Tips for stone care

What color of emerald is considered the most valuable?

Remember the movie “Romancing the Stone”? The one where the characters of Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner went on an exciting adventure through Colombia in search of a precious stone? What kind of stone was this? Of course, emerald is a stone!

History and origin

Emerald is a gemstone with a rich history. Mentions of it are already found in the most ancient texts and chronicles. Egyptian pharaohs and members of their families decorated themselves with jewelry with gems, considering them as a symbol of wealth and high status – the minerals were mined in desert mines. The Roman Emperor Nero was also a great connoisseur of their beauty. His passion did not go unnoticed by Pliny the Elder, here is an excerpt from his “Natural History”: “Emperor Nero watched gladiator fights through an emerald.” Some say that Nero needed the emerald monocle because he was nearsighted. Others say it was an early version of sunglasses. Representatives of the upper class in medieval Europe considered emeralds to be the most important attributes of greatness and power and endowed them with special meaning and mystical symbolism. They were also used to create religious artifacts. This was due to the belief in their magical and healing properties. The medieval theologian and scientist Albertus Magnus, the mentor of Thomas Aquinas, considered them the most powerful mineral, capable of attracting love and revealing the truth to its owner. The beauty of emerald is woven into the fabric of the history of art and architecture. Thus, the great architect Antonio Gaudi used the deep green color of this mineral in his projects, expressing respect for the secrets and power of nature. Masters of the House of Fabergé rarely used solo emeralds when creating jewelry eggs, but when they did, the eggs were always intended for members of the imperial family. They are also firmly entrenched in the history of jewelry: the best jewelers of the 20th century traveled all over the world in search of exceptional minerals. More than one collection is dedicated to the beauty of gems, including jewelry with emerald inclusions. Actress Elizabeth Taylor was famous for her obsessive love of jewelry. The crown jewel of her collection is an emerald necklace with diamonds given by Richard Burton during the filming of the film Cleopatra.

Physicochemical characteristics

The basis of emerald is the mineral beryl. Its chemical formula Al2Be3(Si6O18) is a combination of beryllium, aluminum, silicon and oxygen atoms. How is beryl turned into emerald? It’s all about the impurities. If atoms of chromium and vanadium are built into the crystal lattice of beryl, it acquires that amazing green tint. The amount of impurities in the mineral can range from only 0,1% to 3%, but they determine the color, which varies from light to dark green. The purer and richer the shade, the higher the cost of this jewelry. Another of its features is the property of “emitting” green color when illuminated. This phenomenon, associated with the specific distribution of chromium and vanadium, is called “emerald green” or “emerald effect”. The mineral has a hardness of 7,5-8 on the Mohs scale, which is an impressive indicator, but at the same time it is quite fragile and requires very careful handling and care. Uniqueness, a combination of hardness and fragility, brightness and depth of color. The emerald gemstone is truly a mystery of nature, and its very name has become synonymous with rare beauty.

Place of extraction

Today there are over 40 deposits in the world. The most common precious crystals on the world market are from 15 deposits. These are Colombia, Zambia, Brazil, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Zimbabwe, China, Austria, USA and Canada. Extraction is a complex and risky process. And not just because this gem is located deep underground. The point is the fragility of the mineral. Its extraction requires special equipment and technology. The skills and experience of workers are of great importance. Very few countries can boast of all this: Colombia, Zambia, Brazil, Madagascar and Russia. Colombia One of the most important moments in the history of this mineral was the discovery of large deposits in Colombia in the 70th century – Muzo and Chivor. Colombian gems are renowned for their rich green color and superior quality. But deposits in Colombia have been known since the pre-Columbian era, and since then it has been a leader in production, accounting for 90 to XNUMX% of world production. Zambia The Kafubu deposits, known since 1928, make Zambia the second largest producer after Colombia. Zambian minerals account for about 20% of the world’s total. Brazil The first deposits in Brazil were discovered back in the 1960th century, but the active development of the industry began only in the 10s. Today Brazil accounts for about XNUMX% of world production. Madagascar Madagascar minerals from the Manandona region “roared” throughout the world recently – in the 1990s. Every year they become more and more popular. Madagascar currently contributes approximately 1-2% to global production. Russia In the Urals, 60 kilometers from Yekaterinburg near the village of Malysheva, there is a deposit 25 kilometers long and 2 kilometers wide. This is the only deposit in Eurasia that was discovered in 1830-1831. During Soviet times, the Urals were the largest emerald producer in the world. But even today, Ural gems remain the standard of quality and are highly valued for their special rich shade and purity. However, mining is more than the process of obtaining the precious stone itself. This is also cleaning, cutting, polishing. Everything that turns it into a jewelry masterpiece. The skill of Russian cutters, their ability to reveal the inner beauty and brilliance of a mineral make Ural crystals especially valuable for collectors and jewelry lovers around the world.

