The Allure of Emerald Gemstones: Timeless Elegance and Natural Beauty
Colombia has been the source of the finest emeralds for more than 500 years, and Colombian emeralds are the standard by which all others are measured. Three mining sites in Colombia are particularly noteworthy: Muzo, Chivor and Coscuez. Each locality produces a range of colors but, generally speaking, darker tones of pure green emeralds come from Muzo. Emeralds that are lighter in tone and slightly bluish green are associated with Chivor. Slightly yellowish green emeralds are unearthed in Coscuez.
The May birthstone is also found in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. One of the most productive sites for the green birthstone is the sophisticated Belmont mine. Capoeirana is another important locality, a rugged region worked largely by independent miners and small-scale operations.
The May birthstone can also be found in Africa. Zambia is a major source, and mines in the Ndola Rural Restricted Area are known for producing emeralds that are bluish green and darker in tone. Pakistan and Afghanistan are important producers as well.
Emeralds, with their rich green color and timeless allure, have captivated jewelry enthusiasts for centuries. As one of the most sought-after gemstones, emeralds exude a unique charm that effortlessly elevates any piece of jewelry. The Emerald's Enchanting Green: Emeralds are renowned for their mesmerizing green hues, ranging from deep forest green to vibrant grass green.
Emerald is a 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness, so it is more susceptible to scratching than a diamond, which ranks 10 on the scale. The May birthstone is often treated to improve its color or clarity.
Common treatment methods include Fracture Filling: Oils, waxes, and artificial resins are often used to fill surface-reaching fractures in emeralds. The goal is to reduce the visibility of the fractures and improve the apparent clarity. The volume of filler material present can range from minor to significant; the different substances have varying degrees of stability.
The emerald birthstone requires some special care: Avoid exposure to heat, changes in air pressure (such as in an airline cabin) and harsh chemicals. Never put an emerald in an ultrasonic cleaner, as the vibrations and heat can cause the filler to sweat out of fractures. Filled emeralds can also be damaged by exposure to hot water used for washing dishes. The safest way to clean emeralds is to gently scrub them with a soft brush and warm, soapy water.
Emeralds typically contain inclusions that are visible to the unaided eye. Because of this, trade members and some consumers understand and accept the presence of inclusions in emeralds. Eye-clean emeralds are especially valuable because they’re so rare.Emerald inclusions are often described as looking mossy or garden-like. They’re sometimes called “jardin,” which is French for garden.
The most popular cut is the emerald shape due to the original shape of the crystals. Well cut stones maximize the beauty of the color while minimizing the impact of fissures, and creating a bright, lively stone.
Fashioned emeralds come in a wide range of sizes. There are emeralds in museums and private collections that weigh hundreds of carats. At the other extreme are tiny emeralds that weigh fractions of a carat. Quality-for-quality, the price of emerald can rise dramatically as the size increases.