About Emerald by Emylee Because the rich green color of emerald is the color of spring, it has long symbolized love and rebirth. As the gem of Venus, it was also considered an aid to fertility. Cleopatra loved wearing emeralds to accent her beauty. Mummies in ancient Egypt were often buried with an emerald on their necks carved with the symbol for verdure, flourishing greenness, to symbolize eternal youth. The emeralds the ancients adored, from mines in Egypt and perhaps what is now Afghanistan, were nowhere near as beautiful as those mined today. The modern emerald bounty began almost five centuries ago when Spanish explorers arrived in the new world. Montezuma presented Cortes with a staggering emerald crystal much larger and finer than any ever seen before. The Incas had an emerald goddess the size of an ostrich egg. When buying an emerald, the most important value factor is color: that's why Gemvara's emeralds are a rich vivid green. Emeralds, among the rarest of gems, are almost always found with birthmarks, often called the "jardin." Some imperfections are expected and do not detract from the value of the stone as much as with other gemstones. These fissures that are characteristic of emerald are traditionally filled with oil or resin to make them less visible to the eye. Emerald is the birthstone for May and the gem of the 20th and 35th anniversary. Although emerald is a very hard gem, emerald rings shouldn't be worn when working with your hands or exercising vigorously. Avoid cleaning emerald with hot soapy water or steam and never clean an emerald in an ultrasonic cleaner. Clean emerald with mild dish soap: use a toothbrush to scrub behind the stone where dust can collect.