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About Emerald Jewelry

About Emerald Jewelry

The emerald is the most famous and recognizable member of the beryl family. It is the quintessential green gemstone and has been used since antiquity.  Throughout history, emeralds were classed as one of the 5 cardinal gemstones, which were considered superior to all other stones. Even today, this green gem is highly sought after, and no jewelry collection is truly complete without an emerald.

If you’re looking to purchase an emerald, whether loose or set in jewelry, there are several factors to consider to avoid getting ripped off. Let’s take a look at what you need to know before you buy an emerald.


 

What Is an Emerald?

Emeralds, along with morganite and aquamarine, come from the illustrious mineral family, beryl. It is easily the most popular and valuable type of beryl and also the easiest to recognize. The majority of emeralds come from mines in Colombia, Zambia and Brazil but emeralds can also be found in China, India and Zimbabwe. A form of the mineral beryl, emeralds rank 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Sapphires and rubies rank 9.0 and diamonds are an impressive 10.0. The green color is the result of traces of chromium or sometimes vanadium that is present in the stone. Here is a bit about the fascinating gems.

Emeralds generally contain many inclusions and are therefore considered poor in terms of toughness. A large amount of inclusions also means that emeralds are not graded based on magnification, but rather, on what the eye can see. In fact, as long as there aren’t any visible flaws, the stone is considered flawless.


Symbolism


Emerald is the birthstone for those born in the month of May. A symbol of rebirth, it is said to promote foresight, good fortune and youth. Emeralds are also believed to encourage growth, peace and balance. Green, by nature, is the most calming of all the hues on the color wheel, and emerald with its soothing green color offers relief from eye strain and stress. This gem was often used to decorate sacred images as well.

According to Rabbinic legends (the mainstream form of Judaism), God had granted King Solomon four precious stones that gave him the power to rule over all creations. One of these stones was an emerald. It was also believed that this gem protected the wearer from evil spells, and also gave the ability to foresee the future.


How are emeralds formed?

Natural emeralds are the results of geological events that took place in the Earth’s crust hundreds of millions of years ago. Emeralds formed one molecule at a time amid very specific conditions. When hydrothermal fluids escape from magma deep within the Earth’s crust, hydrothermal veins are formed. It is within these veins that emeralds can come to be, assuming that conditions are optimal and elements, such as beryllium, are present. Colombian emeralds, some of the most famous and sought after emeralds on the planet, are formed in this manner. However, not all emeralds are formed in hydrothermal veins. Some are formed in pegmatite deposits. These are similar to hydrothermal veins, except for one main difference. Hot water is the leading element in hydrothermal veins whereas magma or molten rock is the primary agent in pegmatite deposits.

These captivating green stones have a truly timeless appeal. The first known emerald mines in Egypt — dating back to at least 330 BC — inspired Cleopatra’s famous obsession. In fact, both the ancient Egyptians and Romans believed that simply looking at emeralds was restorative, so much so that Rome’s Pliny the Elder wrote that there was “no better method of restoring eyes than looking at the emerald, its soft green color comforting and removing their weariness.



How to evaluate an emerald?

For those who are unfamiliar with the term ‘the 4 Cs,’ it refers to the four most important aspects of gemstones, including emeralds. While the 4 Cs differ slightly from stone to stone and are mainly known for their association with diamonds, they still play an important role in grading emeralds and determining their worth. Emeralds are graded according to the 4Cs: Color, Clarity, Cut and in the case of emeralds, Crystal. Crystal refers to the transparency of the emerald.


Color

When it comes to color, the most highly desirable emeralds are bluish-green to pure green. Colors should be vivid and not too dark. High-quality emeralds will be highly transparent with evenly distributed color. If the green stone has too much yellow or blue, it will be a different variety of beryl, but not an emerald.


Clarity

Inclusions are common in emeralds, so finding a stone with inclusions that can’t be seen by the naked eye is very rare. These emeralds are said to be eye-clean, and they are very valuable.In emeralds, inclusions are usually mossy looking, and they are sometimes called “jardin,”which is the French word for garden.Transparency is also very important with colored stones like emeralds. When inclusions start to have a negative impact on transparency, they start to decrease the value of the stone.


Cut

When cutting emeralds, the stone cutter needs to consider the depth of color in the rough stone, as well as the durability of the stone and any inclusions that could lead to weakness in the final product. Any cutting mistake can decrease the value of the stone, which could lead to big losses.

Emeralds are notoriously difficult to cut. This is due to the fact that many emeralds have significant fractures that need to be dealt with during the cutting process. These fractures can also make the stone brittle, which could cause damage during the cutting process.

