As if NY didn’t pose enough challenges to my wallet and the strength of my financial will power (already shaky), next time I’m in Manhattan Beads of Paradise NYC will be a must-visit.
They have a range of beads and jewellery, from Asia and Africa, and there is a lot by which to be tempted. This emerald strand closes with a gold plated clasp (kind of a clanger for me given the price and the piece – a solid gold clasp would have been a nice touch) and sells for USD$3,000.
The site tells you everything you always wanted to know about emeralds and a bit more: Emerald is the modern and traditional birthstone for May. Emerald is the only stone besides topaz that is listed in all of the ancient birthstone tables. Emerald is the most precious stone in the beryl group. The name emerald comes from the Greek “smaragdos” via the Old French “esmeralde”, and really just means ‘green gemstone.’ Emerald’s precious green color is caused by trace amounts of chromium and vanadium. Emeralds are considered one of the four precious stones; the sapphire, the emerald, the ruby and the diamond. Emeralds are found in many countries, but Columbia and Brazil are the major producers; Columbia is recognized as the source for the finest stones. They are also found in Pakistan, Russia, Australia, South Africa, India, Norway, and the United States. Incas and Aztecs of South America, where the best emeralds are still found today, regarded the emerald as a holy gemstone. However, probably the oldest known finds were once made near the Red Sea in Egypt. These gemstone mines, already exploited by Egyptian pharaohs between 3000 and 1500 B.C. and later referred to as ‘Cleopatra’s Mines’, had already been exhausted by the time the mines were rediscovered in the early 19th century. Written many centuries ago, the Vedas, the holy scriptures of India, say the emerald enhances the well-being, and are supposed to aid in fertility and abundance. Commonly today, they are closely associated with love and gifts of love.