Emerald is a member of a group of minerals called "Beryl" of which the popular Aquamarine, Morganite and Heliodor (Golden Beryl) are members as well! Their crystals grow in a hexagonal shape and they have a hardness of 7.5-8 on the Moh’s scale. The colors that you see displayed in different forms of Beryl are due to trace amounts of chemical elements such as Chromium, Iron, Vanadium, etc.
Natural Emerald has many fractures and inclusions and is the birthstone for the month of May. Almost all Emerald that enters the retail jewelry market has been treated to hide or fill the inclusions by using heat, glass infusion and/or resin. The most famous sources of Emerald are Columbia, Brazil, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia. Many emeralds grow in metamorphic deposits of Schist or Gneiss that make up the dark matrix that we see on the rough emeralds while the gem itself radiates a vibrant green. The ancients considered Emerald to be a symbol of immortality and fertility. Notable figures such as Cleopatra adorned their bodies and palaces with Emeralds to harness the energies of the gems. Chakra: Heart Properties: Opens one’s heart to give/receive love, compassion, and forgiveness; attracts abundance Aquamarine is another type of beryl that ranges in color from clear with a pale blue/green tinge to a vibrant bluish green color. It’s name is derived from the Latin words “aqua” meaning water and “marina” meaning the sea because it is the color of the sea. It has a hardness of 7.5-8. The richer the color, the more expensive the stone is on the market although most aquamarine that is in faceted jewelry has been heat treated to enhance the natural color. Brazil is the largest source of aquamarine although it is also mined in India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, Kenya, Nigeria and other African and Asian countries as well as the U.S. It is the birthstone for March. Chakras: Throat & Heart Properties: Allows for clear communication and expression of true emotions; calms anger; enhances intuitive abilities
Morganite is newer to the jewelry market and its color is almost identical to rose quartz. It has a distinct pale lilac undertone and a different crystal structure that distinguishes it from Rose Quartz. Trace amounts of Manganese are responsible for the color of Morganite. It is a pleochroic gem meaning it displays slightly different shades of color when viewed from different angles. First discovered in Madagascar, it is now also mined in Afghanistan, Brazil, Mozambique, Namibia and the U.S. Chakra: Heart Properties: Releases old pains & sorrow; opens the heart and brings awareness of the cosmic, Divine love that is present within every being. Funny Fact: This stone is named after the financial tycoon J.P. Morgan who also happens to be a mineral collector.