The much loved and coveted emerald is the birthstone for May. It’s green evokes life and energy and legend has it that it has the power to make the wearer more intelligent and bright. It is also the gemstone for the 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries.
Emeralds have traditionally been associated with Columbia which has been producing them for over 500 years. Although Colombian emeralds are considered the gold standard for emeralds, emeralds from Columbia can vary in colour depending on where they were mined. The three primary mining locations in Columbia are Muzo, Chivor and Coscuez, with each producing different colours. Muzo typically produces darker tones, Chivor is associated with lighter, slightly bluish green emeralds, and Coscuez emeralds are often slightly yellowish green.
Other than in Columbia, Brazil, Zambia, Pakistan and Afghanistan are also emerald producers.
Emerald stands at 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness, so it is more susceptible to scratching than a diamond at 10 on the scale. As emeralds are often treated to improve colour and clarity, this makes them easily damaged. Avoid exposure to heat, sudden changes in air pressure and harsh chemicals. Do not put an emerald in an ultrasonic cleaner, as the vibrations and heat can cause the fillers in them to flow out. The best way to clean emeralds is to gently brush them with a soft brush and warm, soapy water.