Learn about Emerald-Modern Gem Jewelry

  1. Outline
  2. Symbolism
  3. Properties
  1. Grades
  1. Care Guides

 

Outline

Natural Emerald comes from the same mineral that produces Aquamarine, Morganite and Yellow Beryl; "BERYL". Emeralds are known for their stunning smooth and breathtaking greenish colour, which is caused by trace element chromium and vanadium, which gives it its vibrant colour on rare occasions. Natural Emeralds are part of the 'big three' cardinal precious stones globally (Ruby, Sapphires and Emeralds). Emerald acquired its name from an ancient Persian word, "Smaragdus", which translates as "Green" in modern English. Natural Emerald is the most valuable stone in the Beryl family and continues to captivate the world with its beautiful green colour. Emeralds are excellent gemstones for all forms of jewellery, scoring 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale, making them a perfect choice for everyday wear.

Natural Emeralds have captivated ancient civilizations in Africa, Asia, and South America since they were first discovered. The oldest known emeralds were found in Zimbabwe, while Colombia is currently the best-known source for the emerald gemstone's 'deep green' variety. Brazil and Zambia are also well-known for producing high-quality top emeralds.

Naturally flawless emeralds are extremely rare and valuable. Emeralds with minor flaws are often preferred over flawless ones because they are thought to be more genuine. Treatment of emeralds with oil or synthetic lubricants to improve clarity has become standard practice in the industry. Natural Emeralds are splendid when designed into emerald earrings and pendants are a great way to show off this fascinating gem's splendour. Furthermore, the allure of emerald engagement rings has made them a popular choice for couples worldwide.



Symbolism

Natural Emerald, the birthstone for January Born, enhances foresight, good fortune, and youth as an emblem of reincarnation. Emeralds have also been believed to promote growth, peace, and harmony. Many cultures across the world associate the colour "Green" forestry and development. The green colour is the most soothing of all the colours on the colour spectrum, and emerald offers alleviation from eye strain and stress thanks to its soft green colour. Many stories have been told where Emeralds were frequently used in the past to embellish sacred images. 

According to Rabbinic legends, God had given King Solomon four precious stones that gave him the power to rule over all creations, which is the mainstream form of Judaism and is believed that an emerald was among those stones. Emerald was also known to protect the wearer from evil spellcasters and provide the ability to see into the future.

Natural Emeralds have been revered for their rarity and glamour throughout history and over 500 years; the Incas used them in jewellery as religious ceremonies. Present-day Egypt was home to one of the first known emerald mines in the world. 

Cleopatra, one of the rulers of ancient Egypt, was said to have been enthralled by the stone, wore it as part of her adornments. Egyptians also buried emeralds with their mummies, hoping that the stone would grant them eternal youth in the afterlife. Another exciting legend claims that Nero, the Roman Emperor, observed gladiator battles through an emerald, relieving the eyes. 

The Greek goddess(goddess of beauty and love), Venus , has also been linked to this glamourous precious green gemstone.

Natural Emerald's calming green hue has made the word "Emerald" a term for describing lush green landscapes. The country Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle due to its lush countryside. In the US state of Washington, Seattle is also known as the Emerald City because of the dense vegetation. This breathtaking green gemstone has also been a spotlight in some of the world's most delicate jewellery pieces, such as Queen Marie Jose's (the last of Italy's royalty) necklace, which features around 50 stunning emeralds and diamonds.

 

Properties

Hardness and Strength

It is an undeniable fact that this stunning green gemstone steals the heart of many jewellery designers and lovers; they are much more fragile compared to other beryl family members (Aquamarine, Yellow Beryl and Morganite). Natural Emeralds are naturally included and flawed during formation; They must always be handled with utmost care to prevent damage and enjoy the unmeasurable beauty it possesses. If exposed to excessive heat or rough impact, there's a good chance it'll develop more internal cracks which will quickly cause it to damage or crack. As a result, extra caution should be exercised when handling this precious gemstone.



