Emerald is the green gemstone variety of the mineral Beryl (the blue variety of the mineral Beryl is Aquamarine).
Emeralds are mined throughout the world, however the most extensive amount of emeralds can be found in Columbia, Brazil and Zambia. The Zambian and Brazilian Emeralds are slightly a different hue of green due to the presence of vanadium. Colombian emeralds, which are more expensive due to their rarity, achieve their hues of green due to the presence of Chromium.
The Meaning of the Emerald Stone:
The Emerald is the birthstone for May.The Emerald is said to be the sacred stone of the goddess Venus. It was believed to sustain love and to also reveal the truth of a lover’s pledge. Therefore, the emerald engagement ring is a meaningful alternative to the traditional diamond.
The Veda, which is the most sacred scripture of the Hindu’s, contains information on the Emerald and its healing energies. In the Christian religion, it is a symbol of immortality, belief and hope and is considered the Pope’s stone.
Emeralds vs. Diamonds:
Emeralds are at least twenty times more rare than diamonds! As rare as some of the highest graded Emeralds may be, they will sell close to the price of a diamond of equal size and quality. Emeralds, like most of the precious gemstones, do have grades based upon the quality of the stone, mostly regarding the level of green hue the stone contains as well as it’s clarity.
How to determine the quality of your emerald:.
With diamonds, the “four C’s” determine the quality of the diamond and therefore the price. For Emeralds, as with other precious gemstones, the color and clarity of the stone determine its value. What’s important to understand about emeralds is that they all have inclusions. These inclusions create a depth of color that can’t be seen in a synthetic, man made stone. Emeralds with more intense color, deep green leaf colors especially those found in Columbia, have a much higher value, as they are so rare. Emeralds from Zambia and Brazil have more bluish undertones, and therefore do not carry the same value. A fine emerald must possess a verdant green hue, as well as a high degree of transparency to be considered a top gem and carry a higher price tag.
History of the Emerald:
Emerald is derived from a Persian word meaning “green gem”. It changed from Greek to Latin as smaragdus, then to esmaurde, esmralde, and in the 16th century to esmeralde.
Emeralds can be found in some of oldest writings in the world, including the “Papryus Prisse”…This entry is estimated to be over 4500 years old…the assumption is that this entry dates back to references made from Egyptians during their mining endeavors of rare stones.
It had been recorded that during gladiator games, Nero would watch through flat emerald crystals. The Roman scholar, Pliny, suggested first that the emerald was part of the gemstone family of beryl. Science would eventually prove him right in the 19th century.
When emeralds were discovered by the Incas and the Aztecs in Colombia the stones became highly prized possessions.. Other cultures around the world would soon follow in the Incas and Aztecs’ value placed on the green stone. In the sixteenth century, emeralds were considered the catalyst to the violence brought on by the Spanish Conquistadors who sought to remove emeralds from the Colombian emerald mines and return them to Spain. As the popularity of the green gemstones grew in Europe, the emerald then became a royal stone, as most of the European Royal families began placing emerald stones in crowns, rings and other fine pieces of jewelry.
Emeralds in the 20th Century:
Many emeralds today are color treated to enhance the look of the stone. The technology is different from the treatments used in other precious stones, Rubies and Sapphires, for example, which are always enhanced with dye coloring. Emeralds can be treated in the same manner, however, most gemologists would agree that emeralds respond better to different treatments which include oil additives to brighten and enhance the hues of green, changing a low grade, light colored emerald, into a higher priced, quality color emerald. Your jeweler or gem dealer would have an obligation to tell you if the stones you were purchasing were treated, however, many times this information is not shared. It’s best to ask directly if your gemstones have had color enhancement or treatment.
Scientists have been adopting various techniques to recreate the Emerald in a laboratory setting since the late 1930s. Of course, as with any technology, time has moved the process of creating synthetic emeralds to where it is today. Now laboratory created emeralds are amazingly indistinguishable to the naive human eye.
As with any lab created stone there is a scientific algorithm and process which is used to create the most realistic gem stone. In order to create laboratory emeralds, a seed, usually beryl, is placed inside a pressurized container with pure water, along with crushed emeralds and other compounds which is then heated and pressurized to create the synthetic emerald sold
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we only use the manufacturers that create the best synthetic emeralds available. Please see our collection of synthetic gemstone jewelry. We can accommodate special orders and create a special jewelry piece for yourself or a loved one.