May: The Month of Emeralds

Learn about the history of the use of emeralds and our present day obsession with the glamorous gemstone

“The emerald condenses the green of the meadows and certain aspects of the ocean,” by Charles Blanc.

Emeralds are beautiful gemstones that have captured the love and imagination since the dawn of mankind. Over the years, it has been known as many things, a symbol of royalty, a gift from the gods, and now the official birthstone and the appropriate gift for the 20th, 35th and 55th anniversary. 

Ancient Roots

Historians believe that in ancient times, gemstones were in abundance and could be found on the surface of the earth in riverbeds and mountainous regions, in addition to hidden underground mines. However, once they were discovered they quickly took the ancient world by storm and were traded widely amongst those rich enough to buy the rare gem.

They are generally found in Colombia, Russia, Brazil and Madagascar.  They have been traced to ancient Egypt, India, Rome and Greece through the use of jewellery for kings and queens. They were popular because of their divine colour as it stood out despite the fact that gem-cutting was not invented yet. The best emeralds are a deep shade of green with little to no visible inclusions or brown discolouration. 

In ancient times, emeralds were so coveted that they even made their way into mythology. The ancient Greeks wore emeralds in honour of their Goddess of Love, Aphrodite and to gain her blessings to find romance. Whereas, other cultures such as the Muzo Indians of Columbia protected their emerald mines at all costs. When the Spanish Conquistadors made their way through Columbia, they heard of the Muzo tribes precious gemstones and wished to bring them back to Spain as a tribute. Despite many years of violence, the Muzo Indians kept their mines a secret for twenty years. 

Present Day Obsession

These days emeralds are still a popular gemstone, although it went through a period of stagnation due to the misconceived notion that all coloured gemstones were “old-fashioned”. However, with the advancement of technology and social media, jewellers are showing off their new and modern designs using emeralds and other gemstones. It has changed the public's perception. 

Not only has technology caused emeralds come back into fashion, but helped them by becoming more affordable and widely available. Sine the late 1800’s people have been trying to create synthetic gemstones and every year the quality gets better and better. Only a truly knowledgeable eye can tell them apart and lucky for all… they are extremely affordable.

At Stephens Jewellers, we have a large collection of natural and synthetic emeralds in an array of different styles for different budgets. We have necklaces, earrings and rings in yellow and white gold. Come in store to see our range and let our knowledgeable and friendly staff help you choose an unforgettable birthday gift for yourself or a loved one, or a wedding anniversary present that will keep you in the good books for many years to come. 
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