449 Broadway
(20th & 21st Streets)
Bayonne, NJ 07002

Emerald

The emerald is known as the Queen of Gems, and the gem of queens. The most prized is pure green or slightly bluish green. Emeralds are often characterized by a garden of included crystals trapped within. Under magnification, you will see all sorts of lovely patterns resembling foliage in a garden. A flawless, clear emerald is very rare and is usually found in only small sizes. Small to medium sized stones are often faceted in the “step” or emerald cut. The gem is also lovely when cut into a cabochon or dome shape. Sometimes emeralds are even carved.

The ancients held the emerald in great esteem, believing they sharpened the wearer’s eyesight and mind. The earliest engravers kept emeralds on their worktables to gaze upon from time to time to rest their tired eyes. Travelers relied on emeralds as protection against the hazards and perils of long journeys. The green gem was also said to give its owner the power to predict the future.

The emerald, as green as spring grass and new foliage, will always be the symbol of faith, kindness, goodness and the promises of nature. Lovers believed the gem was endowed with the power to reveal the faithfulness of one’s beloved. The emerald’s supposed healing benefits included curing fever and epilepsy when worn around the neck. If suspended so that a stone touched the abdomen and another emerald was placed in the mouth, the result was supposed to be relief of the ravages of dysentery.

At the time of the Spanish conquest, an emerald the size of an ostrich egg was worshipped by the Peruvians and called the Emerald Goddess Umina. Like other precious relics, it was only displayed on high feast days, when the Indians flocked to the shrine with gifts for the goddess. The priests had suggested the donation of emeralds, saying that they were daughters of the goddess and she would be pleased with them. A huge store of emeralds was thus collected, but they were destined to fall into the hands of the Spanish conquerors. The mother emerald, however, was so cleverly hidden that the invaders never found it. Many of the pillaged emeralds were destroyed because the new owners thought the test of a real emerald was it ability to withstand the blows of a hammer. The old and entirely false myth that a genuine diamond could survive such a text may have been responsible. The emerald has been the favorite of many historical figures. Alexander the Great had a large one set in his jeweled girdle; and emeralds were prominent among the stones in Charlemagne’s crown.

The word emerald has been traced to many ancient languages and in each case means “green.” As the birthstone for those born in May, the emerald denotes love and success.
They are found mainly in Colombia, Brazil, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

   449 Broadway    Bayonne, NJ 07002 

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