Emerald is a highly coveted precious gemstone, lauded for its vibrant green color, lush hues, remarkable elegance, and extraordinary appeal. This fascinating gem has besotted human beings for thousands of years, and its magical charm continues to enchant.
Emerald – The Precious Green Gemstone
The name ’emerald’ originates from the Greek word “smaragdos,” which signifies ‘green gemstone.’ They are the rarest variety of the mineral beryl and symbolize wisdom, love, intellect, health and peace of mind. There are one of the four precious gems recognized worldwide alongside ruby, diamond, and sapphire.
Green emerald gemstone is a symbol of new life, and all that promises, which is why it is considered a birthstone for May and a traditional gift for wedding anniversaries. Due to its high popularity worldwide, this astonishing gem has become a preferred choice for jewelry and is treasured by every generation as a precious asset.
Emerald May Birthstone – Photo by Liquidation Channel [CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3] – https://akamaicdn.liquidationchannel.com/Images/homebig/5.1_Emerald_Main3.jpg
Emeralds are mined almost all over the world, including Colombia, Brazil, Pakistan, India, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Russia and the United States. Colombia has emerged as the world’s leading source for best quality emeralds, whereas the most valuable ones come from the Rajasthan region of India.
Evaluating an Emerald Gemstone
The following factors determine the value of this gem:
1. Color – The most desirable color of a green emerald gemstone is a bluish-green color in a medium dark tone with strong to intense saturation. The shades vary from light to deep green with tints of blue, yellow or black. The color shade of a gem is an important characteristic to determine its originality and value.
Buyer’s Note: Choose emeralds of Colombian origin as they yield a vivid green shade of gemstone whereas Zambia provides a bluish-green stone. Bright green gems fetch more price than the light green stones.
Rough Brazilian Emerald – By Madereugeneandrew (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AEmerald_in_a_quartz_and_pegmatite_matrix.JPG
2. Cut – It is a very crucial step as the perfect cut enhances the color of the stone and increases its value. With modern techniques, the emerald stone can be cut into different shapes such as round, oval, pear, rectangular, marquise, cabochon, and more.
Buyer’s Note: The most preferred cut is the emerald cut, as the color of the stone is best visible in this shape.
Rough Emerald Stone – By irvin calicut (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ACut_emerald_stones_(4).jpg
3. Clarity – Emeralds are a highly included precious stone. However, flaws and blemishes vary from one gem to another. Finding a flawless emerald gemstone without any inclusions is a herculean task and commands a very high price.
Buyer’s Note: Select emeralds with internal inclusions rather than surface or near-surface inclusions.
Emerald Gemstone Ring – Photo by Certified Jewelry [CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3] – https://i.ytimg.com/vi/lO8KaiHh8pc/hqdefault.jpg
4. Carat – These stones come in wide range of sizes. Larger emeralds have more carats and are more costly as compared to smaller ones. The beauty of an emerald stone is enhanced in large sizes as they are considerably harder to mine.
Buyer’s Note: The weight suitable for jewelry is between 0.5-4 carats and gemstones beyond five carats are rare and expensive. It is advisable to purchase emerald gemstones by size and not by carat weight.
With these criteria, it gets easier to determine the appropriate emerald stone cost. However, before buying this valuable gem, it is always advisable to ask for a lab certificate if possible.
Different Types of Emerald
Each mining location produces a different color variation of green emerald gemstone. Therefore, it is imperative to understand the features of each variety of emerald before buying them:
Colombian Emeralds – are found in the Boyaca; province of Columbia. These sought-after stones are among the first gemstones mined in the world. Colombia alone is responsible for 70-90% of the world’s emerald supplies. The vibrant green color, transparency, crystallization and fire make this gemstone a huge hit among buyers.
Kagem Zambian Emeralds – are found in Zambia, Southern Africa. These precious and versatile gemstones are also called the “stone of successful love” and symbolize hope and eternal love. The bluish-green color of the Zambian stones tends to be more saturated greener than Colombian emeralds.
Brazilian Emeralds – were discovered in Brazil around 1920. These gemstones are lighter in shade compared to Colombian emeralds. They are mostly found in a yellow-green color with no inclusions. One of the largest emeralds ever discovered in the world was Bahia Emerald in Brazil, weighing over 840 lbs (approx. 180,000 carats).
Different Emerald Rings – Photo by Liquidation Channel [CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3] – http://www.liquidationchannel.com/search?q=emerald%3Arelevance%3Aarticle%3Arings
Each and every stone is enhanced to improve its overall appearance. The cavities present within the gem are often filled with a hard colorless substance. Later, they are treated with a colorless oil or wax over the surface of the stone to cover the breaks or reduce their prominence. This process is repeated after a few years as the effect of colorless oil diminishes with the passage of time. Oiling is the oldest technique used for enhancing emerald clarity. These days, modern methods are used to improve clarity. Natural resins or waxes are used to treat the stone to provide permanent protection.
Emerald stones are also subjected to colored treatment by dealers to increase its color quality and price. However, while selling these gemstones, reputable dealers will always provide information outlining any treatments that have been applied to the stone which buyers should look for in determining an emerald’s quality.
Buying Loose Emerald Gemstones
Emerald gemstones are widely used in jewelry items such as cluster rings, brilliant earrings, majestic necklaces, and elegant bracelets. Due to the unexpected rise in the demand for emerald jewelry, their prices have skyrocketed over the years.
People who want to buy emerald gemstone as jewelry, but are bound within a budget, can opt for loose emerald gemstones. These stones are subjected to different heat and color treatment to enhance the overall quality of the gem. They can be used in creating jewelry pieces – ring, necklace, pendants, and so on. Loose emerald gemstones are relatively affordable compared to natural ones which aid an average earning person to afford this gem. These stones can be cut in different shapes and sizes without any concern for the quality of the gem.
Emerald Gemstone and Jewelry – Photo by Liquidation Channel [CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3] – http://www.liquidationchannel.com/search?text=emerald
Cleaning Emerald Gemstone Jewelry
Emerald is a rugged gem, measuring 7.5 – 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness. In spite of its listed durability, this gemstone requires special care and precautions. Below are a few tips to keep your precious gemstone jewelry just like new.
Clean the stone using a soft dry cloth.
Store them in a separate jewelry box lined with soft material.
Wash them with soapy water as water can seep into the fractures and dissolve the oiling.
Use ultrasonic cleaner else the oiling would be removed from the stone and inclusions would be visible through the naked eyes.
Expose the gem to excessive heat and sudden temperature change.
With this guide in hand, buyers can make an informed purchase of emerald gemstones that are not only valuable, but also beautiful. So wait no further! Express your personal style by wearing emerald jewelry that continues to grow in popularity with each passing day.
Eric Johnson is an accomplish writer, speaker and personality development trainer. He has been working as a freelance writer for past 15 years, and his hobbies include jewelry designing and following fashion trends.