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19thC Antique 1ct Siberia Emerald King Arthur Holy Grail Charlemagne Solid 14k #42724

Cost: $ 599.99


Very Good Quality Antique Genuine Natural Siberian One Carat Faceted Emerald Oval. Mounted into high quality 14kt solid gold pendant setting.

CLASSIFICATION: Faceted Emerald Oval.

ORIGIN: The Ural Mountains (Siberia), Russia. 19th Century. Chain and pendant setting contemporary.

SIZE: Length: 7mm. Width: 5mm. Depth: 6mm. All measurements approximate

WEIGHT: 0.92 carats.

NOTE: We have many chains available which would fit this pendant. You may request a complimentary gold electroplate chain in lengths from 16 to 24 inches. We also have available chains in 14kt gold fill and 14kt solid gold in lengths from 16 to 30 inches. This setting is also available in sterling silver. If you would prefer a different setting style, odds are we have many different setting styles available which would fit this stone(s), some less costly, some more. Write us for pictures and prices.

NOTE: If you would like only the gemstone, and not the setting, we can dismount the gemstone and offer you the gemstone without the setting. Just let us know, and yes, we’ll discount the price by the cost of the setting.

DETAIL:
In many legends of King Arthur, the Holy Grail (the cup used to catch Christ’s blood at the crucifixion) is described as being fashioned from a large emerald. Charlemagne the Great (ruler of a vast eighth century Frankish Kingdom) had a large and famous collection of emeralds, and Henry II, when he was made King of Ireland in 1171, was given a large emerald ring. In the Renaissance medical practitioners ground up emerald with laudanum, an opium derivative, as a medicine for certain fevers and ailments. During the Middle Ages an emerald amulet was believed to keep a woman chaste. Medieval shamans and magicians believed that emeralds enabled them to foretell future events if put on the tongue or worn on the left side of the body.

Here's a very nice, near eye clean (or slightly blemished), beautifully colored, richly hued natural emerald precious gemstone from the Southern Urals of (Siberia) Russia. The gemstone was hand crafted and faceted into this sparkling oval by a 19th century Russian artisan, part of an heritage renown for the production of the elaborate gemstones and jewelry of the Czars of Medieval, Renaissance, and Victorian Russia. Emeralds are nearly 100 times rarer than diamonds, and there are few opportunities to acquire good quality natural emeralds at reasonable prices. The best specimens can bring over $40,000 a carat.

The setting is of contemporary origin. It is a high quality setting manufactured by one of the USA’s leading semi-custom mount producers. It is constructed of 14kt solid gold. It is not a cheap, gold electroplated pendant setting. It is genuine 14kt solid gold, a quality setting designed to last a lifetime. The default chain is gold electroplated 24 inch (you may also choose a 16, 18, or 20 inch chain if you prefer). However we do have 14kt gold fill and 14kt solid gold chains available in lengths between 16 and 24 inches available upon request. This particular precious gemstone possesses the crystal clear, rich "grass green" color possessed by the best quality emeralds. It could pass as a Colombian emerald given the rich, dark hue. Though it is quite possible to pick out a few imperfections upon close examination, to the casual admirer it is more or less eye clean.

You can see in the accompanying photo enlargements that the blemishes the gemstone does possess are not horribly disfiguring (especially considering that this is an emerald). Most commonly emeralds are blemished with various bits and pieces known as "jardin", French for "garden". Most emeralds literally have a garden of inclusions, and most emeralds consequentially are not transparent as is this specimen, rather they are merely translucent. Unfortunately most transparent "emeralds" sold even by the largest and most reputable retailers in the United States are synthetic (read the fine print; and the same is true of rubies and sapphires). However Russia has produced good quality emerald for centuries from the region of Siberia. Why would you buy synthetic emeralds at the mall when you can have the real thing?

Under magnification the gemstone shows the unmistakable characteristics of having been hand crafted. The coarseness of the 19th century finish is considered appealing to most gemstone collectors, and is not considered a detriment, or detract from the value of a gemstone. These characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, most serious collectors consider such gemstones more desirable, possessed of greater character and uniqueness when compared to today's cookie-cutter mass-produced machine-faceted gemstones. Unlike today's computer controlled machine produced gemstones, the cut and finish of a gemstone such as this is the legacy of an artisan who lived two centuries ago.

This gemstone has great luster and sparkle, and to the eye is essentially transparent, but it is not entirely flawless. True, the blemishes it possesses, principally composed of colorless crystalline material, are not immediately obvious to the naked eye, and the gemstone can be characterized, to use trade jargon, as "near eye clean". However magnified as it is here in these photo enlargements you can see slight blemishes within the stone. Of course the same may said about almost any natural gemstone. An absolutely flawless gemstone simply is not the rule in nature. Most absolutely flawless gemstones will upon close examination be revealed to be synthetic.

