Emeralds are my favorite gem stone - not only because of their color, but also because of their variety, healing properties and meaning.
Emeralds differ in shine and color depending upon the locale of its mine. It is just the Columbian emerald that features the characteristic vivid, slightly bluish green tones of medium-to-medium darkish color. Deposits of the stone are often found in other parts of the world such as in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and Nigeria. Nonetheless Columbia and Brazil are the leading producers of emerald at present. The 'Red Emerald' which is basically formed out of the mineral beryl takes its color from the presence of manganese in the rock. It is found only in a few deposits of Utah's Wah Wah mountain. This makes it one of the rarest gems of the world all the more so if it is facetable.
Emerald is green - the color of earthiness, happiness and joy! For ages it has been a pick of Royalty, most people are however often times confused during purchasing this magnificent gemstone. Understanding of the emerald is easy, and will help in choosing and selecting the right color and cut.
"He who possesses it shall enjoy special protection of God"-reads a talismanic Mughal emerald. This birthstone of the month of May has been the passion of Cleopatra and love of the Mughals in Persia. Along with ruby, diamond and sapphire, emerald is an important member of the big "awesome quartet" and has long been attributed therapeutic and mystic prowess. Being related to the planet Mercury, emerald is quite often thought to cure illnesses like forgetfulness, epilepsy, stuttering and also insanity. Attributing mystic qualities to this gem, it is well known that this piece of stone brings foreknowledge and wisdom to the possessor.
Emerald happens to be a grass-green brand of Beryl. Mostly it occurs in mica schist of metamorphic-hydro-thermal origin. The creation of emerald involves a natural process referred to as exo metamorphism. During this phenomenon if the basic rock contains the elements chromium or vanadium small portion of it may get integrated in the formation of beryl. This provides the rock its gem-like green color. Varying quantity of iron also modifies the color of the rock. It has a hardness of 7.5-8 and a refractive index of 1.57-1.59. However it is not really a gem sanctioned for 'everyday' use since it falls in the category of soft stone. The real worth of the gem rests in its green dazzle and variations in shades. They vary in color from a bit yellowish green to more dark bluish green. The cut of the stone is also very important. Whilst faceted emerald can have round, pear, oval shapes the emerald cut, that is, octagonal shape is most preferred. Inclusions are more or less an accepted, in fact, sought after in emeralds.
You may obtain your favorite emerald from your local jewelry store, or if you wish to have more fun, head for the mountains in North Georgia to try your luck in gem mining. Of course most of the gem stones are imported from various mines throughout the World, and the quality of gem stones that you may find is not the best, but nonetheless, you can find your own particular emerald, which can be faceted, polished or wire wrapped to make a very unique piece of jewelry.