By Amy Brenan, director of Heirlooms Jewellers, 21 South Street, Wareham
EMERALD is the birthstone for May and is sometimes known as the ‘Jewel of Kings’. It is said to represent truth, unconditional love, good luck and can bring abundance into your life.
Spiritually, the emerald is considered to be a life-affirming stone by opening the heart chakra and calming the emotions.
This vibrant gemstone was first discovered over 4,000 years ago and was adored by the ancient Egyptians for its mystical powers.
Apparently, the Romans considered the emerald so powerful that they would stare into one to relieve stress and eye strain! Cleopatra herself was a huge fan.
This might not be as far-fetched as it sounds because the inclusions in an emerald can create the most beautiful pattern, known as the emerald’s jardin (garden).
Unlike many gemstones where inclusions can devalue a stone and make it less desirable, in the case of an emerald, the inclusion can add beauty and interest.
In emeralds, inclusions can be considered less important than the colour, for example.
Emeralds are relatively rare and are always a different hue of green, ranging from a yellow-green to deep jade, but beware! The palest stones are not actually emeralds, but rather known as green beryl.
If you find an emerald that is very pale, it may not be an emerald at all and could be a green beryl.
Although the emerald might be considered a more traditional choice, recent research has shown that it is becoming popular with those looking for an alternative engagement ring, as well as featuring in some stunning contemporary jewellery designs in a range of metals and settings.