When purchasing Emerald Rings, Emerald Engagement Rings, Emerald Eternity Rings, Emerald Earrings, Emerald Pendants and all other Emerald Jewellery, it can be quite confusing. To guide you through this process, Nuttalls of Chester have put together this little article, which will hopefully help you make the right choice for your needs.
When buying your Emeralds or Emerald Jewellery you should first consider the combination of the Emerald colour, clarity, weight and cut. As with any gems, there are trade-offs that have to be made, and once you choose the type and quality of Emerald, it usually comes down to simply choosing a colour of Emerald that you find attractive and that meets your budget.
What is Emerald?
Emerald is a variety of the mineral beryl. Beryl is usually clear, but chromium and sometimes vanadium content,gives Emerald that beautiful green colour.
Chemical Properties: The chemical formula of Emerald is (Be3Al2(SiO3)6,). Emerald occurs most often in mica schists of metamorphic-hydrothermal origin wherein the schists and other associated host rocks formed by chemical interaction between granitic rocks or pegmatites and the enclosing basic (silica-deficient) rocks. The chemical ingredients necessary for the formation of beryl frequently migrate from the granitic material into the adjoining basic rocks where the beryl crystallizes, changing the original basic rock composition through the process known as 'exometamorphism'. If the basic rocks contain the elements chromium or vanadium, small amounts of these elements may be incorporated into the beryl structure thereby giving the intense green color characteristic of the gem beryl variety 'Emerald'.
Other Characteristics of Emerald
Crystal System: hexagonal
Mohs' Scale Hardness: 7.5 - 8.0
Specific Gravity: 2.7 - 2.78
Index of Refraction: 1.576 - 1.582
Where is Emerald found?
Emeralds in antiquity were mined by the Egyptians and in Austria. A rare type of Emerald known as a 'trapiche'. Emerald is occasionally found in the mines of Colombia. A trapiche emerald exhibits a "star" pattern; it has raylike spokes of dark carbon impurities that give the Emerald a six-pointed radial pattern. Emeralds come from three main Emerald mining areas in Colombia: Muzo, Coscuez, and Chivor. Emeralds are also found in other countries, such as Afghanistan, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Tanzania, United States, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In 1998 emeralds were discovered in the Yukon.
Buying Your Emerald Jewellery
When purchasing Emerald there are several factors you need to consider - these are the 4 C's - Colour, Clarity, Carat Weight and
The green of the Emerald is the colour of life and of the springtime, which comes round again and again. But it has also, for centuries, been the colour of beauty and of constant love. In ancient Rome, green was the colour of Venus, the goddess of beauty and love. And today, this colour still occupies a special position in many cultures and religions. Green, for example, is the holy colour of Islam. Many of the states of the Arab League have green in their flags as a symbol of the unity of their faith. Yet this colour has a high status in the Catholic Church too, where green is regarded as the most natural and the most elemental of the liturgical colours. The magnificent green of the Emerald is a colour which conveys harmony, love of Nature and elemental joie de vivre. The human eye can never see enough of this unique colour. Pliny commented that green gladdened the eye without tiring it. Green is perceived as fresh and vivid, never as monotonous. And in view of the fact that this colour always changes somewhat between the bright light of day and the artificial light of a lamp, emerald green retains its lively vigour in all its nuances.
Emeralds occur in a variety of green colours. Some Emeralds have yellowish to bluish overtones. The stone loses colour when strongly heated. The colour of an Emerald is its most important determiner of value. The best colour of an Emerald is "Emerald Green". There is nothing else in the world that quite has this colour. It is not too yellow and not too blue; it is not pale or dark, but intense and bright. A quality Emerald looks like it's glowing. Typically, the finest coloured Emeralds come from Columbia.
Once again, the most universally accepted and most documented system is the GIA system but there are also numerous other trade based systems in use.
Unlike most gemstones, clarity is not relatively important in determining value of Emerald. It is defintely not as important as colour. This is because inclusions are so common in natural Emerald and are not thought to impede its beauty. Good clarity is still desirable, however to the extent that light is able to play inside the stone, and it is transparent. While perfect clarity is not necessary to make an Emerald exceptionally valuable, an absolutely opaque Emerald is not worth much: in fact even the best colour of Emerald, if it is completely opaque, can no longer be considered precious. Clarity is the second most important of the 4 C's when considering quality. The clarity of Emerald, as with all other gemstones, is officially classified as ranging from the best VVS (very, very, slightly included), to VS (very, slightly included), SI-S2 (slightly included), and down to I1,I2,13 (included).
Very large Emeralds (over 10 cts) of good quality are extremely rare. Most of them are in museums, crown jewels or the jewellery boxes of the elite. Emeralds over 3 cts are even rare, available to average people for thousands of pounds. An Emerald of good quality of any size is valuable, though the price will go down significantly when the stone is less than 1/2 carat.
A well cut Emerald is an Emerald that sparkles and glows to its maximum ability. Perfect cut is not quite as important for Emerald as it is for most gemstones, because as mentioned previously, Emerald is valued for its depth of colour mostly, and is often too included to sparkle anyway. The shape "emerald cut" which is popular now for diamonds as well as other gemstones was in fact originally created for Emerald. This cut was used for cutting Emerald because it emphasizes colour instead of sparkle. However, it is still important to know the difference between a good and a bad cut, so that when presented with a choice of Emeralds, you can choose a well-cut one.
