Since time immemorial, precious stones have been the privileged face of distinguished authors. Emerald in particular is found referenced in ancient biblical writings, in the prolific writings of Pliny the Elder, and generously dotted in sonnets and plays by Shakespeare.
Indeed, A lover’s complaint, written by the English playwright in 1609, postulates that the emerald is so powerful that it holds the power to revive eyesight:
In the next October issue of Jewelry business, award-winning trade journalist and graduate gemologist Diana Jarrett delves deeply into the history and treatment of the precious green gem in her feature film, “Emerald: The Verdant Stone”.
Check out the excerpt below:
The bright, upbeat hue of emerald is reminiscent of new life and spring growth, making it an ideal birthstone for the month of May. It is also the precious stone for 20e and 35e wedding anniversaries.
Indeed, this venerated variety of beryl, which is part of the trinity of precious stones (emerald, ruby and sapphire), has gathered over the centuries legions of famous faithful. The 1st century AD Roman Emperor Nero had flat emerald crystals shaped into a sort of raw Ray-Ban and wore them to avoid sun glare while watching the gladiators in the Coliseum in Rome.
The earliest known emerald mines have been found in Egypt, dating back to at least 330 BC. These mining sites continued to produce until the beginning of the 18e century. Cleopatra, an emerald lover, had such a passion for the lush stone that she kept her own mines. Much of its royal adornments were lavishly encrusted with green sparklers.
When 16e century, the Spaniards invaded the “New World” in what is now Colombia, part of their coveted booty was hordes of emerald stones. At that time, the native Incas of the region regarded emeralds as valuable accessories and had used them in religious ceremonies for over 500 years. Emeralds returned to Spain, where they created an appetite for jewelry among European and Asian royalty.
To read the rest of Jarrett’s article, be sure to check out the October issue of Jewelry business!