This month we are paying tribute to the fabulous emerald, the birthstone for May. One of the precious four (along with diamonds, rubies & sapphires), emeralds are both enchanting and beautiful. Our love of emeralds spans over 4000 years. One of the first known emerald mines, located in Egypt, dates back to 2000BC. Ever since, emeralds have been a thing of great value and beauty and have long been associated with magic, mysticism and love.

The colour vibrancy of the gem is the main factor for assessing value, followed by clarity. Unlike most gemstones, it is accepted that emerald have inclusions. This generally adds to the beauty of the stone. Inclusions are also a sign of authenticity, as flawless emeralds are extremely rare.

Emeralds are mined all over the world, but Columbia is the worlds largest producer by far. Most emeralds are cut in Jaipur, India. As emeralds are prone to chipping, they are usually treated with oils to strengthen them and this process also enhances the colour and clarity of the gem. Because of the fragility, emeralds must be treated with extreme care.

The emerald was a favorite of Cleopatras. It is almost impossible to think of one and not the other. Cleopatra was not the only fan of this bewitching stone. Jackie Onassis Kennedy and Queen Elizabeth II also adorned famous emeralds. Emeralds are also associated to Venus, Goddess of Love.