Varieties of emerald

The main thing that distinguishes emeralds from each other is color. It can range from light green to dark green and come in a variety of shades, including bluish-green and blue-green. Crystals from different countries differ in transparency and purity. Some minerals have absolute transparency, and with it greater value. Some have small inclusions. Colombian Colombian emeralds are perhaps the most famous in the world. The intense and pure green color, with virtually no blue or yellow tints, makes them the most valuable and desirable for collectors and jewelers. Zambian Zambian emeralds are recognized for their deep, rich hue, sometimes referred to as “bottle green.” They have fewer inclusions, which appeals to those looking for a particularly “clean” piece of jewelry. Brazilian A distinctive feature of Brazilian emeralds is their light, vibrant green hue. Due to fewer inclusions, they have greater transparency and purity. Madagascar Madagascar emeralds are famous for their “smoky” or “milky” effect, which gives them a special charm and uniqueness. Russian Ural emeralds are known for their soft shine. During the reign of the Romanovs, many jewelry pieces were inlaid with Ural gems. They personified the greatness and wealth of the Russian tsars and played an important role in the royal regalia.

artificial emeralds

Artificial emeralds (or synthetic) are the product of a special technology that imitates the natural process of gemstone formation. Their creation involves the use of minerals and chemical compounds that are heated to high temperatures and then cooled. This is how a crystal structure is formed, identical to the natural one. This produces an emerald that is very similar in appearance to natural, but at a lower cost. Due to the growing popularity of laboratory emeralds, an ethical dilemma has arisen: how to distinguish between artificial and natural ones? Differences can be detected using special equipment. Thus, under a microscope, differences in the structure of internal inclusions and cracks are noticeable. And although artificial gems have less value than their natural counterparts, they represent an important segment of the jewelry market. And most importantly, they allow more people to enjoy the beauty of a magical gemstone. The first artificial emerald was produced in 1935 in the USA. This happened thanks to the work of chemist Carroll Church, who developed a process for synthesizing crystals in the laboratory. Since then, the production of artificial analogues has spread throughout the world. In Russia, the first artificial analogue was created in 1965 in the laboratory of the State Research Institute of Jewelry and Base Metals (GNIIYuINM) in Moscow under the leadership of Professor Sergei Vladimirovich Vorobyov, which became a serious contribution of Russia to the development of the market of artificial precious stones. Today, a significant part of artificial analogues is produced in the USA, Russia, Switzerland and some others. One of the leading companies is ALROSA, known for its experience and technological achievements in the field of gemstone synthesis.

Use of emeralds

Jewelry, fashion, architecture, industry, medicine, cooking – the emerald gemstone is actively involved in all areas of our lives. Jewelry: Emeralds are used as decoration in jewelry. Magnificent necklaces, rings, earrings, tiaras and bracelets attract attention with the special glow of the stones and elegance. An example of such jewelry masterpieces is the “Emerald Crown” of Queen Elizabeth II, created in 1953. Fashion: Designers turn to gems to create luxurious dresses, accessories and shoes. It was these gems that Giorgio Armani decorated the dress of actress Naomi Watts at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016. Industrials: Actively used in the creation of lasers and other electronic devices. Architecture: This mineral is good for decorating luxurious interiors. Thus, some designers create “emerald accents” in the form of table lamps, vases or decorative elements. In medicine: The light-conducting properties of the mineral are used in some medical instruments and optical devices to improve diagnostic accuracy and surgical procedures.

How to distinguish a real emerald

If you are a person without special education, then distinguishing a real emerald from a fake can be difficult. But here are a few characteristics that indicate authenticity and quality. Color: The crystals have a characteristic green color. Its description ranges from light green to dark green. A real emerald has a natural, vibrant color that is extremely attractive to the eye. Be careful with stones that are bright green or unnatural in color – they may be fake. Transparency: A real emerald has a certain degree of transparency that allows light to penetrate. It may be distinguished by some inclusions, confirming the natural origin of the mineral. However, if it is too cloudy, it will most likely turn out to be a fake. Rigidity: The gemstone is a medium-hard mineral, with a hardness of about 7,5-8 on the Mohs scale. You can test the hardness by tapping it on a hard surface. A real emerald will have a stable structure and will not be scratched. Price: Emeralds are rare stones. Be careful: a suspiciously low price may indicate that this is a fake. Uniqueness: Each emerald is unique and has its own individual characteristics. Study it carefully and pay attention to its texture, inclusions and play of light. A real crystal is distinguished by natural beauty – not perfect or ideal. Certification: Contact certified jewelers and specialists who can conduct an examination and provide an accurate description of the crystal. A Certificate of Authenticity will give you confidence in the quality and value of the stone.

