Emerald's rich green color is so striking that almost everyone is entranced by it. The history surrounding these green rocks is a tangled web of legend, superstition, and corruption. Ancient emeralds came mostly from Egypt, and were of poor quality. 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 Spaniards spent years searching for the source of the fantastic green gems. They found it finally in what is today Colombia. Today, emeralds are produced in Colombia, Brazil, Zambia and Pakistan. Almost all emeralds have been treated with oils or resins to minimize the optical effect of surface reaching flaws. They have a hardness of 7, but are usually fragile due to the large number of inclusions present. Best suited to earrings, pendants and "special-occasion" rings.
Treatments: Fracture filling of some type is almost universal, typically clear oils, but sometimes epoxy resins.