Pliny the Elder once said that the best way to ease tired eyes was to gaze upon an emerald with “its soft, green color comforting and removing their weariness.” For millennia, emeralds have been prized for their life-giving and rejuvenating properties. According to Indian folklore, the name emerald was first translated from Sanskrit as marakata, which means “the green of growing things.” As early as 3500 BCE, ancient Egyptians mined them, believing that these stones represented fertility and rebirth. Similarly, the Romans dedicated them to Venus, the goddess of love, beauty, fertility, and prosperity.
This green gem has long-symbolized nature’s reproductive forces and potential, making it a fitting birthstone for May, and on May 05 Freeman’s is pleased to offer exquisite Hammerman Brothers’ emerald and diamond ear clips in its Fine Jewelry and Watches sale. The emeralds in these earrings are a stunning example of the highly desired color and satura- tion of this stone that has beguiled people for eons.
Emeralds have been valued both for their beauty and their ability to improve the circumstances of those who wear them. According to the Vedas – the sacred texts of Hinduism – they are good luck and can enhance the wearer’s well-being. Shah Jahan, the builder of the Taj Mahal, had sacred text inscribed onto emeralds and used them as talismans. People have worn them in order to acquire eloquence, intelligence, and improve memory. Emeralds have also been desired for their varied medicinal properties, including improving blood pressure, eliminating nausea, and curing dysentery. Some believe that these gem stones can promote clairvoyance, facilitate vision quests, and reveal the truth of a lover’s oath!
There is also beauty in the science, formation, and composition of emeralds. These stones are typically highly included, which means that they contain small imperfections that are often visible to the naked eye. Because these inclusions often look mossy, some refer to them as jardin, French for garden. One of the minerals found in emerald inclusions is pyrite, and its presence can definitively identify a green stone as an emerald, rather than a similarly colored tourmaline. A type of imperfection unique to emeralds are three-phase inclusions; during the formation of an emerald with this type of imperfection, a crystal, a liquid, and a gas became trapped within a single minute void in the stone. Eye-clean emeralds are so rare and valuable that they sometimes sell for two to three times the per-carat price of diamonds. Emerald is the bluish-green to vivid-green variety of the mineral species beryl, and this is what distinguishes it from other varieties – greenish- blue aquamarine, and yellow heliodor. The emerald owes it entrancing color to the presence of trace amounts of chromium, vanadium, and iron. The higher the chromium and vanadium, the more green the stone; the more iron, the bluer it will be.
With extraordinary gemstones like these, it is evident why emeralds have captured hearts and imaginations throughout the ages, from Egyptian royalty to Hollywood stars!
In the May 2014 auction of Jewelry & Watches, the pair of Colombian emerald, diamond, platinum and gold pendant earclips by Hammerman Brothers mentioned in this story sold for $74,500, and a Colombian emerald and diamond gold and platinum ring from Tiffany & Co. sold for $206,500.