Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems

May: Emerald

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Emerald is the green variety of the mineral beryl. A popular and expensive gem, emerald is very rarely found in high-quality crystals. Most fine gem emeralds come from Colombia, but, occasionally, Russia and Brazil—and North Carolina within the United States—have produced significant gems. Tradition dictates that emeralds be cut only in the “emerald cut” style, but modern tastes allow a broader appreciation of styles.

Rough and cut Beryl variety Emerald, Zambia
Photo by Mike Haritos
  Beryl variety Emerald, North Carolina
Photo by Debra Wilson
     
Beryl   Beryl
     
Rough and emerald-cut Emerald, Russia
Photo by Debra Wilson
 
Emerald
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