Learn about the ancient roots of emeralds and the modern obsession with this gorgeous green stone.
“THE EMERALD CONDENSES THE GREEN OF THE MEADOWS AND CERTAIN ASPECTS OF THE OCEAN,” BY CHARLES BLANC.
Emeralds are the birthstones of May, but this mysterious and beautiful stone has had a rich history before it was officially coined a birthstone back in 1912. Historians believe that in ancient times, gemstones were in abundance and could be found on the surface of the earth in addition to mines, such as in river beds. However, once they were discovered they quickly captured the love and imagination of mankind and were traded widely amongst the rich in the ancient world.
They have been traced to ancient Egypt, India, Rome and Greece through the use of jewellery for those rich enough to afford them such as royal families and wealthy merchants. They were popular in the age before gemstone cutting because of their divine colour. The best emeralds are a deep shade of green with little to no visible inclusions or brown discolouration. However, it is a characteristic of emeralds to have visible inclusions which make them prone to breakage. Nevertheless, these days emeralds are treated and their inclusions are made stronger as a result.
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 love. Whereas, other cultures such as the Muzo Indians of Columbia protected their emerald mines at all costs. When the Spanish Conquistadors tore 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.
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. In addition, when “birthstones” were created and the “official” wedding anniversary gift lists were established people saw emeralds as a traditional and go-to gift (because what woman would say no to a piece of jewellery?!).
At Centre Jewellers Alice Springs, we have a large collection of emerald jewellery in white gold and yellow gold. We know that everyone has their own unique tastes and sense of style. No matter what you like, we have the emerald piece to suit you, from earrings, pendants and rings. Come in store to see our stunning range and join the ranks of thousands of years of royalty who have loved wearing this divine gemstone.