One of my most popular precious gemstone requests for customs designs, Emeralds have an undeniable allure. Those who love them LOVE them. But what is it about Emeralds that draws us in? Is it their rich, hypnotic color? Or perhaps it’s their fascinating history…
Facts at a glance: What to know about emeralds
One of the “big four” precious gemstones, along with diamonds, rubies, and sapphires, emeralds are made of beryl, gaining their signature green hue from traces of chromium and/or vanadium.
What should you keep in mind when shopping for or designing with emeralds?
- Color ~ Light green emeralds? Not really a thing. Emeralds must be a vivid, rich green (although the tint can range from grass green to deep teal).
- Clarity ~ While beautifully translucent to the eye, emeralds actually contain lots of natural inclusions. But rather than considering it a flaw, gemologists have come to accept this as part of emeralds’ beauty. Buried beneath the surface of the gem, the French call these inclusions a jardin, or garden. How lovely!
- Carat ~ Remember, carat refers to weight, so emeralds, with their low density, can be larger than heavier stones (like diamonds) with the same carat. (Not to be confused with karats—the measure of purity for gold alloys.)
- Hardness~ Falling between 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, emeralds are not as hard as diamonds or moissanite, so jewelers and designers choose stone cut, shape, and setting carefully. I always recommend featuring emeralds in earrings and pendants, as rings can be more easily damaged with everyday wear.
What makes emeralds so special?
Humans have been fascinated by emeralds since the time of the ancient Egyptians. Rumor has it that they were even Cleopatra’s favorite stone!
But because emeralds can be found all over the world, we know that they have played a part in the cultures of many places around the world, and have traveled as gifts and treasured possessions from one era to the next. Beginning with the deposits in Egypt that were exploited by many empires, people have discovered the largest deposits in Colombia and Zambia, with smaller deposits scattered across Asia, North America, South America, Africa, Australia, and Europe.
Some traditions believe that emeralds bring powers of truth-telling, while others believe that they have healing properties and can even help your vision improve!
Custom Jewelry Design | 35th Anniversary Pendant
Today, we’re most likely to think of emeralds as the birthstone for May and as the stone associated with the 20th, 35th, and the 55th wedding anniversaries. Maybe they do have mystical powers afterall…
Have you been drawn in by the allure of these vivid stones?
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