Posts Tagged mineral beryl

Gems by James: May Birthstone Emeralds

Posted by on April 30, 2010 at 17:55 pm

The traditional birthstone for the month of May is Emerald, which is the green variety of the mineral Beryl.

Many consider the beautiful green color of emerald to be unparalleled in the gemstone world. The presence of trace amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium give the gemstone it’s color. Unlike many other beryls, emeralds commonly contain inclusions and other natural flaws making them susceptible to breakage.

May Birthstone Emerald - Gems by JamesThe Egyptians mined emeralds in Austria. And, a rare type of emerald known as a “trapiche emerald” is occasionally found in the mines of Colombia. A trapiche emerald exhibits a “star” pattern and it has ray-like spokes of dark carbon impurities, which creates the six-pointed radial pattern.

The main source of emeralds are three mines in Colombia: Muzo, Coscuez, and Chivor. Emeralds are also found in many other countries, such as Afghanistan, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Tanzania, United States, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In the United States, emeralds have been found in Connecticut, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina and South Carolina as well as the Yukon (discovered in 1998).

Gems by James cuts emeralds to order. They are special stones and deserve a craftsman’s hand. Contact us if you would like to discuss a very special emerald gift for Mother’s Day or a birthday.

At 858 carats (172 g), the Gachala Emerald is one of the largest emeralds in the world. It was found in 1967 at La Vega de San Juan mine in Gachalá, Colombia. It is at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

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