Our May “Stone of the Month” blog has been a little delayed due to the fact that we have been hard at work getting ready for the grand opening of our very own showroom based in Mallow, Co. Cork. Due to huge demand from customers for more and more beautiful pieces, and a resultant lack of space for all this amazing stock, Monica made the bold move to grow her business from online only to an additional walk-in showroom, where all her local customers can meet the faces behind the names (now that lockdown is over) and see and touch the real stones! Monica and the team on the ground have worked wonders in creating a little slice of crystal heaven in Cork, so do yourself a favour and get on down there as soon as possible! But let me not get ahead of myself... I'll be dedicating an entire blog to the new shop in the next few weeks….so watch this space.
For now, let’s talk about the month of May and all things Emerald!!!
Emeralds are made from beryl and get their green colouring from the small amounts of chromium and vanadium they contain. The name comes from the ancient Greek word “smaragdus” meaning green gem, but not all emeralds are in fact pure emerald green. Emeralds range in colour from deep to pale green and sometimes even bluish green. The deep, vivid, pure, highly transparent gems are the most precious and expensive emeralds, whilst some exceptionally light versions are not even considered to be actual emeralds by some gemologists! Incongruously, the intricate and delicate beauty of an emerald is created out of the chaos of earthquakes or volcanic eruptions and due to the way they were formed emeralds can be very fragile and break under too much pressure. As you can imagine they are therefore rather difficult and costly to set into jewellery! But never fear…to make sure that we can be delighted with beautiful emerald pieces, the gemstone is often treated with an oil to help fill in any cracks so as to strengthen the stone and hopefully stop chipping or cracking whilst the jeweller is at work.
For over 4,000 years, emeralds have been one of the most valuable gemstones on Earth. There are emeralds that are thought to be over 2.97 billion years old! They were believed from early times to be a great symbol of love and good fortune and were as a result carried, woven into garments, or worn as a talisman to promote immense power, abundance, and growth, most especially during times when it was felt that all hope was lost.
Known as the "Abundance Crystal", emerald enhances mental clarity, intuition and decision-making skills, gifting you the ability to make the right decision at the right time be it for work, finances, relationships or just general life matters.
From a historical point of view, the ancient Egyptians were often buried with their most prized and precious possessions, so it was no wonder that they kept Emerald close by as it was believed to be a symbol of eternal youth. As green was the colour for Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty, emerald held an extra special place in the Romans hearts, and they would gaze into its deep green hues to relieve pain, stress and eye strain. Ancient folklore told of people placing an emerald under their tongue so as to see into the future and protect their loved ones against any bad omen or situation that might befall them.
When we think of precious, expensive jewels we automatically imagine rubies, sapphire, tanzanite and of course diamonds, but did you know that high quality, genuine emeralds are considered to be rarer and more precious than diamond? Which may be the reason why they are in such demand and have such a high market value. Interestingly, emeralds don’t sparkle and glitter like our more popular gems. A genuine emerald will be dull when held up to the light, with a muted shine, and sometimes rare inclusions indicating its extremely deep and valuable beauty. These inclusions which can be seen by the naked eye (called emeralds “jardin” or garden) often make the stone even more valuable.
It is estimated that well over 50% of emeralds today are mined in Colombia, South America, whilst the first known emerald mines can be dated back to 330BC in Egypt. Emerald quickly became the jewel of choice for kings and queens throughout history, starting with Cleopatra who took a shine to them so much that she took ownership of many of the mines naming one of the biggest after her. Today the British Queens Crown jewels are also covered in, amongst other jewels, magnificent emeralds.
Putting aside its value and rarity, this beautifully natural and deep stone is thought to have great emotional and physical healing powers, encouraging wisdom, peacefulness, rest, harmony, and balance.
Emerald stimulates the heart chakra, encouraging gentle and loving emotional and physical healing. As one would expect from a heart stone it also enhances one’s capabilities for patience, loyalty, fidelity and honesty. It brings balance, harmony and inspiration to the user who is open to its gifts.
It is a stone of spiritual awareness, connectedness, hope and love.
On a physical level emerald has been thought to help lift depression, combat the aging process (now who wouldn’t want that?), improve memory, and is also believed to help control the symptoms of epilepsy, fever and headaches. It is said to be a wonderful aid against allergies and sinusitis and may be useful for eczema, rashes, and other skin irritations.
A stunning gemstone of fascination, vitality, depth and mystery, emerald has been around for billions of years, and will be for billions more! But should you be adding one to your collection, make sure that it's the real deal as emeralds are very easy to reproduce and when done well, it is difficult to tell the real emerald from the fake….. cracks and all!
Hmmm....could there be a life lesson there?
With thanks to:The Jeweler, Tim Searfoss / AZ Quotes / Asterix and Obelix, Goscinny and Uderzo / Life as I see it-Feel it-Live it-Welcome to it, for quotes and cartoon references
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