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Emerald is part of the beryl mineral family and one of the most valuable gems on the market. The brilliant green of a fine emerald is unmatched by any other stone, and the extreme rarity of top-quality emeralds make them fairly costly. The most prized emeralds come from just a handful of mines in Columbia.

Almost all emeralds have inclusions in them, called "jardines". The fewer of these impurities, the more rare and more costly the stone is. Because of these inclusions, emeralds can be brittle, so protect your emeralds from hard contact when you wear them. Ultrasonic cleaners, which use vibrations to remove dirt and buildup, can be dangerous to heavily included emeralds. Natural emeralds also tend to have thin scratches on the surface. A layer of wax or oil is usually applied to smooth out their appearance and enhance their color. This layer may have to be replaced professionally every few years.

Emeralds were believed to sharpen wits, bring wealth, foretell the future, tell whether a lover was lying and cure all types of evil and illness.

Emerald is the birthstone of May.

Color Green to bluish green. Emerald
Description The most valuable form of beryl and one of the world's most precious gems. Color comes from chromium. Mohs' hardness rating of 8, but sometimes brittle.

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