EMERALDS: A TREASURE TROVE OF SPLENDOR AND MAGIC
Reminiscent of spring and vitality with its rich green color and vibrant appearance, the emerald stone has been enchanting people for centuries with its exceptional strength. Emeralds rank first among the world’s most famous gemstones. Because of their color, emeralds are believed to bring happiness, fertility, and strengthen family ties. Emeralds also help detoxify the body, mind, and soul and act as a powerful emotional stabilizer.
Emeralds have been associated with beliefs from the past to the present, including symbols of loyalty, the ability to reveal good and evil, and antidotes to spells. As far back as the Middle Ages, some societies considered emeralds to be a symbol of spiritual energy and even explored their contribution to the renewal of nature. The natural green emerald is one of the most exquisite stones in myth and legend.
The emerald, which was used as “Smaragdos” meaning “green stone” in Ancient Greece, was given different meanings over time and was accepted as an indicator of wealth. Emerald was the favorite stone of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt. She loved to adorn her clothes with precious stones, especially emeralds. She did not keep the energy and beauty of this stone only for herself; as a sign of favor, she would gift a piece of emerald jewelry with her silhouette carved on it to her relatives. Rumors still persist that the emeralds extracted from the mines, where thousands of slaves were employed, became the most valuable treasures in the collections of many rulers. The ‘discovery’ of the ‘new world’ of the Americas marked the beginning of a new era in the history of jewelry art. The region’s indigenous peoples, the Incas and Mayans, had already been using emeralds in jewelry and religious ceremonies for centuries.
Aristocratic women of the Russian Empire often favored jewelry set with giant emeralds as a symbol of wealth. Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia was known for her love of emerald jewelry; at a masquerade ball in St. Petersburg in 1903, she enchanted everyone with the huge emerald set she wore. After the revolution that led to the collapse of the Russian Empire in February 1917, some of the rich treasures of aristocratic families who fled to Europe were lost on the way, and some were sold almost for free in other countries to survive. Emerald gems and jewelry, in particular, were among the most sought-after items by the wealthy in Europe and the United States.
In the 20th century, emeralds became the favorite stone of many celebrities. From the jewelry treasure of Elizabeth Taylor, whose dazzling necklaces and rare emerald brooches are on display in the exhibition, to royalty, actors, singers, collectors, designers, and socialites, emeralds are icons often seen at social events, red carpets, and award shows.
Today, the best emeralds are mined at the Chivor and Muzo mines in Colombia. Brazil is known for its brightly colored emeralds. Emeralds are also a hidden treasure of Austria, India, Australia, South Africa, Egypt, the United States, Norway, and Pakistan.