10 Interesting Facts About Emeralds - Prepare to Swoon

Image of tweezers holding a cut emerald

Emeralds add a touch of romance and intrigue to any piece of jewelry, whether you prefer rings, necklaces, earrings, brooches, bracelets, or timepieces. Have you ever thought about what emeralds represent or what the most expensive emerald in the world is called? This is the place to discover the emerald facts you didn’t know you needed to know.

Emerald Facts

  1. Emeralds are gemstones and are a variety of the mineral beryl. They are green because of trace amounts of chromium or vanadium, which also accounts for their beautifully differing shades of green. Unlike the other three precious jewels (diamonds, sapphires, and rubies) which can be found in different colors, emeralds are only ever green.

  2. Emeralds are 20 times rarer than diamonds. This of course makes them even more exclusive and desirable and explains their premium price tag.
  3. According to the International Gem Society, emeralds symbolize royalty, wit, eloquence, and foresight. It is also the birthstone for May.

  4. Emeralds are delicate and must be handled gently, so extra care is needed when cleaning. Steam, high heat, and chemicals are not to be used when cleaning your emeralds. Instead use warm water, detergent, and a soft brush, or take your emeralds to a professional jeweler to be cleaned such as Polacheck’s jewelers.

  5. The delicate nature of emeralds causes inclusions in these precious gems. Emeralds are valued more highly if these inclusions, known as “jardin” (French for “garden”), form a pleasing pattern when viewed with a microscope. Every emerald has a unique jardin. The type of inclusion in an emerald can help to identify its origin.

  6. Columbian emeralds are the most valuable, depending on their size and color. According to the International Gem Society, they have been known to have a price of $100,000 a carat. Once a month for a day, miners at Columbian emerald mines are allowed to keep any emeralds that they find. This is known as “picando”. Up to 90% of the world’s emeralds are now found in Columbia.

  7. One of the most famous emeralds is known as the Rockefeller Emerald. This is an 18-carat jewel with near-perfect transparency. It is the largest flawless emerald in the world and was sold at auction by Christie’s for $5.5 million USD to Harry Winston. It was immediately renamed the Rockefeller-Winston emerald.

  8. A 55th wedding anniversary is known as the emerald anniversary. To celebrate the 55th wedding anniversary, traditional gifts given include jewelry, timepieces, and emerald-decorated homeware. An emerald ring would make a memorable and romantic 55th wedding anniversary gift. Emeralds are said change shade if a partner is ever unfaithful!

  9. Emeralds are a favored jewel by royalty and movie stars alike. One of the most notable lovers of emeralds is none other than Elizabeth Taylor. She is almost as famous for her extensive collection of fabulous jewelry as she is for acting and her love life. Her two-time husband, Richard Burton, bought her many of her emerald jewels including a brooch, necklace, earrings, bracelet, and a ring.

  10. The earliest known source for emeralds was in Egypt. Mining for emeralds has taken place there since at least 2000 B.C. Egypt had two mining areas, Sikait and Zabara. These locations were lost during the Middle Ages but were rediscovered in 1818, but are no longer in use.

Find an Emerald for You

Emeralds are truly one of the most fascinating and alluring precious jewels, and if you are lucky enough to own one they deserve the utmost care and attention. If these facts about emeralds have you even more intrigued, Polacheck’s jewelers has a selection of emerald pieces that are beautifully crafted and finished to the highest quality to showcase the emeralds to their fullest. You will certainly receive admiring looks whenever you wear your stunning emerald jewelry. Browse our range of emerald pieces and jewelry collections, or custom design a piece that is truly unique to you.