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Emerald Rings History

"Green Gemstone" is the translation from the Greek word 'smaragdos’. This is where the emerald gets her name. The emerald is a type of beryl – green beryl to be precise – whose color comes from chromium and vanadium. The emerald weighs in with a 7.5 – 8 on Mohs scale of hardness. Thursday is the emerald's day of the week and her wedding anniversary assignments are the 20th, the 35th and the 55th. The emerald is the birthstone of May – the month of spring when things are reborn and start to get green. The emerald and May are well matched.

In the Biblical book of Exodus, the emerald was mentioned in some quarters as being the stone on Aaron's breastplate that represents the tribe of Judah, Jacob's 4th son. Others say that the emerald stands for Levi, the 3rd born. It doesn't look like that discrepancy will be resolved, since there is evidence to support both arguments.

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The earliest traces of actual emerald mines appear to be located in Upper Egypt. The stones were being mined there as early as 2000 BC. Greeks worked those emerald mines during the time of Alexander. Of course, then there was Cleopatra, whose love of emeralds was legendary. Remains of "Cleopatra's Mines" were discovered on the coast of the Red Sea in 1817.

Pliny the Elder mentioned emeralds in the 1st century AD when he wrote roughly, 'nothing is more intense than the green of emerald…sight is refreshed and restored by gazing upon this stone.' Acting on this, the emperor Nero would wear emerald glasses while watching the combat in the Coliseum.

The development of the gem cutting industry in Jaipur, India was presaged when the maharajahs began to have sacred texts inscribed on the emeralds, which had so enraptured them. The Mogul Emerald, at 217 carats one of the world's largest, was discovered in 1619. It is intricately engraved on both sides; sacred text on one, ornamental flowers on the other.

Sixteenth century Spanish explorers discovered emeralds among the treasures of the Incas and the Aztecs of Central and South America. Although emeralds are mined today in Zambia, Madagascar, Pakistan, India, Russia and even in the United States, the finest stones are still found in South America – notably, Colombia.

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