Emerald is one of the four precious stones. It is also May’s birthstone and associated with patience and understanding. It is usually green in appearance and belongs to the family of beryl. The green appearance is due to the presence of chromium and iron. It gives a value of 8 on Mohr’s scale of hardness.
Emerald is known as the Jewel of Kings and has been made most popular by Cleopatra, the last active ruler of Ptolemaic Egypt. She adorned herself and her palace with emeralds. Emerald was worn by Catherine the Great of Russia, the longest ruling female leader of Russia.
Emerald was also worn by the sultans of the Ottoman Empire. Emeralds are believed to have healing powers such as curing blindness and the ability of the possessor to foresee the future. The earliest known emerald mine is located in Egypt
Some major cities around the world also associate themselves with this lush green gemstone. Ireland is known as Emerald Isle while Seattle is known as the Emerald City.
One of the largest known emeralds is the Bahia Emerald from Brazil and weights about 340kg.