Large emeralds dangle from these 14k yellow and
white gold earrings (set with diamonds) - click
So popular a gemstone have Emeralds been
(and for so long) that one of the standard gem stone cuts has
even been named after the stone which looks its best when cut
in that way.
The mining of Emeralds has been dated back more
than 3,000 years, to the time of the Ancient Egyptian Empire. Emerald
bracelets, emerald earrings and emerald rings have all been worn
and sought after since ancient times.
Two piece platinum and 18k yellow gold wedding set
with bezel set marquise diamonds and baguette emeralds
The "green fire" was so mesmerizing and
highly valued in the courts of Europe that the Spanish Conquistadors
went on a bloody campaign to find the location of the emerald mines
in South America. In 1557, the campaign finally ended with the discovery
of the spectacular Muzo and Chivor mines in present day Colombia
- still the world's major fine emerald source.
Today Brazil and Zambia produce large quantities
of fine emeralds; however, many still consider Colombian emeralds
to be of the highest quality. Very fine emeralds, though in small
quantity, are also produced in Pakistan and Zimbabwe. Emeralds of
Zimbabwean origin are sometimes called "Sandawana" emeralds,
which refers to the region where the gemstones are mined.
Emeralds are made of the base mineral beryl, with
minute traces of chromium and vanadium giving this gemstone the
"green fire." Colombian emeralds are known for their vivid
green color, while Brazilian emeralds are known for their variety
of color, ranging from light green to fine medium dark green.
It is quite rare to find emeralds of fine quality over one carat
in size, emeralds usually contain eye-visible inclusions.
The beautiful emerald in the middle of this ring
is accentuated by two emerald cut diamonds
With hardness between 7.5 & 8 on the Moh's
scale, emeralds are generally considered somewhat fragile they are
hard enough for fine jewelry but should be worn with special care.
However, ultrasonic and steam cleaning could damage the stone, causing
fractures or removing the oils that are soaked into most emeralds
to improve apparent clarity and color. Therefore, only professional
jewelers should clean emeralds and the owners should always keep
insurance to safeguard their investment.
Fine 9.50c Columbian emerald with trapezoid cut accent
diamonds in platinum and 18k yellow gold
Fine green color is of the foremost importance
for emeralds. You should look for your favorite shade of green when
choosing an emerald and any reputable experienced dealer will explain
its importance and affect on value. Second to color, brightness
or life of the gemstone, which is affected by the cutting and the
number of inclusions, is also a very important evaluation factor.
Actual clarity and transparency are also important characteristics
when evaluating the value of emeralds but a clean stone should be
bright and full of life. When evaluating from a face up position,
very fine quality emeralds should enable the viewer to see the back
facet not over dark or cloudy. Intense medium green emeralds command
the highest value. The purity of the green color is crucial to the
value and the beauty of the stone, with blue or yellow overtones
diminishing its value.