Emerald – Sizes, Shapes and Shades
Emeralds are one of the most popular and valued gemstones in the world. They have been around for thousands of years, were well known and written about as far back as 6,000 years ago. The Emerald is a very attractive stone that was extremely popular in Ancient times and during the Middle Ages and Renaissance period in Europe. Its most known attribute is its deep and intense green hue, sometimes referred to as “green fire”.
Emeralds are made from the mineral beryl. Beryl is actually a common mineral that is found in many regions all around the world. Beryl includes trace elements of Beryllium and is known for its many precious gemstones such as Heliodor, Morganite and Bixbite. Emeralds not only are composed of Beryl, but also contain two trace elements, they are Vanadium and Chromium. Depending on the amount of these elements, the Emerald can appear light green to a very deep, dark green.
Most Emeralds that are used for ornamental jewelry are rather small in size and usually weight less than a carat. The reason for their size is due to the fact that many larger Emerald stones contain inclusions that are noticeable to the naked eye. They are called Jardins or Gardens.
Emeralds for commercial use are usually treated with oil and the most valuable Emeralds are usually translucent to transparent. However, most Emeralds are opaque or translucent. Emeralds have their own cut and can be cleaved according to their crystal structure. While they can be made into many shapes, one of the cuts that are popular is the Emerald cut.back to menu ↑
Emeralds – Where it Found and Formed
The Emerald is one of the most well known and most attractive gemstone available. It is actually a form of Beryl, which is a common mineral. Beryl includes trace elements of beryllium, a rare element. Beryl is the mineral that is associated with many gemstones. For instance, Beryl that is yellow or orange is usually called Heliodor, pink or salmon colored beryl is called Morganite and the rarest type of Beryl, Bixbite is a deep, intense red. Emerald usually comes in a deep, intense green. However, it is sometimes found as a light green or even to have a tinge of yellow in the stone.
What gives Emeralds their color are two trace elements; one is Chromium and the other is Vanadium. While both elements are usually present, at certain times Vanadium might be absent. When vanadium is absent, the stone is still a deep green.
Emeralds are often formed in mica schist’s which are hydrothermal in origin. They are usually associated with rocks that are formed in association with Granite or Pegmatite. Most Emeralds are found in mines which are hydrothermal (hot water or steam). The most famous of the Emerald mines are deposits in South America. Minerals that are sometimes found near Emeralds are Pyrite, Calcite and Quartz. Emeralds are also found in eluvia and alluvial deposits as well due to their hardness and gravity characteristics. While Emeralds have been found in many regions of the world, the finest quality Emeralds are found today in the Muzo and Chivor mines of Columbia.back to menu ↑
The Uses of Emerald
Emeralds are extremely beautiful gemstones that have been pursued by man for over 6,000 years. The most distinctive feature of the Emerald is its beautiful green color. Emeralds vary in color, but are usually most rare and valued when they are a deep, intense green. Some Emeralds are light green or even have a tinge of yellow. Emeralds are made from beryl and include the rare element beryllium. While Beryl is a common form of mineral, Emeralds are usually very rare. The two trace elements that give an Emerald its beautiful green are chromium and vanadium.
Emeralds are mostly used for ornamental jewelry and have been around since the beginning of recorded history. There are writings referring to Emeralds dating back more than 6,000 years, making it one of the oldest known gemstones. Emeralds are so old; they have their own cut to bring out the sharpness and beauty of the hue.
Emeralds can be made into many shapes, but are most popular on rings, earrings, bracelets and charms. Emeralds are usually less than 1 carat in size, due to the fact that larger size Emeralds will have inclusions or what is called Jardin (gardens). The vast majority of Emeralds sold on the commercial market are treated. They are usually oiled before sold. Certain times rough Emeralds are sold, they will usually state they are unenhanced or natural.
You should note that there are also synthetic types of Emeralds available, these stones are usually grown from Beryl and usually take 6 months or more to form, this fact that an Emerald will be stated at the point of purchase.back to menu ↑
Emeralds – The History and Origins
One of the most popular and desired gemstones is the Emerald. The Emerald is one of the earliest known gemstones and was adorned as ornamental jewelry for thousands of years. Emeralds have been known for at least 6,000 years and during Ancient times and the Middle Ages, were highly pursued. The Emerald is a gemstone made from Beryl, one of the more common minerals. Beryl is a mineral that has traces of beryllium which is necessary to create these wonderful hues. The Emerald is usually a dark, intense green, although it can come in lighter tones. It should be noted the darker, more intense the green, usually the more valuable and rarer it is.
Emeralds are caused by two elements found in the beryl, they are chromium or vanadium. It should be noted that an Emerald can occur with just the chromium, however most jewelers consider a true Emerald to have both elements present.
The Emerald comes from the Greek word “Smaragdos”, this word means green stones, through the history of the world; Emeralds have been used mainly as ornamental jewelry and also due to its supposive mystical and medicinal properties. For instance, the Emerald has been largely used as symbols of the occult, especially since it has been around for thousands of years before traditional religions emerged. It was also said to protect one from snake bites, help creativity, encouraged clarity and was a sign for immortality.
It was also used for its supposive medicinal properties, to help promote overall health, cure dysentery, heal the heart and kidneys and to improve vision.