The cut is also expected to maximize the effect of hue, tone, and saturation of the stone. By adjusting the emerald’s proportions and the number of facets, the cutter can affect the color of the final stone. For example, to darken a pale stone, the cutter can use a deep cut, a small table, and fewer facets. Conversely, the cutter can lighten a dark stone by using a shallow cut, a large table, and extra facets to let in more light.

Finally, cutters can deal with the dichroism (variation in color of reflected or transmitted light) of many emeralds by orienting the table to be perpendicular to the stone’s length. This can make the hue more bluish-green instead of yellowish -green.


Carat

Emeralds come in a wide variety of sizes. While emeralds in museums weigh hundreds of carats, there are also some that weigh a fraction of a carat. The smallest carat weights range from 0.02 to 0.50. Emeralds that weigh 1 to 5 carats are popular as center stones. 


Choosing Emerald Color

 It goes without saying that color is the most important feature of an emerald. After all, the very word emerald is synonymous with green and if it’s not green, it’s not an emerald. Unlike many other gemstones such as emeralds and diamonds, emeralds come only in the color green. Emeralds can come in a range of greens, from vivid and vibrant to pale and limp.

When evaluating the color of an emerald, there are three main things we must take into consideration: hue, tone and saturation.


Emerald Hue

Hue refers to the primary and secondary colors of the gemstone which, in the case of emeralds, will always be green with possible secondary colors of yellow or blue. Over 70% of emeralds on the market come from Colombia, which typically produce bluish green emeralds.


Emerald Tone

The tone refers to how light or dark the emerald is. The best emeralds have a medium tone and are neither too light nor too dark. An emerald that is too light can appear limp and inexpensive, while an emerald that is too dark will not have the vibrancy and color that emeralds are known for.


Emerald Saturation

Saturation refers to the intensity and strength of the color present in the emerald. The higher the saturation, the more vivid the color, which then correlates to higher prices.

To recap, an ideal emerald will have a medium to light tone with high saturation and a bright green hue.


Care Instructions

1、Emeralds have fair to good toughness, which means they require more care when compared to a ruby or sapphire. Keep the following tips in mind to maintain the beauty of this gemstone and to help them stay dazzling for years.


2、Avoid contact with harsh washing soaps and cleaners.


3、Do not wear your emeralds when engaging in any activity that might scratch the stone.


4、Use a soft toothbrush with diluted mild soap for cleaning, and do brush the underside of the emerald      to ensure the removal of dirt and grease. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry.


5、Do not use ultrasonic cleaners, steam cleaners or acetone for cleaning as they can cause irreparable damage.


6、Exposure to high heat must be completely avoided.


7、Clean them only a few times in a year.


After years of wear, you may choose to have your emerald re-oiled by a local jeweler.



Emerald Engagement Rings

You might be wondering: Are emeralds a good choice for engagement rings? Emeralds are not very durable and can easily break or chip so this must be taken into consideration before you make your decision. However, many people choose emerald engagement rings and with proper care and careful wear, these rings can last a lifetime.The emerald is a symbol of hope and thought to preserve love, which is perfect symbolism for an engagement ring. They also represent growth, peace, balance, fertility, a strong bond, and healing.


If you do decide to choose an emerald engagement ring, you have an array of setting options to choose from. Emeralds pair well with diamonds, which give the stone an extra burst of brilliance.

Settings such as halo, three stone, and pave are ideal, as they bring out the beautiful pairing of diamonds and emeralds. You can choose to have the emerald as the center stone or as the accent stones.

Lab-created emeralds are a great option for a budget and environmentally friendly alternative. These are created in labs using scientific methods and time-taking processes.

Lab-created, or synthetic, emeralds are actual emeralds, made of the same material as mined emeralds so it is incorrect to assume that these are fake. However, they will not have the same type of inclusions that you find in mined emeralds.

While synthetic emeralds are not as expensive as mined stones, they are still relatively pricey.

However, beware of imitation emeralds, which are substances such as glass or colored quartz, often passed off as emeralds. These have little to no value and you can easily be ripped off if you aren’t careful.



Emerald earring

These emerald stud earrings are as wearable as they are gorgeous. These studs feature one beautiful step cut  emeralds, which together total 1.5 carats. The emeralds used here are enclosed in elegant, modern bezel settings crafted from 10k yellow gold, which add rich golden color and provide your gemstones with extra security.


Emerald necklace

This chic one-carat emerald pendant necklace lets the true beauty of its featured emerald shine. In this design, a round emerald is enclosed in a in a circle surrounded by moissanite, which dangles from a chain full of moissanite inlays. While this pretty piece is shown here in 14k white gold, this necklace can be customized! You can choose from white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, or platinum for your setting and chain to get a necklace that perfectly suits your style.

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