Posted in Jewelry

by Ruby Lane

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Green is the color of springtime and the verdant emerald is the birthstone for the month of May. Given as a gift to someone special, the emerald inspires love, loyalty, and friendship. It is emblematic of both love and success. The green gemstones have a sentimental value and are often passed down in families for generations. (Some emerald jewelry comes with a remarkable provenance.) If you need to add a sparkle of green to your apparel, the emerald is the perfect gem for it. An emerald inspires confidence and evokes some of the happiest emotions – pleasure, laughter, and love. You can get your adrenaline flowing with emeralds!

 

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Styles of jewelry change with clothing fashions, but the emerald has proven itself to be a staple in constant demand by men and women. Emeralds are among our best loved status symbols.  Men have chiefly worn them in rings and cufflinks, while women love them in brooches, necklaces, bracelets, hair pins, and earrings. Emeralds can be costly. One fine emerald can cost thousands of dollars.

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The Emerald Isle is a lovely and poetic name for Ireland. Whether you are Irish, a crystal mystic or simply a fancier of fine jewelry, the emerald is a beautiful, precious gem that belongs in every discriminating person’s collection. The emerald is rich in mythology and folklore. It was believed that the ancient god Hermes possessed an Emerald Tablet, which was the ultimate book of magic. Like the Holy Grail, the Emerald Tablet became a perennial object of quest. It is believed the goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite, wore emerald green.

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The philosopher Albertus Magnus (c. 1200 – 1280) said emeralds came from griffins’ nests. In ancient times, emeralds were mostly found in Egypt. Archeologists have uncovered the ruins of old emerald mines in Egypt. The Roman emperor Nero (9 AD – 68 AD) owned a clear emerald through which he watched gladiatorial games because he believed the green gem protected his eyes. The emerald was believed to have healing properties.

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The emerald is sometimes set in the heart of the traditional Irish Claddagh ring of silver or white or yellow gold. The Claddagh ring is one of Europe’s finger rings called “fede rings.” The term “fede” derives from the Italian phrase “mani in fede” (hands joined in faith or hands clasped in loyalty). Fede rings date from Roman times, when the gesture of clasped hands represented pledging a vow. They were used as engagement and wedding rings in medieval and Renaissance Europe.

 

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We can learn amazing things from the study of jewelry. It has been made and worn by people of every culture for thousands of years. The emerald has a long history and is one of the most popular gems used in jewelry design.

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