You might also notice under magnification (such as in these accompanying photo enlargements) occasional irregularities in the cut and finish. For instance there is a tiny chip along one edge of the gemstone. It is completely covered by the setting and is is not visible. Whether it was a tiny slip of the artisan when cutting and faceting the gemstone a century ago, or whether in the intervening years the gemstone was chipped when in a prong setting, or struck. It's not known. But there is a tiny chip along one edge of the gemstone which is so small that it is completely hidden by the setting.

Naturally these characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished antique gemstones, you must also consider that two centuries ago the mining techniques prevalent did not allow the ultra deep mining operations which are so common today, nor were gemstones fashioned with laser guided cutting and faceting machines. Keep in mind two centuries ago mankind was more or less limited to surface deposits or near surface deposits of gemstones. Higher quality gemstones which today are routinely mined from beneath hundreds of meters, even kilometers beneath the earth's surface, were simply inaccessible then.

For these reasons antique gemstones must be appreciated as antiques first, gemstones second. The relatively superlative quality of contemporary gemstones routinely mined from deep beneath the earth's surface today were simply not accessible two centuries ago, or at least, only rarely so. But for most, the unique nature and character of these antique gemstones more than makes up for the blemishes found within the gemstones, as well as the cutting irregularities common to handcrafted gemstones, all of which are by and large (if at all) are only visible under magnification. So while the skeptical critic might find many reasons to be grumpy, to the casual admirer this is simply is a very beautiful, very large, nicely colored emerald with a lot of sparkle.

EMERALD HISTORY: The name "emerald" comes indirectly from the Greek "smaragdos", a name that was given to a number of gemstones having little in common except a green color. Emeralds have been since ancient times one of the most highly valued of all gemstones. Even today gem-quality emeralds are so rare they are considered more valuable than diamonds. Emeralds were traded at the earliest known gem market in Babylon 6,000 years ago. One of the major sources for the ancient world of the classical Mediterranean’s emerald were Egyptian mines near the Red Sea, which were worked as early as 2000 B.C., perhaps even 3,000 B.C. Ancient Egyptian texts document the use of emerald during the life of Pharaoh Sesostris III in the 19th century B.C. To the ancient Egyptians, emerald's green color stood for fertility and rebirth, and emeralds were used to treat eye diseases.

The earliest references to emerald in the classical world of the Mediterranean are attributable to Aristotle, fourth century B.C. philosopher, student of Plato, and teacher to Alexander the Great. Aristotle wrote that owning an emerald increased the owner’s importance in presence and speech during business, gave victory in trials, helped to settle litigation, and that ground into a fine powder and made into a lotion, emerald could also be used to comfort and sooth eyesight. He also stated an emerald worn as a talisman would prevent epilepsy, and recommended that all children be so adorned with an emerald amulet. The ancient Greeks regarded the emerald as the sacred stone of the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite (as did the Romans, who knew Aphrodite as “Venus”) and of the Earth Goddess, and believed the gemstone would protect lovers from unfaithfulness. The ancient Greeks worked the Egyptian emerald mines during the time of Alexander the Great and throughout the Ptolemaic Dynasty that period of time where Hellenic Greeks ruled ancient Egypt). In fact Alexander himself wore a large emerald mounted onto his belt.

In the first century B.C. one of the Ptolemaic kings had an emerald engraved with the portrait of Lucullus, the great Roman general. He then presented it to him when Lucullus visited Egypt. These same mines later provided the last Ptolemaic monarch, Cleopatra VII, Queen of Egypt, the wonderful emeralds she was often depicted and described as wearing. Though lost for many centuries, extensive remains of "Cleopatra's Mines" were discovered about 1817; and are located near the Red Sea coast, east of Aswan. Emeralds were also quite favored in the Roman Empire, especially by Roman Emperors, emeralds oftentimes used as Roman crown jewels. The Roman Emperor Nero reportedly watched chariot races and gladiator contests through lenses made of emeralds, as he found the color to be calming. Roman texts of the second century B.C. recorded that emerald “influences every kind of business, and if you remain chaste while you wear it, it adds substance to both the body and the speech.” Romans also considered light-colored emeralds to be “unripe”, believing that an emerald becomes darker as it matures. During the Roman era emerald was discovered in Germany near present-day Salzburg, and production continued through the Middle Ages before the deposit played out.

To the early Christians, the emerald was a symbol for immortality and faith, and also was generally regarded as a symbol of kindness. These beliefs, though held by both preceding Greek and Roman culture, probably originated with Egyptian and Sumerian culture. In the ancient Near East, the ancient Babylonians believed that each emerald stone contained a goddess. The Sumerians believed that an emerald worn on the little finger of the left hand would cure inflammation of the eyes. In ancient Islam (both in the Near East as well as in Mogul India), green was a holy color symbolizing the unity of Islam, and an amulet of emerald was often engraved with a verse from the Koran. And in both ancient India as well as ancient China, emerald was worn as a talisman thought to bring good luck.

