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Molly Cule
164872.  Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:49 am Reply with quote

Hitler had his scientist make fake emeralds, called ‘igmeralds’ to augment the Nazi war chest. They were only able to make very small ones and the process was costly so they stopped making the gems quite quickly.

Jewels - a secret history

Molly Cule
164874.  Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:54 am Reply with quote

The most succesful maker of synthetic emeralds is Carroll Chatham who first started trying out methods aged 15 and blew the windows out of his neighbours house. His largest is 1014 carats and belongs to the Smithsonian Institution. His process is secret and the Chatham labs have strict educational criteria for their employees, they only hire people without school-leaving certificates.

Two things are known about the method of making the emeralds. It is a 'flux-growth' process using a tiny piece of emerald to start with, the fake one grows around this. Also, it is affected by power cuts. In 2003 at the Tucson Gem fiar Chatham sold a small collection of black, burnt emeralds which were the result of power cuts in California the year before.

Jewels - a secret history.

Molly Cule
164875.  Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:55 am Reply with quote

It takes 9 months to grow a Chatham emerald crystal.

Last edited by Molly Cule on Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:58 am; edited 1 time in total

Molly Cule
164877.  Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:58 am Reply with quote

On his honeymoon Chatham took his wife and a bag of emeralds to Cleef & Arpels on 5th Avenue, he hoped to sell the emeralds, as he chatted to the manager his wife whispered to him that they had to make a run for it, the manager had been telling his secretary in French to call the police, Chatham's wife had understood and made sure they got away. The manager saw that they could not have afforded all the emeralds and did not imagine they had been synthetically created.

Molly Cule
164880.  Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:03 am Reply with quote

Cleopatra loved emeralds. When she seduced Julius Caesar she was 22, she invited him into her opulent house with ivory hallways, jasper counches and emerald studded tortoiseshells.

She liked to give them as presents, engraved with her portrait.

Emeralds were one of the most expensive gems of the Roman world. Cleopatra had emerald mines in the southern desert of Egypt around which sprung up cities filled with men whose lives were dedicated to finding emeralds for the Queen.

164882.  Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:04 am Reply with quote

Scientists have analysed a bunch of emeralds which were supposed to have come to India via Alexander the Great around 300BC - it turned out they actually came from Colombia and so can only have come from the 16th century conquistadors at the earliest.


Molly Cule
164885.  Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:07 am Reply with quote

Emeralds are associated with eyes. Nero is said to have used them as lenses in his theatre binoculars. Polished stones from the beryl family of which emeralds are the most valued member were used to make spectacles, as a result the German word 'brille', meaning glasses comes fromt he word beryl.

Molly Cule
164886.  Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:09 am Reply with quote

The ancient Buddhas in Afghanistan that were destroyed were believed by local people to have once had their eye sockets set with great emeralds which could be seen from miles away flashing in the sunshine.

164887.  Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:09 am Reply with quote

The process of growing emeralds recalls the way pearls are made. I'll post a link over there so we don't forget.

Molly Cule
164893.  Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:18 am Reply with quote

Napoleon gave Josephine emeralds as a present. As she sat for a portrait just before it was announced publically that Napoleon was divorcing her she asked the artist named Isabey to 'Paint me in emeralds.... I want them to represent the underlying freshness of my grief'. She said she heard that certain Englishwomen 'abandoned by their husbands' wore green to show that they had been forsken............... which reminds me of the Chinese who say they are 'wearing a green hat' if their girlfriends/wives have had an affair.

Molly Cule
164898.  Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:23 am Reply with quote

The emeralds in this very painting led to the appointment of a gangster as the first chief of the French National Police - then called La Sûreté Nationale.

The emerald necklace was stolen, Napoleon was worried his enemies might think that he had arranged the theft so asked his undercover police to hunt it down, they had no idea how to do this so they asked the infamous outlaw Eugene Francois Vidocq to ask around the underworld, he found the necklace and as thanks he was pardoned by Napoleon. He went onto become a famous detective, a master of disguise and the first chief of the Sûreté.

Molly Cule
164906.  Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:33 am Reply with quote

In Ancient Roman times emerald was said to be the official gemstone of the messenger god mercury. He was the god of paths and roads as well as sleep and dreams. People claimed to have odd dreams at emerald mines.

Molly Cule
164909.  Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:35 am Reply with quote

The hieroglyphics word 'mesha' meant both an army sent to war and conscripts sent to quarries - both were similarly dangerous things involving going to a remote and dangerous place and both were performed by people who hadn't necessarily chosen to do the job in hand.

164916.  Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:42 am Reply with quote

Vidocq seems to me to be the way into this topic - so far, anyway.

Molly Cule
164918.  Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:51 am Reply with quote

Yes, I think he is a good bet. He hired 28 detectives for his force all of whom were former criminals.

Eugène François Vidocq is considered by historians and those in law enforcement to be the father of modern criminal investigation. Monsieur Vidocq:


introduced record keeping (a card-index system), criminalistics, and the science of ballistics into police work;
was the first to make plaster-of-paris casts of foot/shoe impressions;
was a master of disguise and surveillance;
held patents on indelible ink and unalterable bond paper;
and founded the first modern detective agency and credit bureau, Le Bureau des Renseignements.


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