From our Design Studio Catalog
Emeralds have been highly prized and valued as a gemstone since early times. Of all the members of the Beryl family of minerals, the Emerald is considered the most valuable. From the Greek, smaragdos and the Latin beryllus and emaraude, the name Emerald was first coined in the sixteenth century.
In ancient times, Emerald was associated with the goddess Venus and endowed with the power to show faithfulness in one's partner. The Romans brought medicinal connotations to Emerald and associated it restoring sight and soothing weary eyes. Over the centuries, all sorts of mystical powers have been attributed to the Emerald including the power of prescience, to attract wealth, and ward off epilepsy.
The two most important historical Emeralds are the 1,384 carat Devonshire Emerald and the 630 carat Patricia Emerald displayed by the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
Emerald can be defined as opaque, translucent or transparent Beryl with medium to dark tones of green in color. Beryl that is light or very light in tone are more properly called Green Beryl.
Over the years a number of terms and classification nomenclature has been used to describe gem grade Emerald. These include:
Emerald of high quality is characterized by an intense green color with undertones of yellow or blue. Imperfections are common and expected in Emerald. Finer stones usually display an even distribution of small imperfections. This distribution, termed 'jardin' from the French for garden, results in a glowing appearance to the stone.
Color is the most important characteristic when evaluating Emerald. Fine stones have an intensity of green and an evenness of color with a minimum of striation or banding. The lack of surface imperfections, quality of final polish and symmetry are also important in the overall evaluation.
The most common treatments and enhancements of Emerald are:
There are three elements that should be considered when buying an Emerald.
Color - Look for a deep, intense pure green color with undertones of yellow or blue. Striping and uneven coloration is common in lower quality stones and should be avoided.
Clarity - Inclusions are very common and their size and location should be carefully considered. Imperfections should be small and evenly distributed resulting in the desirable 'jardin' glow.
Cut - Emeralds, are usually cut in a fashion that provides for enough body mass to display depth of color. The Emerald Cut, for example provides a large face with substantial body mass. Attention to final finish and facet symmetry is recommended.
Emerald has always been a desirable gemstone. In finer qualities, prices have increased dramatically over the last few years with supply diminishing. Gem grade stones today can command per carat prices that are comparable to Diamond prices.
Emerald can be safely used in all types of jewelry including rings and bracelets. Although hard, it can be brittle. Care should be taken when wearing Emerald rings or bracelets. Ultrasound cleaning should not be used with Emerald jewelry and heat should never be applied.