Amongst the 40 shades of green (well, I am from the Emerald Isle of Ireland after all) there is none that compares to Emerald. The beautiful gem that derives its name from the colour Emerald (“smaragdus” in Greek) is prized the world over. Emerald is the most popular green gemstone.

Green is the colour at the midpoint of our human visible light spectrum – think of the rainbow - and is said to relieve stress and ease eye strain. It is the colour associated with the heart, heart chakra, love and friendship. Amongst the metaphysical properties of Emerald are balance and equilibrium. It is said to eliminate negativity, support strength of character, steadfastness and regeneration. Emerald is a stone of manifestation and enhances clairvoyance.  

In the global precious gemstone market Emerald, along with Ruby and Sapphire, comprise the ‘big three’. These three generate more economic activity than all other coloured gemstones combined. The value of emeralds imported into the United States exceeds that of all coloured stones imported outside of the ‘big three’ combined.  

Emerald is a member of the Beryl family – as is Aquamarine that we met in March (see )

It is a hard stone (Mohs 7.5 to 8) but it has natural inclusions and surface reaching fractures that render it prone to damage. Thus, the setting of Emerald stones is important in protecting them from impact – particularly in rings and bracelets.

There are many famous Emeralds in existence – including the stunning Bulgari Emerald and Diamond brooch purchased by Richard Burton for Elizabeth Taylor during the filming of ‘Cleopatra’ in Rome (photo included in the blog). It holds the world record for the most expensive Emerald jewellery sold at auction!

For all of the above reasons, owning a piece of emerald jewellery – and more especially if we celebrate a May birthday – makes it our own famed and priceless possession.