John and Laura Ramsey write: Emerald a Wonderful Color of Green

Four emerald crystals

We traveled to an Emerald mine in Brazil with a group of people we were leading on a gem and mineral tour. The scene was straight out of a western in the 1850’s USA. A temporary “town” was set up along a rugged dirt road complete with bars, restaurants and general stores. Moto-cross motorcycles and 4 wheel-drive pickups had replaced horses and dark visqueen plastic replaced canvas to create tents but the people and their activities remained the same. Claims for miners were right next to each other. Many claims were in the little canyon we visited. With Emeralds being so valuable guns were everywhere and a bad accompaniment to the liquor sold in the bars. The day after our visit there was a shooting. No wonder that in Colombia there is a saying that the color of Emerald is red.
Where in the world is Emerald?
Emerald is a rare stone, especially in a good quality. However the following list is a list of places emerald has been found at one time or another. The extent of this list may qualify emerald as the rarest stone found in the most places. A good conundrum!
*Africa: Egypt, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Somalia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
*Asia: Afghanistan, Cambodia, China, India, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, and Russia
*Europe: Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, and Switzerland
*South America: Brazil, Colombia
*North America: United States and Canada

John and Laura Ramsey Talk About Emeralds

Columbian emeralds rawWith emerald being the birthstone for May, it is always fun to get back into thinking of emerald green and the renewal of spring.

The appreciation of emerald goes back centuries. Holy scriptures of East Indian by the Vedas wrote in Sanskrit of emeralds and their promotion of good luck and good health.

While emeralds are appreciated the world around, certain cultures prize them more than others. As spring unfolds here in the Pacific Northwest it is easy to appreciate the color green and the gem world’s best known representative of green: the emerald.

Learn all about emeralds in one of our previous blog posts >

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Birthstone Spotlight: May Emerald

EmeraldsIf May is your birth month, you have one of the most rare birthstones of all: Emerald.

To understand your birthstone, it’s important to know what it’s made of. Emerald is a variety of the mineral Beryl, with a vibrant green color due to the presence of Chromium. (There has been an addition to “emerald” of green gems colored by Vanadium but the classic emerald look comes from Chromium-rich beryl.)

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The Duke of Devonshire Emerald

Duke Devonshire Emerald

The Duke of Devonshire Emerald is one of the most outstanding crystals of its kind in the world. Weighing 1,383.95 carats with a height of about 2 inches, it is said to be one of the largest and finest rough Emeralds in the world. What makes it even more exceptional is that it contains a large, perfect transparency in one area.

How did this rough emerald find its way to England, and was it really a gift to the Duke? Let’s travel back and discover the emerald’s journey…

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