Emeralds can be traced back to Upper Egypt in 2000 BC. Greek miners gave the gems they retrieved to Cleopatra and through time, emeralds have become known as a symbol of love and truth, the gemstone of the Goddess of Love and Hope, Venus.
The emeralds that most people seek out to purchase are a bluish-green color to a lush, pure green with vivid color saturation and a tone that is not too dark. The ones that are most in-demand include emeralds that are very transparent with color evenly distributed throughout the gem and no color zoning.
Like most gemstones, smaller sizes are in more demand than larger ones. Also, larger ones cost a lot more money to purchase. For example, a one-carat emerald of pretty good quality will rock you at least $500 and a five-carat may cost you over $1,000.
From a deep green color to emeralds with pale green hues, this gem comes in a variety of shades. They are normally graded by determining four different factors, including color, clarity, cut, and carat weight, but the color seems to be the most important characteristic especially when deciding the quality and value of a natural emerald.
When it comes to natural emeralds, color is assessed by three different categories: hue, tonal grade, and saturation. The tonal grade is the level of lightness or darkness of green that is in each emerald. The higher-quality emeralds will boast a medium to very dark tone but the hue and saturation levels also have to be considered.
The hue is the type of green the emerald is, such as it can be considered bluish-green or yellowish-green. Most are bluish-green. The saturation of the emerald is its intensity and strength and this is very important In determining the quality level of the stone.
For instance, medium-dark emeralds are normally considered to be high quality but if the stone has a duller saturation it will lower the level of quality. All three of these characteristics of emerald work together to determine the overall quality of the gem.
The clarity refers to how the gemstone looks on the inside and when it comes to emeralds, the clarity is what makes them different from other gemstones. Most emeralds have inclusions that are small bits of gases or other materials that are part of the crystallization process. Emeralds can be considered a type one gemstone that is nearly inclusion free while a type two gemstone means they have some inclusion.
A type three gem means it almost always has inclusion. Too many inclusions can hamper the clarity of the emerald and if it has no inclusions or very little, it may be an imitation or synthetic emerald.
Listed below are several types of emeralds with information about each one.
Boasting an intense, pure color of green, the Colombian emerald offers the highest quality when it comes to this type of gem. They give off a warm hue and are mined in Colombia, hence their name.
Emeralds mined in Colombia offer a slight variation in color but still boast a strong, vivid lush green to a bluish-green hue that makes them one of the most popular of all emeralds. Whether the emerald is your birthstone or you simply love the stone and owning them, this amazing gemstone is a star in the gemstone industry. Colombia is the largest producer of emeralds but Zambia is quickly catching up which leads up to our next type of emerald.
While Colombian emeralds are more green, Zambian emeralds most often offer a touch of blue that adds a lot to the depth of the stone and are more porous and less brittle than other emeralds. They are more transparent than Colombian emeralds, have fewer inclusions, and cost less money to purchase. If you are on a budget but have your heart set on an emerald, this is the one for you.
The process of producing synthetic or imitation emeralds began in the 1930s and that process involved dissolving gym nutrients in a molten flux and allowing crystallization when just a seed of a natural emerald of beryl. The emeralds produced back then were limited in quality and size but by the 1960s, a new method of creating synthetic emeralds was created.
This technique involves dissolving crystal nutrients in acid mixed with water and other chemicals at very high temperatures and pressures then allowing it to crystallize in a cooling chamber. Synthetic emeralds look very much like the real thing and are much cheaper to purchase.
The most popular way to create a synthetic emerald is through the hydrothermal process. this process utilizes pressure and heat to create an emerald that looks real but is in imitation. Basically, hydrothermal emerald is another name for a synthetic emerald or an imitation one but because of the process in which this type of gem is created, a hydrothermal emerald garners a higher price than other synthetic ones that are created through a flame-fusion process.
Emeralds, or natural beryl, are simply emeralds that have not been altered in their appearance and are very real. They are the ones that are mined from different areas of the world and used in a variety of ways, including the creation of gorgeous emerald engagement rings.
They are rare and more difficult to obtain so they are pricier than other emeralds. For example, a three-carat emerald will cost more than three emeralds that are only one carat, even if they are of the same quality, simply because a natural emerald is becoming rarer.
This type of emerald it’s found in South America normally in the minds of Columbia and is very rare yet very majestic. Some of these emeralds look like spoked wheel with a hexagon center. Have the way the inclusions are created in this natural emerald, they resemble a cat’s eye and are absolutely gorgeous.
The main emeralds mines are located in Colombia, Brazil, and Zambia but this beautiful gemstone is mined in other countries throughout the world, including Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Australia, and even the United States.
Colombia seems to produce the finest of emeralds but Brazilian emeralds seem to be darker in tone with more inclusions. Zambian emeralds sport a more bluish cast than either the Colombian or Brazilian emeralds and seem to have a bit of a grayish cast, which is not present in either Colombian or Brazilian emeralds. All of these emeralds, though, are included in the mined emerald category.
