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Emeralds are one of the most valuable and coveted gemstones known for their lush and rich green color.
Humankind has sought emeralds since ancient times, with the first mining of emeralds reported in ancient Egypt dating back to 300 BC. This alluring green gemstone has captivated the attention of many beauties from Cleopatra and Elizabeth Taylor to Angelina Jolie.
It might be astonishing to note that real emeralds can be twice as expensive as a diamond of the same size and weight.
What is an Emerald?
Emerald is a naturally occurring gemstone belonging to the beryl family. Other gemstones from this family are morganite and aquamarine. Emerald’s rich green color is caused by traces of chromium and sometimes vanadium.
Emeralds are formed deep in the earth, in the cracks and crevices of mineral-rich rocks such as granite. The majority of emeralds come from mines in Colombia, Zambia, and Brazil but emeralds can also be found in China, India, and Zimbabwe.
The color of emeralds can also be correlated to their source of origin. For example, Colombian emeralds tend to be a dark green while Zambian emeralds are often green with a tinge of bluishness.
- The emerald range between 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale of hardness.
- Emeralds have high scratch resistance but they are not as durable as diamonds, sapphires, or rubies.
- Due to a high number of inclusions, they are more fragile and more prone to chipping and breakage.
How to Buy Emerald?
Like all precious gemstones, the emerald has a range of quality, color, and clarity. Let’s take a look at 4Cs of emerald.
When buying a colored gemstone, the most important factor one needs to consider is color.
Emeralds are synonymous with green color and without a doubt, color is the most important feature of this magical gemstone.
When assessing the color of the emerald, there are three main things we must take into consideration: hue, tone, and saturation.
- Hue: Hue refers to the primary and secondary colors of a gemstone. Yellow or blue are the possible secondary colors present in emeralds. Over 70% of emeralds on the market come from Colombia, which typically produces bluish-green emeralds.
- Saturation: Saturation refers to the intensity and strength of the color present in the emerald. The higher the saturation, the more vivid the color, and in turn making the gemstone pricier.
- Tone: This is the relative lightness or darkness of the color of the stone. Stones that are too dark will not have vibrancy, whereas stones that are too light will not show off the true color (of what emerald is famous for), making such stones appear limp. Medium tone to medium-dark tone is considered to be the optimal tone.
Overall, an ideal emerald will have a medium to light tone with high saturation and a bright green hue.
Emeralds are generally found with many inclusions, and it is almost impossible to find emeralds that do not contain any traces of inclusions, blemishes, or imperfections. It is interesting to note that there is a high chance that it isn’t a natural emerald if there are no inclusions at all in the stone.
Emerald has thread-like inclusions similar to long vines and tendrils which are termed ‘jardin’, which means garden in French.
Having said that, a good quality emerald should be “eye-clean” that is free from any eye-visible inclusions. Stones that have higher transparency and fewer inclusions are the priciest.
When it comes to emeralds, it is important to settle for a cut that fully brings out the stone’s color while balancing the best brilliance at the same time. Symmetrical, open, and uniform facets are ideal to promote the color and brilliance of the emeralds.
One of the most famous cuts for emeralds is the ‘emerald cut’. Due to the large open facets in this cut, it enhances the color as well as the size of the diamond. This cut also minimizes stone wastage.
Another favored cut for emerald is round cut, especially for engagement rings because it brings the best shine and brilliance of the gemstone. This cut looks spectacular when paired with smaller diamonds in a halo setting. However, this cut is followed by a lot of stone wastage making round cut more expensive than the other cuts.
Some other popular shapes for emeralds are oval, pear, cabochon, hearts, and cushions.
As a general thumb rule, the price of a precious gemstone increases with its carat weight. The larger the emerald, the greater the cost.
Emeralds are notorious for growing extremely large. Some emeralds weigh hundreds of carats. The Gachalá Emerald is one of the most valuable and famous emeralds in the world, found in the year 1967 in Colombia.
When buying emeralds, a smaller stone with better color will be more valuable than a larger emerald with dull color. Due to their stunning color, even smaller emeralds can create stunning jewelry pieces.
Most of the emeralds undergo various treatments to enhance their color and clarity. Moreover, these treatments also provide stability to the gemstone. Two of the most common treatments are :
Emerald Oil Treatments
One of the more traditional treatments, it fills the internal fractures to improve the color and appearance and also hides inclusions. The only downside of this treatment is that it is temporary as the oil wears off after some time fading the enhancement.
Polymer and Prepolymer Fillers
In this treatment, polymers are used to fill surface-reaching cracks to conceal their visibility and to improve the apparent clarity, appearance, and stability of gem materials.
Taking Care of Emerald Jewelry
Emerald jewelry requires care to keep the gemstone shining ever. Listed are a few ways to take care of emerald jewelry.
- Emerald should be kept away from direct heat or sunlight as exposure to these can damage them.
- Emerald jewelry should be kept separately preferably in protective boxes or bags to avoid them rubbing against other jewelry.
- Emerald jewelry should be worn after applying cosmetic products and perfume to avoid oil, dirt, or any kind of grease accumulating on it.
- To clean the jewelry, only a soft-bristled brush and a gentle surfactant should be used to avoid any scratches or abrasion. And a micro-fiber cloth should be used to dry it.
- Oil treatments or fillers may wear off with use. So, any refixing or treatment should be done only under professional care.
SHOP FOR EMERALD JEWELRY
Emeralds are cherished possession and are symbolic of love and passion in a relationship. They are not just a piece of gemstone but form an emotional connection with their owner.
We hope that with our recommendations above, you will end up buying the emerald jewelry of your dream and will be able to add a priceless possession to your jewelry collection. However, choosing a trusted and reputed jeweler is of utmost importance who prioritizes superior craftsmanship over and above anything else.
We strongly recommend buying emeralds from James Allen. They are the most reputed fine jewelry seller online. With 18+ years of experience and a prime focus on customer satisfaction, they provide excellent pricing along with hi-tech imagery.
We also recommend buying emerald jewelry from Etsy and Blue Nile, the two best places which provide you with the easiest, safest and most-trusted shopping experience. They have innumerable options, designs ranging from traditional to modern and unique stones.
Buy emerald jewelry today and complete your jewelry collection!