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History Of The Emerald

Emeralds have a vivid and beautiful green colour, with top quality emeralds being worth more than diamonds. Emeralds have always been held in high regard with mentions of them being worn by Cleopatra and most royal families over the centuries. The Indians have documented emeralds in their holy scriptures for enhancing well-being and the promise of bringing good luck to the wearer. The Incas and Aztecs of South America also consider the gemstone to be holy.

The children’s story “Nature Story - The Story of the First Emeralds” by Florence Holbrook tells of the King of India collecting all precious things and desperately wanting the green emerald vase that lived in the deepest water of the sea.

Where did this highly prized gem first originate? Zimbabwe is home to the oldest emerald gemstones but emeralds have been found in:
  • Pakistan
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Brazil
  • Madagascar
  • India
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • South Africa
  • Afghanistan
  • Russia
Did you know that there are red emeralds? Considered the most precious gemstones of all time, they are so rare because they are only found in one place - The Ruby Violet Mine in the Wah Wah Mountains of South West Utah, USA.

What Is An Emerald?

The name emerald comes from the Greek word "smaragdos" which simply means "green stone." Emeralds come from the mineral beryl. Their green appearance is due to trace amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium. High quality emeralds have a fresh or bright green colour; some have a faint bluish tint but most have numerous inclusions and surface breaking fissures. Emeralds are relatively hard stones but they can be quite brittle and care needs to be taken when wearing them. Emeralds are mostly used in jewellery designs and are treasured in museums and galleries.

Where Are Emeralds Mined?

Emerald deposits are found all over the world. The largest producing countries of emeralds are Colombia, Russia, United States, Brazil and Madagascar.


The bright green colour of emeralds are very pleasing and soothing to the eyes, mystical stories about emeralds bringing prosperity and good health make it one of the most sought after gemstones in the world. Emeralds are from the beryl family, they are hard but brittle and care needs to be taken when wearing them in jewellery settings.
Emeralds are found in deposits all over the world with Colombia being home to the most stunning and precious emeralds. The extremely rare red emeralds are only found in the Wah Wah Mountains of Utah in the United States.

If you would like to learn more about minerals and mining visit our Mining and Metals page.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

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