Popular as the Green fire of Cleopatra, the largest emerald is 180,000 carats or 840 lbs in weight. Moreover, the priciest Rockefeller Emerald of 18.04 carats fetched $305,000 per carat at Christie’s! Explore the true value of emeralds to make smart gemstone investments this year!
How are Emeralds formed?
Emeralds originate from a green mineral named Beryl. Moreover, the gorgeous green shade of emerald owes it to the presence of vanadium or chromium in it. Naturally discovered emeralds are seen in hot water and steam lakes.
How was Emerald named
From the smaradgus in Latin to esmeralde, Emerald changed many names through the middle ages! Moreover, emerald originates from the Persian word for a ‘green gem.
Alternate Names of Emerald
Panna stone, Green Beryl, Marakata, Smaradgus, and Esmeralde;
Origin and Sources of Emerald
Muzo mines of Columbia produce the best emeralds. Additionally, other emerald mining areas in the world are South Africa, Afghanistan, USA, Brazil, Egypt, India, and Zambia.
Attributes and Value of Emeralds
Did you know that star-shaped emerald is called Trapiche Emerald? The hypnotizing stone emerald has many qualities and powers according to holistic sciences today!
- Hardness: 8.0 on Mohs
- Density: 3
- Colors: Dark Green, Rayon, Black, Olivine and Red
- Chakra: Heart Chakra
- Zodiac: Cancer
- Fluorescence: Red
- Price per carat: $12 to $300,000
Historic Value of Emeralds
Rumored to be the favorite stone of Cleopatra and Angelina Jolie, emeralds were medicine to prevent epilepsy, according to Aristotle. Explore the complete timeline and historic value of emeralds below.
- Emerald in the Holy Bible and Koran
Emerald finds its place in the book of Revelations in the Holy Bible. Moreover, it adorns the 4th pearly gate of heaven. According to tales about King Arthur, emeralds were the judgment stone too.
In the Holy Koran, the heaven is a place with emeralds and pearls. As a result, emerald with Islamic engravings is popular around the world because of the pretty green color.
- Emerald in World History
Emeralds were first mentioned in papyrus as the rarest stones, dating back to 6000 years.
Value of Emeralds in Egyptian History
World’s first ever emerald mines were made in 330 BC in Egypt. Moreover, Cleopatra was very fond of emeralds and made varied types of emerald jewelry. Rediscovered only a century ago, Cleopatra’s mines can be found in current-day Sikait-Zabara, Eastern Egypt. Additionally, history says, Ptolemy used these mines too.
Value of Emeralds in Roman History
The most popular Roman legend about Emerald is about Nero watching the Gladiator matches through a clear screen of emeralds!
When ancient Romans chanced upon emerald mine in Egypt, they called it ‘Mount Smaradagas’. Smaradagas comes from the Latin word for ‘green gem’. Moreover, ancient texts emphasize Romans developed the Egyptian mines. Historical texts also show magician Damigeron referring to emerald as a good gemstone for businessmen.
Ptolemy of Egypt once engraved the picture of Roman General Lucullus when he visited Egypt in the 1st century AD. Moreover, emerald was believed to soothe the eyes, as cataloged by Pliny the Elder as beryl in Natural History.
Value of Emeralds in the New World
Incas had a long history with emerald crystal through rituals and ceremonies. As there were no emerald ores in Americas, the green gems of Incas came from the Columbian mines.
When the Spanish explorers exploited the Inca traditions for the New World, they never revealed the source. However, the conquerors looted their jewelry and enslaved them. It took fifty years for the Spanish to use high-grade Columbian emeralds from Muzo mines.
Value of Emeralds in Indian History
Emerald existed in India since 14 BC. History also shows emerald was one of the few stones such as diamonds and moonstones, mined in India during the time.
Shah Jahan, the emperor who built Taj Mahal during the Moghul dynasty was also a famous lover of emeralds. Moreover, Shah Jahan was taken aback by the green gem. He used emeralds as amulets to engrave sacred texts. The same emeralds with Arabic engravings appear as Talismans on his son Aurangzeb in the 15th Century too.
Value of Emeralds in Chinese History
Although Emerald history in China comes from Columbian mines, poor quality emeralds were once widely used in Chinese herbal medicine. Even today, Thursday fetches good luck if you were emeralds. In addition, there is an emerald mine in the Yunnan province of China at present.
Value of Emeralds in Russian History
It was in the early 19th century that Emerald in Ural Mountains of Russia was found. In 1830, peasant discovered emerald around the Tokoyava Rivers in Malysheva.
The Royal Lapidary Factory approved the gemstone and credited within a month. As a result, the mining began three years later. First named in honor of Tsar’s daughter Maria, it was later changed to honor the Bolshevik Hero Ivan Malysheva. Moreover, it was in the same mines that Alexandrite was found when mining for emeralds in 1834.
History also shows evidence of emeralds in Russian coronations including that of Catherine during the reign of Peter the Great.
Value of Emeralds in Greek History
The Greek geographer, Strabo mentioned the green stone of emerald in 24 BC. Emerald was believed to contain the powers of the Goddess Venus by the Greeks. During the time of Alexander the Great, Greek miners worked in emerald mines. According to historic texts, Alexander the Great had an emerald embedded girdle for protection!
- Emerald in 21st Century
Up to 80% emeralds in the world come from the mines of Columbia. In the turn of 20th century, Muzo mines became the scariest place on earth with 60% of the emeralds involved in illegal exports. Moreover, Columbian mines were the source of emeralds for a thousand years.
Zambia accounts for 20% of World’s emerald production followed by Brazil at 15%. More importantly, the Kagem Mine in Zambia is the current biggest emerald mine.
With synthetic emeralds threatening the market value of emeralds, the green gem suffered a setback in the early 21st century. You can buy a synthetic emerald for $200 per carat, unlike $2000 per carat for an authentic emerald! However, with rarer emeralds found, the value has spiked even more than diamonds. Moreover, many celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Miranda Kerr, and Emma Stone brought emerald to the Oscars and popularized it!
Uses of Emeralds
Emerald is known to power the chakra of the heart. Although scarcely used industrially, emeralds are part of many modern holistic therapies.
Emerald stone marks its use for Christ consciousness in gem therapy. In addition, it also helps to connect with the Angel, Raphael and Goddess Annapurna (Hindu Goddess of Food).
Believed to relieve troubles in love and family, emerald also helps to restore positive mood to the wearer. Moreover, emeralds make excellent gem elixirs to attract true love!
Emerald treated cholera, allergies, insomnia, and dysentery, in the early ages. Moreover, the hypnotizing green gem is a good gift for couples without kids.
Investment Grade Emeralds
With many rare emeralds boasting the credibility of investors and museums across the world, the price of investment grade emeralds is high. Moreover, 2013 was even declared as the Year of Emeralds!
Celebrities like Debra Messing and Taylor Swift are synonymous with emeralds, making it a hot trend in fashion. In addition, the rarest emeralds to look out for are Mackay Emerald, Chalk Emerald, and Bahia Emerald.
In a Nutshell
Emerald is graded based on its cut, clarity, color, carat, origin, age and patterns. The GIA credits emerald as Type III stones or crystals with natural inclusions. Hence, when you’re investing in emerald, don’t be fooled by the lack of inclusions. Natural emeralds are filled with flaws!
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