The month of May is known for many things; May Day, Labour Day, Mother’s Day, the end of Autumn, heralding the arrival of Winter, and lastly, Birthstones! Now the Birthstone for May, is the Emerald: a Greenish gemstone which can range in colour from a rich Forest-Green to an almost ethereal Blue-Green, the likes of which, few gemstones come close to approaching!
Emeralds can be found in many countries, around the world, with a significant portion, being sourced in South American nations such as, Brazil and Colombia. There is also a very healthy supply of high-quality Emeralds from Zambia, in Africa. Amongst the remaining countries, Australia has its’ own extremely special variety of Emerald, known as the Torrington Emerald.
Whilst Emeralds have quite a high Moh’s Hardness of 8.5, it is not encouraged to put them into a ring, due to the fact that most Natural Emeralds have a myriad of inclusions which could cause the stone to shatter, or crack if knocked just the wrong way. This is not to say you can’t use them in rings, but perhaps the best use is in dress rings, or, not everyday wear. Emeralds, can be quite expensive, owing partially to their extreme rarity, hardness, and colours, the combination of which, intrinsically makes them very high demand on the global market.
There are alternatives to Emeralds, should you prefer a high quality bright Green gemstone that is not as price prohibitive as them. One such gemstone is the Tsavorite, a variety of Garnet, originally found in Kenya, and named after the Tsavo National Park. It has a reasonably high hardness, and unlike Emerald, is far more suited to being placed into a ring, with a significantly reduced chance of damage taking place. Tsavorite Garnet, although more affordable than Emerald, is still somewhat pricey for the size – yet remains a whole order of magnitude less expensive than the latter.
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