Stunning necklace consisting of emerald and gold
beads with a 14 karat gold clasp.
A deep green member of the beryl family, the
emerald is the rarest of the so called precious gems.
Though sources for emeralds are found in both the
old and new worlds, a stone of good quality is still an
elusive object. Emeralds without a flaw are almost
unattainable, as the gem exhibits many natural
inclusions, but these do not necessarily mar the
stone’s intense green beauty. The famous queen
Cleopatra of Egypt mined emeralds near Zabara on
the red sea coast in the first century B.C., wearing
the jewels herself or giving them as gifts to favored
friends. Julius Caesar particularly valued the gem, to
which he ascribed strong curative powers. Emeralds
were found in the buried roman cities of Pompeii and
Herculaneum, which probably came originally from
Egypt. In Meso America, emeralds were treasured by
the native cultures, most particularly the Incas who
worshiped them as sacred. When the Spanish
conquistadors plundered the Inca Empire for gold
and jewels, many remarkable large emeralds were
taken to Europe, where they entered the treasuries of
courts. Today, the major source for emeralds is South
America and especially Colombia, where mines first
worked by the Pre-Columbian cultures are still in use.
The rarity of the emerald has always made it a
valuable and potent talisman. It is said to cure
diseases of the eye, free the body from poisons,
arrest physical decay of all sorts, stop dysentery,
facilitate childbirth and end attacks of epilepsy. The
bright green of this gem makes it as desirable today
as it has always been throughout the ages.