Caring for emeralds

These few care tips will help preserve their natural beauty, natural shine and highest value. Cleaning: To clean your jewelry, use a soft brush (such as a soft-bristled toothbrush) and a soft cloth dampened with warm, soapy water. Clean your gemstone gently, avoiding applying too much pressure to avoid damaging it. After cleaning, rinse the emerald thoroughly with water and wipe it with a dry soft cloth. Chemical protection: Emeralds are sensitive to chemicals. Try to keep them away from harsh chemicals such as acids, alkalis and ammonia. Also avoid using abrasives that may damage the surface of the stone. Impact protection: Despite their relative hardness, these minerals are still quite brittle and can be easily damaged by impact or extreme pressure. It is recommended to wear emerald jewelry only on special occasions and treat it with the utmost care. Storage: Store emerald gemstones separately from other jewelry to avoid scratches and damage, for example, in a soft fabric bag or in a special jewelry box with compartments. It is also recommended to avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. Professional cleaning: Jewelry requires professional cleaning and polishing. They can only be performed by a qualified jeweler who has experience working with such gems. Regular professional examinations The jeweler will be able to check the gemstones for cracks, inclusions or other problems and perform repairs or restorations if necessary. We hope the article was useful to you and you were able to learn more about the beautiful gemstone – emerald. Emerald is considered one of the most beautiful stones and has remained in demand for centuries. In the old days, it was lucky to acquire a real crystal, since this beauty could serve its owner for many decades. In different countries, the word “zumrundi” (meaning “green”) was transformed into “maragd”, “smaragdos”, “esmerald”, “emerald”. In ancient Rus’, the gem was known as “smaragd”.

Description of the stone

  • blue or blue-green aquamarine;
  • pink or yellow-orange morganite;
  • colorless goshenite;
  • yellow or gold heliodor.

The bright emerald color of the gem is due to the fact that in the structure of beryl, aluminum is replaced by chromium. It is able to withstand sunlight and heat and only changes at temperatures of 700–800°C. The most valuable are crystals of rich green or greenish-blue color.

From ancient times to the present day, emerald has been a leader in the gem market. It is loved for its beneficial effects on well-being and mood. It gives constancy in views and affections. Its color symbolizes youth, spring freshness, peace and harmony. The crystal is credited with the properties of a talisman: it protects its owner and shows him the path to glory. He is also considered the patron saint of expectant mothers, so it can be safely given to women in labor. In Ancient Rus’, the gem was also highly valued. The ring with it, given by the groom to the bride for engagement, was a faithful assistant to lovers.

Precious or not

Emerald is a gemstone that belongs to the first mineral group along with diamond, ruby, sapphire and alexandrite. He takes an honorable fourth place. This mineral is documented to be subject to certification, which is considered direct evidence that it is a real gem. This is written in official document 41-F3 dated March 12.03.1998, XNUMX. If you are going to transport natural stone across the border, you will need to complete additional documentation.

Types of emerald

Types of crystals are classified according to tones, shades and saturation. Based on tone they are divided into:

  • dark;
  • medium dark;
  • medium (herbaceous);
  • medium light;
  • light.

According to the color palette, the mineral can be:

  • green (G);
  • faint bluish green (vslbG);
  • bluish green (bG);
  • pronounced bluish-green (vstbG).

Saturation is graded from 1 (grayish) to 6 (bright). It determines the degree of purity, brightness, and richness of color.

The color of the crystal depends on the oxide of chromium, iron and vandium. It may contain small inclusions that affect its color. They do not reduce the value of the gem, since they give it a rich hue, and this is a sign of a stone of the highest quality. Its crystals have a regular shape in the form of an elongated prism.

Gemstone deposits

The main deposits of the gem are Colombia, Zambia, Brazil, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Afghanistan, Russia (Ural), USA, Australia. It is mainly exported to the world market by Colombia and Zambia. Currently, Colombian specimens account for more than half of the world’s production. They were the ones who received the highest score from jewelers for coloring. They have a rich grassy color, sometimes with a slight bluish tint. Deposits near the capital Bogota yield gems of rare purity, while stones from most other Colombian mines are usually opaque.

In Russia, the beryl deposit is located in the Middle Urals near the village of Malysheva. They are mined together with alexandrites. Ural gems are often gigantic in size. They have an infinitely rich color, a moderate amount of impurities and a smooth surface. Light and completely transparent specimens are often found. In total, over 15 tons of crystals were mined in the Urals. They are prized for their purity and rich spring green color.

