Gems: Emeralds

example of jewelry made with emerald

What gemstone is worth more than diamonds? Emeralds! Emeralds are 20 times rarer than diamonds and often cost more per carat for comparable quality.

Facts about emeralds:

  • May’s birthstone for both Eastern and Western cultures and the stone for 12th and 35th anniversaries.

  • Emeralds are intensely green due to the presence of chromium and vanadium and will never fade despite light and heat exposure.

  • Part of the Beryl mineral family, which also includes aquamarine (blue green tones), Morganite (peachy pink), goshenite (colorless), and heliodor (yellow).

  • The most valuable emeralds are pure verdant green and highly transparent. If the green is not vibrant enough, it is considered a green beryl, which is far less valuable.

  • Named for the Greek word smaragdos meaning “green gem” and derived from the Old French and Middle English word esmeraude

  • hexagonal crystal structure

  • The Emerald Cut was developed specifically to bring out the very best color and removing the corners protects an emerald from breaking due to its brittle nature.

  • An emerald has a lower density than a diamond so a 1 carat emerald will look larger than a 1 carat diamond.

  • can be lab grown and maintains the same chemical and physical structures, as well as color. Both lab grown and natural emeralds are true emeralds. Lab grown emeralds just take a few months instead of thousands of years. While it is time consuming and energy-intensive to create a lab grown emerald compared to other lab grown gemstones, it remains more eco-friendly than mining and will be priced lower than a natural emerald. Lab grown emeralds have greater clarity than nature grown emeralds, which almost always have inclusion and fissures. Interestingly, with emeralds, inclusions can actually increase their value and are called jardin (meaning garden in French). The inclusion make each emerald unique.

  • Hardness level 7.5-8
  • Can be cleaned with warm, soapy water and a soft toothbrush. Should NOT be cleaned in an ultra-sonic cleaner.
  • Known as the “Stone of Good Luck and Beauty”
  • sacred to the Incas and Aztecs and often associated with royalty
  • Found in Columbia, Zambia, Brazil, Egypt, Austria, Afghanistan, China, Russia, USA, and Australia. The first discoveries of emeralds are believed to be from Egypt in 3500BC.
  • Chemical formula: Be3Al2(SiO3)6
  • Info Sources:
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