Who first beholds the light of day
In spring’s sweet flowery month of May
And wears an emerald all her life
Shall be a loved and happy wife
So the little rhyme that we have been giving with all the articles on birthstones so far, seems like one that will ruffle the feathers of feminists this month. But hey! This was put together eons back and we shall not let ourselves be too bothered about it, right? After all, there’s more to an emerald—the birthstone of May—than a promise to keep a woman happy in marriage!
The emerald symbolises rebirth. It grants the wearer foresight, good luck, and youth. Some ancient cultures also believed that the stone granted the wearer the powers of prophesy. It enhances wisdom and clear-thinking in the wearer and also wards off negativity. The emerald is said to possess healing powers, too. It relieves stress and calms the heart. Considered to be an extremely powerful stone, the emerald is believed to fortify the eyes, the heart, the immune system as well as the nervous system.
But more than all this, the green stone—believed to be the preserver of love—is said to vibrate with love. Associated with Venus, the Roman goddess of love, it is no wonder that our controversial rhyme promises the woman that she will remain a happy and loved wife. So what must one do to ensure all that love for oneself? Just wearing it isn’t enough, apparently. Ancient cultures believed that we need to charge an emerald with our need by visualising it. Then wear or carry the stone somewhere near your heart, but concealed from others. Not too appealing, we say. Why hide such royal beauty?
That radiant green is surely worth flaunting than hiding? But when you head out to buy yourself some emeralds, keep in mind that a top quality stone must be of a vivid green colour as well as possess a high degree of transparency.
The emerald, which takes its name from the Greek word ‘smaragdos’ meaning green, is believed to exude most powers when it is set in silver or copper. The stone varies in colour from light green to deep green. Most of the world’s emeralds are from Colombia, Afghanistan, Brazil, and Zambia. The largest and highest quality emeralds are mined in Colombia. Though of course, emeralds in antiquity have been mined in Egypt, India and Austria from even before the 14th century.
For a change, here are some interesting emerald snippets:
One of the largest gem emeralds in the world is the Gachala Emerald (858 carats). It was found at La Vega de San Juan mine in Gachala, Colombiain 1967.
The Mogul Mughal Emerald is one of the world’s largest emeralds ever known. It is unique in that it bears a date (1107 A.H.), placing it at about 1695 AD. It weighs 217.80 carats, and is about 10cm tall. One side of it is inscribed with Shi’a invocations, and the reverse side is engraved with magnificent floral decorations. The beveled edges are carved with cross pattern incisions and herringbone decorations.
The Patricia Emerald, found in the chivor mine in Colombia in 1920 is one of the largest uncut emeralds. But what makes it even more famous is that it is twelve-sided while most of the emeralds in the world are six-sided.
The Crown of the Andes is set with about 450 emeralds, collectively weighing 10 ounces (1523 carats). It is believed to be made from emeralds worn by Atahualpa, the last Inca (king) of Peru.
The 37.82 carat Chalk Emerald, a Colombian emerald, was once owned by the royals of Baroda. It was the centerpiece of an emerald and diamond necklace worn by the Maharani Saheba. It was passed down to her son, the Maharajah of Cooch Behar.
Get your own little treasure, get your own gem of love, get your own piece of emerald!