Treatment

Natural Emeralds are one of the most heavily included gemstones in the trade. These imperfections are a result of tiny particles of gases, liquids and other minerals. Emeralds struggle with their inclusions and commonly have small surface cracks and breaking fissures that leave this gemstone prone to damage. In the industry, it's a widely accepted practice to enhance emeralds' clarity to improve their value and appearance. 

Emeralds are habitually treated with Cedar oil, a colourless extract derived from cedar trees. This oil is available in a highly purified form and helps fill fractures in emeralds. However, because cedar oil is exceptionally sticky, it is difficult to penetrate the emerald's microcracks. As a result, heat and pressure are often used to achieve better results. Cleaning the emeralds and securing them in a heated hydraulic cylinder with pure cedar oil is the first step in this process. While the heat causes the cedar oil to liquefy, the pressure allows the oil to penetrate the emerald's microcracks. After the gemstones are cooled off, the oil returns to its thick, dense state and stays intact and unless ultrasonic cleaners, excessive heat, or harsh solvents are used.

The traditional oiling treatment has a lengthy effect, but it is not permanent. As a result, an oil-treated emerald will need to be re-oiled to keep its lustre. Coloured oils and epoxy-like resins are used in non-standard treatments for further treatments.

 

Grades

The colour of an emerald is the most critical factor in determining its value. Cut, clarity, and carat weight are also important considerations.

Color

Emeralds are bluish-green to deep green, with a vibrant saturation. Light tone Emeralds are the most popular in the market today. The amount of Chromium, vanadium and iron present in the gemstone determines the amount of colour. 

Emeralds with a high degree of transparency and free of any impurities are exceptionally sought-after. An even distribution of colour across the gemstone even adds more appeal and value to the gemstone. 

Clarity

Emeralds are famous for having visible inclusions that are outlined as mossy or garden-like. These imperfections are also known as 'Jardin,' which is (a French word for garden). Natural Emerald's transparency and clarity are inseparably connected. Eye-visible inclusions are commonly accepted in emeralds, but if the imperfections drastically affect the transparency and clarity, the value also reduces drastically. 

Cut

Natural Emerald can be damaged in almost every situation. Emeralds can easily break from the stone setting to polishing, cutting, and even careless wear with the most trivial miscarriage. The term "Emerald Cut.", also known as the step-cut or trap-cut, was coined for emeralds. 

This cut is designed to guard the gem against mechanical damage and chipping. This cut (also used for other gemstones) helps enhance the emerald's overall beauty by maximizing its colour, tone, and saturation. Natural emerald comes in various shapes, including oval and round and more. 

Carat

Natural Emeralds are widely available in a range of weights and sizes. While some museum emeralds weigh hundreds of carats, others weigh only a fraction of a carat. The smallest carat weights are between 0.02 and 0.50 carats. As a centre stone, emeralds can weigh from 0.5 carats to 3 carats. Larger stone carats with good saturation and clarity are very sought-after. 

Emeralds can be classified into the following categories based on color, clarity, cut, and carat weight:

AAAA-Heirloom

These are the top 1% of all emeralds available in regards to quality. They have an incredible rich green colour, are slightly included, and have a high level of clarity.

AAA-Best

These emeralds comprised the top 10% of all emeralds having moderate inclusions and a rich, medium green colour.

AA-Better

The top 33% of emeralds with a medium green hue and heavy inclusions belong to this category.

A-Good

These comprise the top 75% of all available emeralds, which are dark green and opaque in looks.

 

Care Guides

When compared to a ruby or sapphire, emeralds have a fair to good toughness, implying that they demand more care. It is very important to follow the below guide to help protect the beauty of this gemstone and keep it gleaming for years to come.

  • Washing soaps and cleaners that are harsh on the skin should be avoided.
  • Wearing your emeralds while doing anything that could scratch the stone is not a good idea.
  • Cleaning Emerald should be done only with a soft toothbrush and mild diluted soap, using lukewarm water, rinse and pat dry.
  • Ultrasonic cleaners, steam cleaners, and acetone should not be used for cleaning because they can cause irreversible damage.
  • High-heat exposure must be avoided at all costs.
  • They only need to be cleaned a few times a year.
  • You can have your emerald re-oiled by a local jeweller after years of wear.

 


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