Imagine yourself wandering into an art gallery. Every painting is a unique shade of green and a multitude of shapes seem to lie within the color. Each work is different, no two designs alike, all beautiful and intriguing. It’s fascinating. You look deeper and deeper and you are engrossed. How could you not be? You have been drawn into another world. Welcome to the Art Gallery of the Eternal Emerald. Emeralds have been the preferred gem of royalty for thousands of years; Cleopatra was enchanted by their magnificent green nuances, the ancient Greeks and Romans were not alone in believing them to possess magical powers and the Mughal emperors carved prayers and poems onto them. The shortsighted Nero sharpened his vision with an emerald eyeglass, the better to see his gladiators fight and it is even speculated that he might have worn this eyepiece while watching Rome burn. Emeralds are very rare, much rarer than diamonds. They are mined in many localities known for their rich gem bearing grounds such as Brazil, Colombia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Zambia, Russia, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Mozambique, Canada and India, but the chemical elements that form them and are responsible for their color – chromium and vanadium – are seldom found together in nature. Some localities like Colombia produce a particular variety of crystal, the trapiche, in which black inclusions form a star shape in the middle of the hexagonal crystal.
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