Emeralds are fascinating gemstones. They show the most beautiful, deepest and most brilliant green imaginable: Emerald green. Inclusions are allowed, and nevertheless, in top qualities fine Emerald are even more valuable than diamonds.
The name Emerald was derived from French "esmeraude" which in turn goes back via Latin to the Greek root "smaragdos", meaning simply "green gemstone". There are uncountable adventure stories involving this splendid gemstone. Even the ancient Incas and Aztecs in South America, where the best Emeralds are still being found today, worshipped it as a holy stone. However, probably the most ancient occurrences which were known are located near the Red Sea. These gemstone mines were already exploited by Egyptian Pharaohs between 3000 and 1500 B.C., gained fame under he name of "Cleopatra's Mines", but had already run out when they were rediscovered.
Many centuries ago in the Veda, the ancient sacred writings of Hinduism, there was written down information on the valuable green gemstones and their healing power: "Emeralds promise good luck", or "The Emerald enhances your well-being". It does not come as a surprise, then, that the treasure chests of Indian Maharajas and Maharanis contained most wonderful Emeralds. One of the largest Emeralds in the world is the "Mogul Emerald". It goes back to the year 1695, weighs 217.80 carats and is about 10 cm high. One side is inscribed with prayers, on the other side there are engraved opulent flower ornaments. The legendary Emerald was auctioned off at Christie's of London for 2.2 million US dollars to an anonymous buyer.
Emeralds have been coveted ever since ancient times. Some of the most famous Emeralds can therefore be admired in museums and collections. For example, The New York Museum of Natural History not only shows a cup from pure Emerald which was owned by Emperor Jehingar, but also a Colombian Emerald crystal weighing 632 carats. The collection owned by the Bank of Bogota contains no less than five valuable Emerald crystals weighing between 220 and 1796 carats. Also in the Irani State Treasure there are guarded some wonderful Emeralds, among them the tiara of ex-Empress Farah.
Green of Life and of Light
Emerald green is the colour of life and of eternally returning spring. For centuries, however, it has also been the colour of beauty and of eternal love. Even in ancient Rome green was the colour dedicated to Venus, goddess of love and beauty. Today there are still many cultures and religions where green holds a special position. For example, green is the holy colour of Islam. All states of the Arabian league sport green banners symbolising the unity of their religion. But also within the Catholic church green holds an important status, as among the liturgy colours green is considered the most natural and elementary one.
Splendid Emerald green is a colour communicating harmony, love of nature and a primeval joy of life. You cannot ever get too much of this unique colour, as Pliny already pointed out "Green is pleasant to the eye without tiring it.". Green is characterised as fresh and full of life, never as monotonous. And as this colour keeps on changing gradually between bright daylight and artificial lamplight, Emerald green in all its hues and shades will preserve its vivid energy.
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