Custom Design, Eve's Insight

Romancing the Stone (in May)

Green with Envy Emerald Necklace by Eve J Alfille
Graduated emerald necklace adorned with Eve’s 18 karat green gold “Antiquities” series hook clasp

Some of you may become green with envy as we introduce the birthstone for May: Emerald.  For a closer look at both finished Emerald, stop by the gallery and ask to see some Emeralds.

Emerald is a variety of Beryl, which gets its green color from the presence of trace amounts of the metal elements chromium & sometimes vanadium. As these two elements do not play particularly well together, they can cause minute stresses, creating the typical inclusions seen in most emeralds. The French give these a pretty name: Jardin (garden).

Most emerald are mined in Colombia and Brazil, although a newer source of fine, relatively clear Emerald has been discovered in Zambia, Africa.  Emerald in various concentrations have been found in places all over the world including the U.S., but ironically have not been located in Ireland which fancies itself “the Emerald Isle,” for its lush green countryside.

More than 2,000 years ago, Egyptian queen Cleopatra had a passion for emeralds and wore them in her jewelry, and they have been in demand ever since.

Liz Taylor's Emerald & Diamond Necklace
Liz Taylor’s Emerald & Diamond Necklace

Speaking of Cleopatra, one famous actress who portrayed Cleopatra, Elizabeth Taylor, is quoted as saying, “Oh my god!! I’ve got to have the emeralds!” And so she did… check these out! Not understated, but very WOW!!

In 330 BC Egyptians began mining emeralds, and buried their mummies with emeralds around their necks to symbolize eternal youth.

During the sixteenth century Spanish Explorers discovered emeralds in South America and introduced them throughout Europe. It was said the Spanish conquistadors discovered and overtook the emerald mines in present-day Colombia. But it took them fifty years to finally overpower the Muzo Indians who occupied the area and refused to reveal the sources of their mines to the greedy Spanish, even under torture!

Legends claimed that emeralds had power to cure diseases such as cholera and malaria and to make the wearer quick-witted and intelligent.

Emerald found in its natural state
Emerald mined in its natural state, originating from a mine in Muzo Columbia.

Emeralds are less dense than diamonds. This means that a one-carat emerald is larger than a one

-carat diamond.

About emeralds, Roman historian Pliny said, “No stone has a color that is more delightful to the eye, for, whereas the sight fixes itself with avidity upon the green grass and the foliage of the trees, we have all the more pleasure in looking upon the emerald, there being no gem in existence more intense than this.” Following Pliny’s advice, the Roman Emperor, Nero, watched gladiator fights through emerald-encrusted sunglasses.