famous Stones

Emerald Mogul


The largest carved emerald is a Colombian emerald "Mogul", weighing 218 carats.
On the one side of the stone is carved floral design, and the - other - text Muslim prayer and the year – 1695.

The Duke of Devonshire

One of the most amazing emerald is “The Duke of Devonshire”. It was a gift to the sixth Duke of Devonshire from a former Emperor of Brazil. The crystal has a hexagonal prism shape, 5 cm in diameter, and about the same reach in height. It has deep green color and weights 1 383.95 metric carat. At the moment the stone is in the British Museum of Natural History in London.


Another famous emerald is a crystal from Colombia called Patricia. It is of excellent quality and weights 632 carats, It is kept in the Museum of Natural History in New York.

emerlad Patricia
Budha emerald

Budha Emerald

In 1994, Madagascar was found a crystal weighing 3 600 carats. It was carved out of the Buddha statue in honor of the eponymous temple of the Emerald Buddha in Thailand.


Another one of the most famous Colombian emerald is named "Chuck". The gem is named after Oscar Roy Chuck who gave it to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. The stone weights after cutting almost 38 carats and is inserted into a ring adorned with 60 diamonds.

emerald Chuk


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