A popular gem in the Victorian era, the beautiful emerald is highly sought after for its mesmerising dark green colour and 'precious' status. Read on to discover our top 10 interesting facts about emerald...
1. Queen Victoria set many jewellery trends and made the emerald a popular gemstone during her reign. In fact, Queen Victoria's engagement ring featured a snake design with a green emerald.
2. Emerald is made from a mineral called beryl which also makes up the beautiful blue gemstone aquamarine.
3. You would traditionally gift an emerald on the twentieth and thirty-fifth wedding anniversaries.
4. The first known emerald mines were located in Egypt dating as far back as 330 BC. The ancient pharoah of Egypt, Cleopatra, famously adorned herself in these emeralds.
5. There is much debate over when a stone is legitimately an 'emerald' or a lighter green gemstone known as 'green beryl'. Emeralds have also been mistaken throughout history for peridots. However, they don't tend to be mistaken for this much lighter gemstone today as gemmology has improved.
6. Emerald gets its name from the ancient Greek word for green, “smaragdus”.
7. Emerald was allocated as the birthstone for May due to its lush green colour representing the growth of nature in the spring.
8. In ancient times and legends it was believed that emerald had a number of special qualities and powers. These included protection against evil spirits, revealing a lover's true intentions, and an ability to foresee the future.
9. In an ancient text written by Rome's Pliny the Elder, there is mention of the green colour of emeralds having the power to restore eyesight.
10. Two popular sources for emeralds include Columbia and Zambia. The latter is a fairly new source from the early 1900s, whereas Columbian emerald trade dates back to the 16th century when the Spanish Conquistadors arrived in South America.
Which of the interesting facts about emerald surprised you? We love sharing our knowledge about diamond and gemstone jewellery. We have a beautiful selection of emerald jewellery on our online store, including engagement rings, pendants and earrings. Take a look today.