Mineral Class: Beryl
Crystal System: Hexagonal
Hardness: 7.5 - 8
Diaphaneity: Transparent to Opaque
Colors: Green, Yellow-Green, Blue-Green, Black
Source: Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, India, Madagascar, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe
Emerald is a variety of the mineral beryl, its color coming from trace amounts of chromium and vanadium. This gemstone comes from igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks most commonly found in Colombia, Brazil, and Zambia. Emerald comes from the Latin word esmaralda/esmaraldus, a form of smaragdus, which came from Ancient Greek smaragdos meaning green gem. Emerald can appear in a variation of green shades, from deep, dark green to pale or even yellow-green. The oldest known Emerald mine was found in Egypt, dating back to 300 BC.
Emerald is considered a semiprecious stone and like diamonds, has 4 characteristics that determine its value in commercial and cosmetic applications. Those are cut, color, clarity, and carat. Depending on these characteristics, Emeralds can range dramatically in value and appreciation. A 1 carat Emerald will come across as bigger than a 1 carat Diamond. This is due to the much lower density of Emeralds than Diamonds. Emerald is mentioned at least 5 times in the Bible and legend has it that Emerald was one of the 4 stones given by God to King Solomon. Emerald is the birthstone of May and seen as the stone for the 20th, 35th, and 55th wedding anniversaries.