Emeralds are the green transparent variety of beryl, and their rarity and vivid colour make them very valuable. They are usually faceted when used in jewellery, often with an oblong flat top to show off their colour. It is very rare to find an emerald in a clear state; small fragments of the surrounding rock create flaws in the stone, known as jardin, the French word for garden. These are often prized as evidence of the stone’s authenticity.
Did you know?
- Emerald is the birthstone for May.
- Emerald jewellery is often given to celebrate a 55th wedding anniversary.
- It is the traces of chrome in the beryl that give emeralds their bright green colour.
- Emeralds were extracted as early as 2000 BC in Egypt, and later prized by Cleopatra.
- They are thought to drive away evil spirits and are, in some cultures, a symbol of fertility, beauty and hope.