Have you seen Angelina Jolie spotting another emerald jewelry from her enticing emerald collection? Those resplendent green emeralds are not only her favorites; they are one of the prized possessions of many kings, queens and celebrities. Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth II, Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor, Maharani of Kapurthala and Marlene Dietrich Theda Bara are few famous emerald jewelry lovers.
These and many other starlets have exhibited different designer emerald jewelry. But it’s not just limited to celebrities; even ordinary people have also been purchasing fine emeralds.
Emerald is a green member of beryl family of minerals which generally has flaws and impurities. A vibrant green flawless emerald is very difficult to find and so even cost more than a higher quality diamond.
The color green is due to the presence of chromium or vanadium. The finest quality emeralds are mined in Columbia, South Africa, India, Russia and Zimbabwe. But lab-created emeralds with comparatively less price are also available in the market.
Emeralds have hexagonal crystal structure with different kinds of impurities. (Be3Al2(SiO3)6) is the chemical formula for beryl emeralds so the chemical name of emerald according to this formula is Beryllium aluminum silicate. The major properties of the stone are its glassy luster and streaks of fissures in it.
Naturally emeralds are less transparent and therefore treated to enhance their beauty. The quality of a natural emerald is determined on the basis of color, crystal, clarity and cut. The grassy green of the stone usually decides on the basis of hue, saturation and tone. And the clarity is determined on the basis of inclusions present in the stone.
Natural emeralds are generally oil treated to hide the surface blemishes.
Due to the increasing demand, synthetic production of emerald has also been started. These synthetic stones though have the same crystal structure and fundamental composition, they are comparatively less popular. Synthetic emeralds on the basis of formation are of two types: flux and hydrothermal.
Flux emeralds are made by dissolving chemicals in a molten chemical known as flux. It is then gradually crystallize for 6 months to 1 year depending on the size whereas hydrothermal emeralds are formed by dissolving nutrients in a water and chemical solution at high temperature and pressure.
Synthetic stones are less pricey due to the easy availability. They are also durable because of the absence of flaws and fillers but are not valued emotionally. Mostly jewelers while selling emeralds do mention the origin and treatments of gemstones. Synthetic emeralds in market are more popular as lab-created emeralds.
These days many frauds are selling colored glasses by the name of emeralds. Such stones are termed as Fake stones. These are not gemstones but are simple glass with green color.
When you are buying loose emeralds or purchasing jewelry you should carefully check the stone and only buy it after being content about the quality. Here are few tips that might help you in judging the stone:
- Check the emeralds in clear light.
- Use magnifying glass to clearly view the inclusions.
- Ask the jeweler about the country of origin and stone grade.
- If it’s a natural emerald ask for the treatments and GIA certificate of authenticity.
- Jewelers usually mentioned if it is a synthetic stone still you can analyze it by checking the size, color and clarity.
- Synthetic gems are bigger in size with deep green color and less or no flaws.
- If someone is selling you a stone with grassy vibrant green color, no inclusions at lesser prices then beware, it is a fake stone.
- Price of natural emerald of decent quality will always be high.
By careful observation and little education you can wisely pick an emerald to make your fine jewelry.