When judging the cut of an Emerald, you should look for:
"Fish eye": if the bottom Emerald is not cut at the proper angles, you will be able to see through the Emerald rather than seeing light reflected back to you.
Uneven facets: especially prounounced in emerald cuts, step cuts, baguette and princess cuts, which are common among Emeralds. These cuts have long straight facets instead of small trangles and diamonds. A poorly cut Emerald of this style will have one end smaller than the other instead of an even length.
Polish: Emeralds can be difficult to polish because of the natural structure of the crystal, so twirl the Emerald around, to see that each facet reflects light like a mirror with no rough or dull spots. Also, Emeralds are prone to internal cracks and frissures which can also appear on the surface. If you see a any fine rough lines on the surface facets of the emeralds, it is a flaw in the cutting and you should avoid it as it can make your emerald vulnerable. In the wholesale gem trade, Emeralds are sold on a price per carat basis. Therefore, it would make sense that a 3 carat Emerald would cost more than a 1 carat Emerald, all else being equal. However, an aditional factor is that it is rarer to find a 3 carat Emerald than a 1 carat Emerald. Therefore, not only is the total price higher, but the price per carat is also higher because of the added rarity factor.
Almost every Emerald available on the market has been treated to improve its clarity. Because Emeralds are naturally full of cracks and fissures which make it more opaque and less attractive, it has become an industry standard to fill the cracks in Emerald, thereby improving its clarity.
Traditional fillers are natural oils such as cedar oil. Over many decades, these oils may fade or "sweat". Although they are accepted and do not make an Emerald worth less, there is discussion regarding the permanence of the treatment. (For a gemstone treatment to not diminish a gemstone's value, it must be "permanent").
Other methods of filling cracks in Emerald are being explored such as waxes, resins and even glass. A substance is considered good for filling cracks in Emeralds when it reflects light in a way very similar to Emerald, thus making the fillings less noticable.
While filling cracks is acceptable for improving clarity, sometimes it is also used for improving colour. For example, green dyed oil is used. This is generally considered deceptive and it is better to not buy these "dyed" Emeralds. This can be detected under 10X magnification.
Please note: Emerald gems may lose the oils or fillers after a few years of wear. This is quite normal. The Emerald Gemstones in this condition become quite brittle and are more prone to cracking and breaking. Most local Jewellers are well informed to do the treatment required for Emeralds and you can avail of their services. This is a special care that should be done by a professional Jeweller and cannot be attempted at home
Fake Emerald and Simulants
In recent years, synthetic Emeralds have become very available on the market. They go by labels such as "created, "lab," "synthetic," "Chatham" (a large producer of Synthetic Emeralds). They are "real" Emeralds in the sense that they are the same mineral, the difference is they were made in a labratory instead of in the earth. Synthetic Emeralds are usually much clearer than natural Emeralds: fewer inclusions. It is also possible to find deep attractive colours in synthetic Emeralds. Created Emeralds are more or less about 1/10 the price of natural Emeralds with the same characteristics.
Wearing Your Emerald Jewellery
Do not perform heavy work when wearing your Emerald Jewellery. Protect the Jewellery from blows and impacts. Also never place your Emeralds near heated environments, this could damage the fillers and oils in your treated Emeralds. When looking after your Emerald Gemstone Jewellery you need to keep in mind the enhancements done on the Emerald Gemstone.
Looking after your Emerald Jewellery.
Emeralds should never be cleaned with very hot water, steam or any other solution that contains petroleum distillates or any organic solvents. Jewellery cleaning solutions sold as such in the market are not compatible with the oil treatment of Emeralds. Your Emeralds or Emerald containing jewellery should not be placed in ultrasonic cleaning equipment at all.
To clean an Emerald or Emerald Jewellery use a soft old toothbrush or a cloth piece dipped in luke warm water. Avoid soaking Emeralds in hot or warm or cold water. The water may seep into the treated fissures and dilute or dissolve the fillers. Exposing the Emeralds to heat may cause the fissures to expand and make your Emerald very fragile.
Take off Your Emerald Jewellery when not required and store in a safe place away from heat or dampness. The idea is to keep your Emeralds in good shape by avoiding the need for frequent cleaning of Emerald jewellery.
Our Last Word....,
Here at Nuttalls of Chester Ltd, we strongly suggest you buy your Emerald Jewellery carefully. Expect to pay more for larger size gems and remember; at the end of the day, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder'". So choose the stones you want, not what you are led to believe you want!
Whichever colour, size or shape of Emerald you choose, be sure to wear it and ENJOY IT!
With some of the lowest Emerald Jewellery prices anywhere online you can be sure that buying your Quality Emerald Jewellery from
us is simple, hassle free and an enjoyable shopping experience. In our collection you can find a vast range of Emerald Jewellery that include amazing Emerald Rings, Emerald Earrings, Emerald Pendants and much, much more!
Thank you for reading this article on Buying Your Emerald Jewellery - We sincerely hope it helps in some way.