Brazilian emeralds are lighter in color than the ones mined in Colombia and they are more often a yellowish-green in color. Since new emerald deposits have been located in Brazil since the early 1980s, Brazil has become a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the production of natural emeralds. Their very distinctive color makes them stand out from emeralds mined in other countries and they are available in a variety of sizes and hues.
An untreated emerald is also known as a No Oil Emerald. This emerald is very rare and extremely valuable since its clarity has not been enhanced by any type of oil. This type of emerald is sought after the most by people in the astrological field or people who collect gemstones.
Most of the time, an untreated emerald boasts a deep green hue with brilliant luster and a great shape. They are beautiful and unique but pricey at about $615 per carat.
The Bahia emerald is one of the largest rough emeralds in the entire world and the most expensive. Bahia means “bay” and this gemstone is one of the most beautiful that stands for hope and nature. It is a versatile stone that is very sophisticated and is used in the jewelry industry.
Famous Emeralds and Information About Them
Carolina Emperor Emerald
For many generations, miners and rock hounds in the United States have worked hard to churn the earth in the western part of the state of North Carolina in their efforts to find a special sapphire, ruby, or emerald. Those three gems are considered to be the “big three” in the world of gems. Finally, in 2009 a 314-carat emerald was located in North Carolina, hence its name of the Carolina Emperor Emerald.
It was cut down to about 64-carats before being out on the market for sale. The miners and gemstone seekers are still at work to unearth more gorgeous. While rubies and sapphires are often unearthed in the area near Franklin, North Carolina, the hunt for gems brings people to this state every year to find the next big emerald.
Chalk Emerald is a 37.82 carats (7.564 g) Colombian emerald.
The royal rulers of Baroda State in India once owned this gorgeous emerald while it was the centerpiece of an emerald and diamond necklace worn by the Maharani Saheba. She passed it on to her son but it made its way to the United States during the twentieth century. This amazing 37.82-carat emerald was recut and set into a ring that was designed by Harry Winston, Inc.
The setting includes sixty pear-shaped diamonds that total 15 carats. The ring was later donated by O. Roy Chalk and his wife to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in 1972. It is now a part of the Smithsonian’s National Gem and Mineral Collection.
Duke of Devonshire Emerald
This emerald is one of the largest and most famous uncut emeralds in the entire world. It weighs in at 1,383.93 carats was unearthed in a mine located in Muzo, Colombia. It made its way to Emperor Pedro I of Brazil and then onto William Cavendish, the Sixth Duke of Devonshire in 1831. For a time, this emerald was on display at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851 and now makes it home at the Natural History Museum where it has been since 2007.
Emerald of Saint Louis
Unearthed in Austria, the Emerald of St. Louis has been, essentially, around the world. Many Kings and Queens of France have worn the French Crown Jewels and the Emerald of St. Louis was one of the jewels encrusted in the famous crown.
The set was eventually broken up and some gemstones and jewels, including the Emerald of Saint Louis, the Ruspoli sapphire, and the diamond pins of Queen Marie Antoinette, now make their home in the Treasury vault of the Mineralogy gallery in the National Museum of Natural History.
Once owned by the Rockefeller family, a gigantic emerald weighing in at 18.04-carats, was mined in Colombia. It had been purchased decades ago by John D. Rockefeller for his wife, Abby Aldridge Rockefeller. She proudly wore this beautiful gem in a brooch for decades.
It was then broken down from the brooch that had been created and designed by Van Cleef and Aprels when it was left to the Rockefeller’s son, David. It was recently sold for a cool $5.5 million at an auction. It was coveted due to its amazing attributes, including its saturation of the color, no enhanced form of clarity, and lack of inclusions.
Mogul Mughal Emerald
The Mogul Mughal Emerald is one of the largest emeralds known to be in existence. It is a rectangular cut emerald that was mined in Colombia and weighs 217.80 carats. While this emerald hails from Colombia, it was sold in India to the rulers of the Mughai Empire, which is where it gets its name. It was sold in 2001 to a buyer and as of the end of 2008, was making its home at the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar.
The Gachala Emerald was first discovered in 1967 in a mine called Vega de San Juan. The mine is located in Gachala, a small town in Colombia near Bogota. It is considered to be one of the most precious and popular emeralds in the world and is named after Gachalá Chibcha which means “Gacha’s spot.”
Its pure green color makes it one of the most valuable of all emeralds. It is said to get its color from impurity atoms of vanadium or chromium that are infused into the beryl crystals of the gem as it was growing. It weighs in at about 858 carats and today, it is located at the Smithsonian Institute after being donated by world-renowned jeweler, Harry Winston, from New York City.
The very large Patricia Emerald is known for its amazing color and weighs in at 632 carats. This amazing dihexagonal, or twelve-sided, crystal is described as one of the greatest emeralds in the world since it was discovered in a mine in Colombia in 1920. The owner of the mine named this emerald after his daughter.
