Emeralds are coveted gemstones and are extremely valuable. However, this particular gemstone belongs to the Beryl family and is of a brilliant vibrant green hue. All Beryl stones are not emeralds though and the deepest ones are known as Emeralds usually. The pale ones are simply called green Beryl and do not fetch a high value in the jewelry market. It is also one of the most precious gemstones. Strangely, an emerald is expected to contain flaws and is rarely perfect. The flaws are minute inclusions that are treated with the aid of certain chemicals and resins in order to fill in the cracks or fissures. The presence of such imperfection makes the emeralds easier to identify the stones and differentiate them from other kinds of Beryls.
Characteristics Of Emeralds
This gemstone is comprised of Aluminum beryllium silicate and measures 7.5 to 8 on the Moh’s scale making it one of hardest gems available for jewelry. It is definitely harder than quartz and apatie while being considerably softer than topaz and spinel. However, the gemstone is much more fragile as compared to other Beryl stones. Emeralds tend to vary from translucent to opaque and the crystal is hexagonal, very similar to a prism. The distinctive color of the gemstone is due to the presence of chromium along with vanadium that can be inspected in natural sunlight. The best way to examine an emerald for authenticity is to check its specific gravity that needs to be between 2.6 to 2.8. Observing the gemstone under strong artificial light will make the fissures apparent thus identifying it as a genuine gemstone obtained naturally.
Emeralds are definitely popular gems for jewelry. While being relatively hard with a high quality brilliance and fire, the transparent gemstone is extremely popular for open settings. A single large gemstone set ring containing an emerald is most sought after by the elite. There is no dearth of availability of emerald jewelry and most local jewelers also stock them as high-end designs. With the stone being brittle, the jewelers need to take utmost care during cutting, setting, and polishing the stone. The gemstone is also affected by heat and pressure so setting it into complex settings is not always possible. The most popular form of emerald jewelry happens to be rings and pendants where just a single gemstone within a setting will do.
The jewelry consultants also advise buying emerald by size and not carat weight as the size-weight ratio varies from stone to stone.
There are many varieties of the Emerald. However, the ones that are qualified as Emeralds and not a green Beryl include:-
• Colombian Emerald – This Emerald is usually thought to be of the highest quality.
• Brazilian Emerald – The term may also refer to the green Tourmaline from the same source.
• Zambian Emerald – These Emeralds have a good color and transparency.
• Cat’s Eye Emerald – Displays a cat’s eye effect. It is extremely rare and only found in pale colored paler Emeralds.
• Trapiche Emerald / Star Emerald – Contains black impurities in the shape of a six-rayed star.
Oval shaped Emerald in Halo diamonds engagement ring.
The best Emeralds are found in:-
• South African
• U.S. (North Carolina)
• Egypt & Austria are the ancient sources of Emerald.