Emerald Color

Emeralds are known for their brilliant green and range in tone and saturation from blue-green to dark, deep-green. It is the amount of chromium, iron, and vanadium present in each emerald that determines its shade of green. The more vivid, rich, and evenly distributed the green colour is, the higher the emerald’s value tends to be. Completely transparent green, emeralds are very rare and therefore more valuable.

Emerald Carat Weight

Available in a very wide range of sizes, emeralds can be as small as 0.02 carats to as large as a 100 carats. Of course, with the increase of carat size, the value of the emerald also increases. The most popular carat weights for emerald gemstones are between 1 and 5 carats and, because of their lower density, the equivalent carat weight of an emerald will appear larger than a diamond of the same carat weight.

Emerald Cut

Emeralds are slightly more delicate than diamonds, sapphires, and rubies, so extra care is taken when cutting and shaping an emerald, to safeguard the gemstone while maximizing its beauty. The popular emerald-cut, also known as the step-cut, was designed especially for emeralds to maximize their colour brilliance while protecting them from the mechanical strain of the precise cutting process. Emeralds are also available in other shapes, including brilliant-round, oval, and cushion cuts.

Emerald Clarity

Known for their visible inclusions, emeralds are often described using the French word “jardin,” meaning garden. Inclusions visible to the naked eye are accepted as part of the emerald’s natural beauty, it is only inclusions that significantly affect an emerald’s transparency or clarity that reduce its value. That said, it is precisely the unique characteristics of each emerald that magnify their charm and authenticity and, despite the natural inclusions in emeralds, a prized emerald can be more valuable than a diamond of the same carat weight.

Emerald Origins

Emeralds form deep under our earth’s crust and comprised of four natural elements: beryllium, aluminum, silicon, and oxygen. These four elements can be found on hydrothermal veins which, when conditions are right and these veins begin to cool, naturally form emerald crystals.

Colombia is the main source of emeralds today, but emeralds are also found in Brazil, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Colombia is known for its deep-green emeralds which are highly sought after, and Brazil and Zambia are known for their high-quality emeralds.

Emerald Meaning

The emerald is a symbol of loyalty, unity, and unconditional love. Believed to promote good fortune and balance, the emerald was used in ancient times for protection, foresight into the future, and eternal youth in the afterlife. Legend has it that an emerald will change colour if a partner is unfaithful. Emeralds are also associated with Venus, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. The emerald is the birthstone of the month of May and the 20th and 55th anniversary year.

Emerald Durability

The emerald belongs to the beryl mineral family, and, with a rating of 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs hardness scale, emeralds are slightly less durable than the sapphire or the ruby, because they are less hardy and naturally feature more inclusions. Emeralds still make excellent center stones and are a popular choice for engagement rings, they just require a little more handling care.

Emerald Enhancements

Since natural emeralds are inherently more included than many other gemstones and sometimes also have tiny surface blemishes, they are frequently treated to improve their colour and appearance. Cedar oil, from cedar trees, is also commonly used to treat emeralds, as the purity of the oil can penetrate fractures and fill them naturally. When cracks are too tiny to be penetrated by cedar oil alone, heat and pressure treatments allow the cedar oil to more deeply penetrate the emerald and achieve better results. Oil-treated emeralds require re-oiling maintenance over time. Other treatments used for optimizing the appearance of emeralds include resins and colored oils. At Gemdaia, we choose to only deal with emeralds categorized as natural.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, the emerald is the birthstone of the month of May.

Most fine emeralds are found in Colombia, but emeralds are also sourced in Brazil, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Emeralds consist of beryllium, aluminum, silicon, and oxygen which are found deep under our earth’s crust on hydrothermal veins. When conditions are just right, these veins cool and emeralds naturally form over many years.

The value of emeralds is greatly impacted by color. The richer and more evenly distributed their green color is, the more emeralds tend to be worth. The carat weight, cut, and clarity of emeralds also impacts their value.

Emeralds represent loyalty, unity, and unconditional love. They are believed to promote good fortune and balance, and offer their wearer protection.

Emeralds are gemstones, comprised of a variety of the mineral beryl. Their green color occurs due to trace amounts of chromium and vanadium.

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