11 May Emeralds The Luscious Green Beauty
The Luscious Green Beauty
Emerald is the luscious greenish blue to greenish yellow variety of the Beryl family, more on beryl another time. For now, think of it as a cousin to Aquamarine and Morganite but it is by far the most important of the Beryl family being the most recognised.
Its name is from the Greek “Smaragdos” (green stone) and Its present name has been used from the 16th century. The fine intense green is caused by a trace amounts of the element’s chromium and/or vanadium replacing the aluminium in the beryl structure. In most countries it is accepted that emerald is green beryl (yes there’s also a green beryl that’s not emerald) that has been coloured by chromium and/or vanadium. Emerald may also contain iron, however, a beryl coloured green by iron alone may not be called an emerald as it is considered a green beryl….Try and wrap your head around that one.
Emeralds are found in many locations around the world with the best of them coming from Columbia, but other locations include: Brazil, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Zambia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. Australia also has a small amount of emeralds however they are not readily available and would not be considered a commercial source.
It is accepted by the industry that the majority of emeralds have been treated with a colourless oil (Canada balsam, cedar wood oil, etc.) that has a similar refractive index to emerald. This treatment attempts to hide surface reaching fractures and make the gem more transparent.
When colourless oil or some other optical sealant (without use of a hardening agent) is used, the treatment is considered acceptable (as the oil or other fracture filler is not permanent and could potentially be removed, leaving the gem in its original condition). (The treatment process varies from country to country but is basically the same).
When coloured oils or an optical sealant with a hardening agent are used to seal surface reaching fractures, the treatment is considered unacceptable and must be disclosed to customers
Emeralds can vary greatly in price and a question we get asked a lot both emeralds and other gems – especially diamonds are how much does an Emerald cost? Due to the diverse nature of coloured gems and other factors that affect price – colour saturation, inclusions, cut of the gem, its shape and carat weight – one cannot simply real off a figure. There are emeralds that are dirt cheap, for obvious reasons and then there are emeralds that only kings and queens can afford.
A good Rule of thumb is to choose the emerald that fits you design and budget…. One that’s just right. Kind of like a Goldie locks scenario. You can opt for a larger emerald but maybe allow it to be slightly more included, alternately you could go for smaller in size but better in clarity. All of these factors are a push and pull or eb and flow scenario where your jeweller should be able to educate you and guide you in the right direction for your budget and needs.
There are a couple of alternatives that come to mind if someone if looking for a green gem and doesn’t want an emerald. These include Tsavorite garnet and Tourmaline with the later coming in varies shades of blues and greens unique as the individuals that we are. Both are perfect alternatives to Emerald while not attracting the price tag of the luscious green gemstone.