How To Choose an Emerald

There are several gemstones available in various shades of green, including tourmaline, peridot, garnet and even sapphire, but the gemstone that is always associated with the richest, most sumptuous greens is the emerald. Appropriately designated as the birthstone for May, emeralds are the perfect symbol of rebirth in the spring. Emerald is also officially the gem of choice for the 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries. Here are some helpful tips for choosing an emerald.
4wsemb2 Emerald Bracelet
Emerald_ring Emerald Ring

Where do the best emeralds come from? Most of the world’s emeralds are mined in Columbia, Brazil, Afghanistan and Zambia. Colombia’s emeralds are generally thought to possess the most intense, pure green color, but the truth is that although this may typically be the case, the appearance of emeralds from different sources can overlap. The actual value of an individual emerald will be based on its own merits, and not necessarily on the location of the mine. The factors influencing an emerald’s value include color, clarity, cut and carat weight.

What is the best color for an emerald? The most important value factor to consider when shopping for emeralds is the color. The most desirable emerald colors are not too dark or too light, highly saturated, pure green to bluish green, and evenly distributed throughout the stone. These intense colors are said to be soothing to the eye and stress relieving to the soul.Another significant factor affecting the value of an emerald is its clarity. Emeralds with no inclusions are extremely rare which makes them especially valuable. It is the nature of emeralds to contain eye visible inclusions, sometimes referred to as “jardin”, which is French for garden, due to their mossy appearance. The presence of these natural inclusions is accepted and understood, but the value of an emerald can be reduced substantially depending upon the degree to which the inclusions cloud the stone or affect its transparency.

Are all emeralds treated? Most emeralds are oiled to enhance their clarity. This practice is generally considered acceptable as long as the oil isn’t colored or dyed to improve the stone’s color artificially. Emerald clarity can also be enhanced with resins, polymers or paraffin, but the higher the level of enhancement, the lower the value of the stone. The Gemological Institute of America Laboratory now offers a classification service for emeralds which states whether the clarity enhancement is minor, moderate or significant. For consumers interested in emeralds, it is well advised to purchase one from a knowledgeable and reputable jeweler, with credentials from a professional organization such as the American Gem Society.

What is the best shape for an emerald? Emeralds can be found in all shapes, but the most common is its namesake, the emerald cut. The shape of the natural emerald crystal lends itself to the emerald cut to retain maximum weight and intensity of color, and the faceted corners help protect the stone from chipping.

Is an emerald durable enough to wear every day? Emeralds are reasonably hard at 7½ to 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness (rankings are from 1-10, with diamonds being 10), but they can be brittle. Because of this poor toughness, the stone should be well protected in jewelry designs, particularly in rings. Emeralds should never be cleaned with solvents or harsh cleaners, only with mild soapy water and a soft brush. The bottom line is that emeralds must be handled and worn with care.

est16878 Emerald Pendant
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