The emerald has been revered as one of the most popular and valued gemstones throughout history. With it’s deep green color, caused by traces of chromium, many people associate it with a lush green garden in full bloom. Emeralds have many inclusions which the French call “jardin” meaning garden because of their resemblance to foliage.
Emeralds are a 7.5-8 on the Moh’s Hardness Scale, and they are very difficult to cut because they are quite brittle and have inclusions that cause the stone to easily crack or chip. Emeralds grow very slowly within metamorphic rocks and are usually restricted in size by the rock, making large emeralds very costly and rare. The most prized emerald specimens come from a mine in Columbia but they are also found in Brazil, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Madagascar, Nigeria an Russia.
An emerald is believed to promote mental growth, perceptiveness and be effective against headaches. It symbolizes hope, development and maturity. It is supposed to bring luck and success as well as power. They were once considered to be an antidote to poison in India. The Egyptians used to leave these beautiful stones, engraved with the symbol of the leaf, in the tombs with their dead. The ancient Romans associated this precious gem with fertility and rebirth, and dedicated it to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty.
The emerald is the traditional gift for the 55th wedding anniversary but it also used as a 20th and 35th wedding anniversary stone.