EThe rich, green gemstone needs little introduction – and indeed forms one fourth of the ‘precious four’ of gems – which also includes Diamond, Ruby and Sapphire.
Its colour is unparalleled in the gemstones world as the most precious gem within the Beryl Group, Emeralds are some of the most valuable precious stones in the world today.
COLOUR, CLARITY AND CUT
By their very definition, these stones must display a to dark green colour – but the hue can vary slightly.Trace elements of either vanadium impurities or chromium can change the stone’s hue somewhat – from a yellow-tinged stone to a deep, rich blue-green
When cut and polished, these stone shave a vitreous (‘glass-like’) luster.And clarity is graded by eye; it’s considered flawless if the stone has no inclusions which are visible to the naked eye. Yet whilst clarity is important for many, flaws are in Emeralds – practically more than with any other gem. More often than not, they are regarded as part of the stone’s character. More often than not, Emeralds are cut in their namesake cut; the Emerald cut, to maximize the colour and beauty of the gem whilst protecting it from undue stresses.The stones can also be found cut in a plenitude of other shapes, including oval, pear and round.
EMERALD GEMSTONES PROPERTIES:
|Species:||Emerald – beryl|
|Chemical Formula:||Al2Be3Si6O18 – Aluminum beryllium silicate|
|Crystal Structure:||Hexagonal; hexagonal prisms|
|Color:||Emerald green to green to slightly bluish or yellowish-green|
|Hardness:||7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale|
|Refractive Index:||1.565 to 1.602|
|Density:||2.67 to 2.78|
|Transparency:||Transparent to opaque|
|Double Refraction or Birefringence:||-0.006|
An Emerald’s colour is it’s chief determining value. The most popular stones are slightly bluish green, and boast a medium to dark tone
‘Eye-clean’ stones – those that appear flawless to the naked eye – command the highest prices, especially those that lie within the ideal colour grade.
Lastly, although the clarity of these stones can range from the translucent to opaque, it is the former varieties that command the largest sums.
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ORIGINS & IMITATIONS
Emeralds are excavated from many locations around the globe, with potentially the most famous producer being Colombia – known for its unique, ‘deep green. In a similar vein, Zambian Emeralds are known to be slightly bluish, whilst Brazilian stones are prized for their extraordinary clarity and slight yellow colour.
Recently, the production of Emeralds has increased around the world due to new deposits being discovered across Africa, Europe and the Americas.
NAME, FAME & LEGEND
The name of this gem is rooted in the old French word ‘esmeralde’, taken itself from a Greek word meaning ‘green stone’.
Throughout the ages, Emeralds have been: the South American Incas and Aztecs considered the Emerald as holy , whilst the Vedas, the holy scriptures of the Hindus, say ‘Emeralds promise good luck’ and ‘enhances the wellbeing’.
Many of the most famous of these stones are now housed in private collections and museums around the world. This includes the so-called Mogul Emerald – one of the world’s largest specimens – which weighs otherworldly 217.80 carats and measures nearly 10cm in length. This legend was auctioned in 2001 in London, and sold for a cool USD 2.2 million.
Two of the world’s most famous Elizabeths also enjoy the Emerald’s unique beauty. Elizabeth II, the Queen of England, has private Jewellery collection valued at over USD 57 million. This fantastic collection includes a suite of Emerald Jewellery named the ‘Cambridge Emeralds and the Delhi Dunbar Parure’ – gifted to her by her grandmother Queen Mary
A second Elizabeth –this time the famous actress Elizabeth Taylor – was also as an avid Jewellery collector. One such piece included a fantastic emerald brooch gifted to her by actor Richard Burton as an engagement present She also wore an Emerald necklace on her wedding day in 1964.