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  • The Antique Collector

MAY BIRTHSTONE THE EMERALD

Updated: May 15, 2023



At times reserved only for the aristocracy and the clergy as a sacred gemstone, the emerald - the Jewel of Kings - is as green as they get. In fact, so perfectly deep and charming is the emerald's hue that it was proclaimed to have healing properties that could relieve stress and eye strain just from setting your gaze upon one. No wonder, then, that these greenest of green gems have been prized, carried, and flaunted in the form of jewelry for millennia across the world.



It is strange how deeply colors seem to penetrate one, like scent. I suppose that is the reason why gems are used as spiritual emblems in the Revelation of St John. They look like fragments of heaven. I think the emerald is more beautiful than any of them.” - George Elliot, Middlemarch



A BRIEF HISTORY OF EMERALDS IN JEWELRY .....


Emeralds have been treasured and given a special place in stories and legends from the very beginning, with even the Holy Grail supposedly being carved from a large emerald - one that dropped from Satan's crown as he fell from Heaven and from grace.

The earliest ancient emeralds were mined in Egypt, in an area known to the Romans as 'Mons Smaragdus', meaning Emerald Mountain. These Egyptian mines were the most prolific source of emeralds for many centuries. It's believed that the ancient Egyptians may have been operating the mine as early as 330BC, but the main period of mining was under Roman rule around 30BC, and mining continued there well into the 15th and 16th centuries AD. The Romans were known for their love of gemstones, especially emeralds and pearls, and emeralds were also popular in classical Greece, often being associated with Venus, goddess of love and hope (Aphrodite in Greek Mythology).



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