During the Middle Ages an emerald amulet was believed to keep a woman chaste. Medieval shamans and magicians believed that emeralds enabled them to foretell future events if put on the tongue or worn on the left side of the body. Emeralds were also believed to reveal what was true or false, and to give eloquence in speech and make people more intelligent and honest. Worn as a talisman, emerald was regarded as a sure antidote for enchantments and spells, was believed to repel evil spirits, and it was believed that a high quality emerald would change hues to alert the wearer to impending danger. In many legends of King Arthur, the Holy Grail (the cup used to catch Christ’s blood at the crucifixion) is described as being fashioned from a large emerald. Charlemagne the Great (ruler of a vast eighth century Frankish Kingdom) had a large and famous collection of emeralds, and Henry II, when he was made King of Ireland in 1171, was given a large emerald ring. In the Renaissance medical practitioners ground up emerald with laudanum, an opium derivative, as a medicine for certain fevers and ailments.

“Cleopatra’s Mines” in Upper Egypt provided Europe with emeralds all the way through the 16th century A.D. Though by today's standards the ancient Egyptian mines produced relatively small and poor quality gemstones, in the days of the Russian Czars, emeralds were the most prized of the Russian Crown Jewels. The famous 16th century Italian Goldsmith Benvenutto Cellini commented in his writings that emeralds fetched four times the price of diamond. Renaissance era astrologers and mystics recommended wearing a gold ring set with emerald on the little finger to protect the wearer from mental distress, frequent injuries, or loss of wealth. In the 18th century, Columbian emeralds started reaching Europe as a result of the Spanish plunder of South American Indians. In fact treasure hunters seeking wrecks of Spanish galleons are occasionally rewarded by the discovery of emeralds lost by the conquistadors long ago. Prior to the coming of the Spanish Conquistadors, South American natives had been working emerald mines for at least several centuries, and also held the gemstone in high regard. In fact, emeralds were worshipped by the Incas who had an emerald goddess to which they sacrificed their children.

Though the world’s best emeralds are generally regarded as being Colombian, emeralds are also produced in Brazil, Pakistan, Russia, India, and throughout Africa. Very large specimens are found in Siberia (though of a lighter hue than Colombian emerald) and in India (though of generally very low quality), and in the United States emeralds have been found in North Carolina. Emeralds are a variety of the mineral beryl (as are aquamarine, morganite, goshenite, heliodore, and bixbite). Although beautiful in color, emerald tends to be very "dirty" in that it typically contains a lot of inclusions known as "jardin," French for "garden". Seen under magnification, emerald reveals inclusions that resemble the foliage in a garden, or moss. The emerald was among the dearest treasures of the gem markets of Babylon, and today - nearly six thousand years later - this lovely stone remains one of the most valuable objects in the world. Flawless specimens of good color and size are exceedingly rare and command higher prices than diamonds of equal weight.

Throughout the history of the ancient world, gemstones were believed capable of curing illness, possessed of valuable metaphysical properties, and to provide protection. Found in Egypt dated 1500 B. C., the "Papyrus Ebers" offered one of most complete therapeutic manuscripts containing prescriptions using gemstones and minerals. Gemstones were not only valued for their medicinal and protective properties, but also for educational and spiritual enhancement. In the ancient world emerald was loved and worshipped for thousands of years as a symbol of the eternal cycle of life. Emerald was believed to possess magical regenerative properties, and was widely used for medicinal purposes in the ancient world. It was believed to prevent infection and diseases and was used by expectant mothers to keep unborn children safe from complications during childbirth. It was even used to treat cholera, dysentery, and malaria.

There were many ailments that were believed to be cured by emeralds. Disorders that emeralds have been used for include colic, burns, ulcers, headaches, tension, influenza, epilepsy, high blood pressure, heart disorders, neuralgia, cancer, skin disorders, dysentery, syphilis, fevers, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, asthma and anemia. It was believed to strengthen the heart and circulatory system, as well as the bladder and kidney functions. It was also used to treat forgetfulness, epilepsy, stammering and even insanity. The emerald was also once prized as an antidote in cases of poisoning. Even today, the powder of poorer quality emeralds is used in folk medicines in China.

On the metaphysical plane, emerald was used by shamans and magicians to enhance clairvoyance, thus helping to predict future events. Emerald was believed to detoxify negativity and transform it into positive emotional energy; to stabilize, soothe, and create a sense of security, harmony, faith, hope, and a closeness to God. Emerald was believed to keep the mind in excellent condition and promote a healthy memory and enhance intelligence, enabling one to think clearly about past, present, and future. Emeralds were often used by politicians and public speakers with the belief that they would promote creativity and eloquence, and to improve the wearer’s intuition, thereby enhancing perceptive abilities. Emeralds were also believed to bring good fortune (particularly in ancient China), and to foster kindness, sympathy, and truthfulness. There have even been times in history when the emerald was believed to be able to control one’s passions and lusts. They were also believed to help one express love, devotion, and adoration, and throughout the ancient world, wearing an emerald talisman was believed to drive away evil spirits.
 

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