With St. Patty’s Day coming up, let’s take a closer look at “Ireland’s gemstone, the stunning green emerald, courtesy of MyIrishJeweler.com.
- The Irish poet, William Drennan, is credited with first coining the term ‘Emerald Isle’ in his poem “When Erin first rose.” Ever since, the emerald has been synonymous with Ireland.
- Emeralds aren’t always deep green. They range in hue from deep to pale green. The lovely variety of color is due to the exact amount of trace elements, chromium, vanadium and iron in the stone. Deep green gems are the most prized and expensive emeralds.
- The cut is the key. The color we see in gemstones also depends on the cut. A skilled gemologist can give a paler stone a darker appearance with a deep cut and fewer facets, or a darker stone can be made to appear lighter with a shallow cut and more facets. Given all that, it isn’t surprising that emeralds have a specific cut named after it, “the emerald cut.” Many fine emeralds are prepared in this iconic style.
- Emeralds are part of a family of gems called beryl and are mined all over the world, including Central and South America and Africa. But even in established emerald mines, the availability of high-quality or large gems is limited, so they are rarer and often more expensive than diamonds. If you are looking to maximize the size of a stone for your budget, carat for carat, emeralds win over diamonds.
- Emeralds appeal to the rich and regal. Cleopatra reportedly loved emeralds and to guarantee herself high quality gems, reportedly took ownership of all emerald mines in Egypt! The British Crown jewels are also adorned with spectacular emeralds. And, of course, Elizabeth Taylor, queen of the silver screen, famously cherished beautiful emerald jewelry. Her stunning emerald pendant sold for a jaw-dropping $6.5 million in 2011.
- Unlike diamonds, emeralds are not all about clarity. For diamonds, clarity is a big driver in price of an individual stone. But inclusions in emeralds are often viewed as desirable features. They can form lovely patterns, referred to as the emerald’s jardin, or garden. Inclusions are so unique that they can actually increase value. Inclusions in emeralds can also be assessed with the naked eye rather than under magnification like diamond, so no special equipment is required to assess a stone.
- Emeralds have an ancient history. Emeralds have been mined for over 4000 years and are associated with an impressive list of mystical powers and uses. They were considered a symbol of eternal youth by the ancient Egyptians who liked to be buried with them. Romans thought gazing into them was useful to relieve stress and eye strain, and green was also the color for Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty. Ancient folklore also claimed that placing an emerald under the tongue would reveal truth, allow a person to foresee the future and protect against evil spells.
Whether you are an emerald fan or love to show your Irish side, visit Empire’s eBay store for our beautiful collection of emerald and other fine gemstone jewelry, at wholesale prices.