The first emerald mines were discovered in Egypt during the second millennium BC.
The last pharaoh of Egypt loved them! Cleopatra ordered them in astronomical quantities to make sumptuous jewelry and ornaments. She gave some to the dignitaries of the kingdom. The emerald mines were highly guarded by guards, and anyone who tried to approach them could be executed.
It is even said that she gave Julius Caesar an emerald with her portrait engraved on it.
Emerald is a mineral of the beryl family along with aquamarine, morganite and heliodore.
The etymology of emerald comes from the Latin word "smaragdus" and the Persian word "zamarat" which means "heart of stone".
Emeralds were discovered in mines on the Red Sea more than three centuries before Christ. These mines are now depleted, so one must travel to Colombia, Brazil, Zambia and Afghanistan to find emeralds.
Traces of chromium, vanadium and sometimes iron give this stone its beautiful eponymous color. The color varies between blue green, strong green, light and dark.
Emerald is composed of aluminum silicate and beryllium.
Emerald is rated 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale. Emerald is a naturally included stone, this does not affect its hardness but makes it a little more sensitive to shocks, blows and sudden temperature changes.
Emerald is a stone that naturally has inclusions, called "gardens". To reduce these inclusions and to solidify the stone, emeralds are often treated with a fatty substance (oil) or resin which, when slightly heated, is introduced into the cracks in the stone. However, at Maison Alchimie Paris, we do not accept stones that have been treated with resin.
Anniversary stone of the month of May, the emerald is also offered for 30th wedding anniversary.
Cleopatra's jewels have unfortunately not been found, but this has not prevented the creation of other jewels adorned with sumptuous emeralds through time. Elizabeth Taylor's jewelry was sumptuous, donated by Richard Burton, she had a complete set of emerald jewelry consisting of a necklace - whose center stone was removable to wear as a brooch - earrings and a ring and bracelet. Princess Henckel's tiara is also an exceptional piece of jewelry consisting of 11 pear-cut emeralds (over 100 carats in total). These emeralds are said to have come from the private collection of Napoleon's wife, Empress Eugenie.
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