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Emerald Gemstone

by Edward Laurence Grant Fleming

posted in Shopping and Product Reviews

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Emerald is one of the most visually impressive and appealing gemstones with good quality stones often costing more than equivalent size diamonds. As well as these visual qualities it has an interesting mineral composition. Emeralds, like people, are often beautiful but never flawless, near flawless stones are phenomenally expensive and extremely rare. Inside an emerald you can find vanadium and chromium, but at its core this gemstone is a variation of beryl, the same mineral as Aquamarine and Morganite. It has a hardness of around 7.5/8 on the Mohs scale. An important thing to remember is that because all emeralds are included and of their hardness rating, they susceptible to damage.
Where does the name come from?
The name "emerald" as originated from Latin, specifically from Esmeraldus. At its core, this name has a Greek origin.
Properties that define the look and value of an emerald
Just like any other gemstone, Emerald is widely known as having some properties that define its looks and value. These are colour and clarity, but while in the case of other gemstones clarity is very important, the reality is that the emerald colour is the primary consideration. Clarity is, of course still a consideration although some almost opaque stones can still be valuable if they have an intense colour and are of a good size.
When you assess an Emerald by colour, there are three major components that you have to look out for, and these are tone, hue as well as saturation. Their primary hue is green, but sometimes you can find blue and yellow as being the secondary hues. The best emeralds you can find on the market are bringing around 75% tone and saturation. The normal saturation modifier when it comes to emeralds is grey.
Most emeralds have breaking fissures on the surface so they are easier to grade based on clarity. The interesting thing to know here is that each emerald has its unique set of imperfections, so it's very easy to identify a certain stone without that much hassle. You can find emeralds with an oval cut, emerald cut or a rectangular cut, depending on the situation, with astounding results that you will enjoy.
The emeralds are usually treated with an oiling process that is used to fill all the cracks, as the means to improve the stability and overall clarity of the gemstone. Cedar oil is widely used in this regard, but so are numerous other liquids, such as polymers and synthetic oils for example.
Where are the emeralds mined?
Initially, during antiquity, the emeralds were minted in Egypt, India and Austria, but nowadays countries like Zambia, Colombia as well as Tanzania, the US, Australia and Afghanistan produce gem quality Emeralds. Colombia especially is known for the quality of their Emeralds, with some of the worlds finest examples coming from this region, where most of the mining is still done by small scale artisan-al miners.
Mining in other locations, notably Zambia, are on a larger scale where companies such as Gem fields operate oversea larger scale operations.
Emeralds differ when it comes to their structure and appeal, but their rich green colour has caught peoples imagination for centuries and many countries have integrated this gemstone into their culture.
About the Author: Emeralds of top quality are available in bespoke jewellery design as well as free expert jewellery and gemstone advice at
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