May Birthstone: Emerald
Emeralds are considered the birthstone of May and a talisman for Gemini. They are one of the most prized of all gemstones. Since 2000BC they have been highly cherished as a symbol of romance, devotion, good luck and fortune.
The value of any colored stone is greatly dependent upon the purity and intensity of its color. Fine Emerald can deliver incomparably rich green color. The word Emerald itself conjures up the color green.
Why Is Emerald Green?
Emerald belongs to the beryl group of minerals (Aluminum Beryllium Silicate). What causes Beryl (otherwise colorless) to be green and become Emerald is the incorporation of Chromium and or Vanadium into the crystal structure during formation. However, what makes Emerald green also stresses the crystal lattice structure. This typically causes fissures and minute internally healed fractures to occur in the stone and permeate to the surface.
These may or may not be visible to the eye. They are called veils or inclusions, causing the internal appearance of the stone to be called Le Jardin or The Garden. This can be helpful in identifying the origin of the stone or the stone itself, like a fingerprint, if needed.
Emeralds are typically not eye clean and almost all are treated with oil, wax or resin. The value of the Emerald is not affected by the type of treatment, but the degree of treatment.
The treatment affect is much akin to putting lemon oil or waxing a dulled antique piece of furniture and will be required to be done again from time to time. Steam cleaning, ultrasonic cleaning and jewelry cleaning solvent will require this to be done more frequently to prevent a change of appearance of the Emerald, however, there is a relatively new treatment that is permanent. This allows the Emerald to be used in an ultrasonic cleaner or light steaming.This negates the need for special handling and care of your Emerald. It is called Excel and it can be removed completely if desired.
Whatever treatment an Emerald has it should be disclosed to the customer before the stone is purchased.
One of the magical things about Emerald is whether it is pale or very highly saturated in color, bright or muted with richness they all have presence and beauty that once lived with is hard to live without. They are very effective as remembrances to the special moments of our lives.