How to distinguish a natural emerald from a fake?

They often try to pass off products made of glass, rhinestones, crystals, yellow peridot and many other imitations as emerald.

  1. Doublets and triplets are often passed off as natural crystals. They look like two or three elements glued together. The base is glass with a thin layer of emerald glued on top. Their main feature is layering, which natural stone does not have. There may be bubbles and inclusions at the gluing site; the authenticity is assessed visually by a specialist.
  2. Real gems have a large number of different cracks, inclusions and other clearly visible defects that can be seen through a magnifying glass. Natural stone is not perfectly transparent, since various impurities give it a cloudy tint in some places. Due to these inclusions, the gem is unique and inimitable. Grown and refined emeralds have almost no defects. Such stones are not fakes, but the seller must warn that the stone has been refined or grown in a laboratory.
  3. Glass fakes are usually too large and very shiny.

Only a gemologist can distinguish a real gem from a fake, who will conduct research and give an expert opinion.

Methods for caring for minerals

Emerald is a rather capricious stone. Despite its high hardness, it is fragile and finicky to care for. Ultrasonic cleaning devices cause particular damage to it. It can be soaked briefly in a warm soapy solution, then rubbed with a soft cloth or brush without exposure to any aggressive environments.

There are also a number of simple rules for caring for emerald jewelry:

  • take them off when doing any household chores;
  • do not wear to gyms and swimming pools;
  • wear after applying makeup: the effects of decorative and skincare cosmetics have a negative effect on the gem;
  • keep emerald jewelry in the box, having previously wrapped it in a soft cloth. It is not advisable to store jewelry with this gem in the same box with other jewelry: its hardness on the Mohs scale is 7–7,5, while the hardness of ruby ​​and sapphire reaches 9, and diamond – 10. Due to the influence of its “neighbors,” the emerald is gradually covered with small cracks and becomes almost matte, although by nature it has a stunning shine.

It is best to store emerald jewelry at low temperatures and in the absence of bright light.

Characteristics of an emerald on a jewelry tag

Knowing the marking codes of a gem helps determine the type and degree of its refinement. The main point in the description is the characteristics of the insert: its quantity, weight, clarity and color from 1 to 5, type of cut. For example, the inscription “2I – 3/G3 – 1,54” is deciphered as follows:

  • 2I means that the decoration contains two gems;
  • 1,54 denotes their carat weight (1 carat = 0,2 grams);
  • 3/G3 shows that the jewelry contains facet-cut stones, and 3 3 on the tag means that their clarity is 3 and the color characteristic is also 3.

For emeralds, the regulatory documentation TU 95.335-88 establishes two types of cuts:

  • facet (in the form of a crystal with edges), which is designated as G1, G2 and G3;
  • cabochon (oval) – from K1 to K2.

The designation “B” is often used for grown crystals. The mark “KR” means that the stone has a round shape, and the letter “G” or “S” means that it is hydrothermal/synthetic. The above are the main characteristics; their designation may differ on the labels of different companies.

What affects the price of a gemstone?

The cost of 1 carat is affected by the following parameters:

  • Color. It is the primary indicator of cost assessment. Stones have five color categories depending on the intensity of the green hue: dark, medium-dark, medium, medium-light, light. Light gems are cheaper, dark ones are more expensive.
  • Weight. Stones are small (up to 0,49 carats), medium (from 0,5 to 1 carat), large (from 1 to 10 carats), very large (from 10 carats);
  • Purity and transparency. Stones without inclusions or impurities are quite rare. Therefore, the purer the gem, the more rare and expensive it is considered. Even a small, but absolutely clear stone is more expensive than its large opaque counterparts. More than 90% of crystals on the world market are treated to improve their purity. To do this, the cracks are filled with cedar oil or various polymers;
  • Cut. Its quality and type determine the expression of light and weight. If an “emerald” cut is used, the gem will have more carats and will cost more. High-quality cut and rare specimens can be valued on the world market at $20 per carat (000 grams);
  • Crystal mining location. The region of origin determines most of its characteristics.

Expensive emeralds are always transparent: their color is evenly distributed without zoning visible to the naked eye. Stones without observable inclusions are rare and highly valued. For example, in 2015, a unique Piccadilly Princess Royal Emerald Green watch with 245 Gemfields emeralds weighing almost 32 carats cost $2,3 million. In 2017, an 18-carat Rockefeller pendant brooch sold for $5,5 million.

The Miuz Diamonds catalog presents jewelry with natural and hydrothermal emeralds.

Many jewelry items are offered at a discount, and it is also possible to buy them on credit. We will arrange delivery of orders to your door, to the nearest SDEK pick-up point or the Moscow Jewelry Factory brand store.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button