It has been preserved uncut and features a normal amount of flaws that can be found in emeralds that are hard enough to withstand a lot of wear and tear so it is touted for its durability. It is now located in the United States at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, New York.
FAQs About Emeralds
Can you wear an emerald ring every day?
Yes, you can. An emerald rate of about an eight on the hardness scale means it is extremely durable and can be worn for everyday use. It is still recommended that you remove this type of ring if you are doing something that may cause it to fall off or get stuck in something.
For example, if you work on a machine in a factory, you may not want to wear any type of ring to work since you would be taking a chance on getting the ring caught in the machine which could then result in an injury to you.
How can you tell an emerald is real?
A genuine emerald does not sparkle with fire. This means when you hold it up to a light source, it does not put off that fiery glow that many other stones do, such as diamonds or peridots. An emerald will shine when light hits it but the fire will be duller and there will not be any rainbow flashes that emit from the stone. If it does have an intense fire, it is more than likely an imitation or synthetic emerald.
What is the difference between emerald and jade?
The main difference between an emerald and a jade gemstone is that the emerald is a true green gemstone and a beryl variety. The jade stone, on the other hand, is more of an ornamental stone.
On which finger emerald should be worn?
An emerald seems to be a better stone in a ring setting to wear on the little finger of either hand. It can also be worn on the middle finger of either hand but most women seem to prefer to wear an emerald stone on their little finger of their right hand.
What are the benefits of wearing emerald?
An emerald is known as a Panna stone And it is believed that wears of the stone in a ring setting or as a necklace or other form of jewelry see a distinctive increase in their creativity, artistic ability, and linguistic skills. It is believed that people are more innovative when they are wearing an emerald gemstone so if you are a person that has to work with ideas, such as a sculptor, writer, or painter, this may be the gemstone for you.
What jewelry is an emerald suitable for?
Emeralds are used to create beautiful jewelry in many forms, including engagement rings. They look great in an antique-style ring, a three-stone ring, and even halo rings as well as earrings. They are also used in gorgeous bracelets and pendants. Basically, you can choose to have the emerald stone of your choice set into any type of jewelry that you prefer.
Why are emeralds so valuable?
Not only are emeralds one of the most gorgeous of all the gemstones, but they also look great in any type of jewelry setting. There are many different types of emeralds but the most expensive are the larger ones with deep, lush shades of green with the fewest inclusions.
Are dark or light emeralds better?
Many people think that they should choose an emerald there is medium to very dark because they believe the darker the shade, the more expensive and the higher quality the stone consists of but that is not always the case. You also need to look at the saturation of the emerald, the color’s intensity, and strength, and the number of inclusions to determine if it is the highest quality gemstone.
How do you know if you have a real emerald?
A natural or real emerald is very hard and the edges of the stone will not show strong signs of wear. Since some emerald imitations are made of softer materials, including glass and chemically process materials that will look duller and worn over time.
What does emerald stone symbolize?
If history tells us anything about what emeralds symbolize, they must stand for true love in abundance and wealth. Also, the striking green color that an emerald possesses is known to represent hope, renewal, growth, and beauty in nature.
How can you tell the quality of an emerald?
To determine the quality of an emerald, you need to look for the depth of the tonal color. Natural emeralds will range in color from very light to very dark but the most valuable ones will generally fall on the darker side of the spectrum. High-quality emeralds most often have a tonal color there is about a medium to strong green color without being oversaturated.
Do emerald colors vary by locality?
The color hue in emeralds can offer clues as to where they come from but this is not a definitive test. The largest portion of emeralds in the world today come from Brazil, Colombia, and Zambia.
What color of an emerald is the best color?
The most sought-after emeralds are the ones that are a bluish-green to pure green in vivid color. They also need to have great color saturation and tone that is not too dark but also not too light. The most coveted emeralds are very transparent and their color is evenly distributed with no color zoning visible to the naked eye.
Why is emerald so expensive?
An emerald is the most expensive beryl due to several reasons. Like other gemstones, emeralds have to adhere to very specific expectations when it comes to transparency and color along with other factors. The emeralds that are the deepest green in color are the ones that hold the largest value. In other words, the darker the color, the higher the price.
How can you tell if an emerald has been created in a lab?
If an emerald is synthetic, which means it’s an imitation version and not the real thing, it will not have the same inclusions as a natural emerald would due to the Indy difference in how it is formed. If it has inclusions that look like little discs or bubbles, it is more than likely made of glass in is not the real deal.
Where can I sell my emeralds?
In today’s world of technology, it’s super easy to sell an emerald. You can sell to online Jewelers and jewelry stores or you can sell to private buyers via platforms like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist.
You can also have a jeweler in your area determine if they want to purchase it from you or if they can possibly hook you up with a buyer. You can also place an ad in your local newspaper or on your local radio station to sell your emerald or do it through consignment with a jeweler or a retail seller.