Emerald is the green variety of beryl. Emeralds get their incomparable rich green colour from chromium within the crystal structure. Emeralds are one of the ‘big three’ of coloured gemstones, sitting alongside sapphires and rubies. Emeralds are also the birthstone for May, as well as the gemstone gifted for fifty five year wedding anniversaries. These spectacular gemstones have long been associated with style, famed wearers of the stones include Cleopatra and Elizabeth Taylor.
Emeralds can range in hue from a yellowish green to a bluish green. They are prized for the saturation and richness of their colour. The name ‘emerald’ originates from the Greeks, and Rome’s Pliny the Elder was correct in his assertion in his first century AD book ‘Natural History’ when he declared that “Nothing greens greener” than the emerald.
The inclusions within emeralds are fittingly named ‘jardins’ which is the French word for garden. Within emeralds are often enchanting organic inclusions which tell the story of their formation. The particular internal features of emeralds are largely due to their origin of growth, which allows gemmologists to attribute locations to the stones. Famed mines for emeralds include Colombia and Zambia.