EmeraldsEmeralds are classed as one of the big four gemstones along with diamonds, rubies and sapphires. The stones are known for their attractive green colour and are especially popular as emerald rings, necklaces and pendants. They're frequently set with diamonds.
The emerald is the "official" birthstone for the month of May and many people buy emerald birthstone jewelry for themselves or as a gift.
What Are Emeralds?Emeralds are a form of beryl. By itself beryl is colourless, however the inclusion of impurities of chromium give it a green colour and hence form emeralds. Beryl is a fairly hard mineral, however most emeralds contain inclusions which make them brittle and prone to damage.
Emeralds were traditionally mined by the Egyptians, however they were certainly also known elsewhere. Cortez was said to have brought many emeralds back to Spain from his raids on South America. Most emeralds for sale today originate from Africa or South America.
Many emeralds on the market today are treated with oil - usually cedar oil - to improve their appearance.