Anyone who likes the color green and appreciates beautiful gemstones will absolutely adore emeralds. Emerald has long been a gemstone I’ve not had much affinity with, it wasn’t until very recently that I started to truly understand and appreciate it’s beauty, thanks to one of our bespoke clients asking me to design her a ring using a Columbian emerald. Up until then I had this fixed idea that all emeralds had the same grass green color and the traditional Emerald cut.
Imagine my surprise when I first laid my eyes on this bright and intense green pear shaped Columbian beauty, which reminded me very much of a deep sea dive I undertook several years ago somewhere on the Aegean coast. It was at this encounter that my eyes truly opened up to this green beauty and deided to do some more research on it’s origins and (fun) facts.
The Emerald is the most famous of the Beryl gemstone family, housing amongst them also the blue Aquamarine and the pink Morganite. In gemological terms, emeralds can have a very high hardness of 7.5 up to 8 on the Mohs scale. However, they’re more brittle than other members of the beryl family due to their many inclusions. Hardness only measures resistance to scratching. Emerald jewelry still requires gentle treatment.
Though emeralds are classically green, they actually range from yellow-green to blue-green. Emerald color is defined based on three aspects: its hue (color),saturation (intensity), and tone (purity). The more vivid the green, the darker and purer it shows, the more valuable the emerald. Very light emeralds are actually classified as green beryl, whereas medium to dark emeralds receive the prestigious title of emerald.
It is normal and natural for emeralds to have inclusions. There is a bright side to this, which is the fact that emeralds, unlike diamonds, are graded by the eye and not with the assistance of a loupe. All it takes for an emerald to be considered flawless is for it to appear clean, without any visible inclusions, to the eye. High quality emeralds are classified as being eye-clean and display a vivid primary green color.
Luckily I’ve been gifted with some pretty good eye sight (insert thank you to my mom for feeding me all those carrots during my childhood!) which comes in handy indeed during my gemstone hunting days!
There is no denying the beauty of an emerald, but the attraction does not stop there. Many also see emeralds as a sign of good luck. Due to their rarity, it is difficult to come by a high quality emerald, especially one for an affordable price. That is why there are many imitations out there posing as the real thing.
In my case this means doing a lot of research and back ground checking to ensure the stones I am offered or have sourced are indeed what they claim to be and are indeed from the mine stated before I proceed to purchase them or even consider using them for a design. I truly do sometimes feel like a modern day female Sherlock Holmes in my gem hunting but it’s really and truly such a thrill when I finally find that perfect stone with the right credentials!
So where do Emeralds come from nowadays?
The large majority of the world’s emerald production hails from Colombia and it’s said the finest emeralds originate from here. Zambia comes in second, with a very high annual production of emeralds as well. Following as a close third, Brazil. It does not end there though. Emeralds are found around the globe, in much smaller numbers, in Australia, Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, Canada, Norway, China, Switzerland, and even in the United States.
Jewel of Kings A.K.A. Lie Detector Stone
This mesmerizing gemstone is widely known as the “Jewel of Kings” due to it’s popularity with ancient kings and royalty. Cleopatra was known to have a passion for emerald and certainly helped to solidify it’s popularity up until today.
The first known emerald mines were in Egypt, dating from at least 330 BC into the 1700s. The ancients were believed to consider this gemstone a sacred symbol of fertility and immortality. Also believed to be a revealer of truths, emerald reputedly could cut through all illusions and spells, including the truth or falsity of a lover’s oath.
So gifting your loved one a beautiful green emerald in the olden days was believed to work as some sort of lie detector I guess. Whether or not there is truth in this, I’m sure any woman would happily put this to the test if all it would require is being on the receiving end of being gifted such a beautiful and colorful gem! Who else is with me on this one?
I hope this article and the content resonates with you. If you would like to learn more about our Emeralds or any other of our precious gemstones, please feel free to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org