Myths and legends

What is the most fragile gemstone?

Precious emerald stone – one of the main gems. Along with it are diamonds, rubies, sapphires and pearls. The history of emerald has been known since the times of Ancient Egypt. Therefore, it is unlikely that it will be possible to fit even the most interesting things into one article, but we at Ukrzoloto will tell you about the main facts about Cleopatra’s favorite stone.

Emerald jewelry stone

The chromium oxide in the composition gives the velvet green tint to emerald. The stone perfectly withstands the test of acid and other reagents, but it cannot be called indestructible. On the Mohs scale, it has only 7,5 points out of 10. By the way, emerald, aquamarine and heliodor are real relatives. These are all colored varieties of one mineral called beryl. Another important property of emerald: a stone weighing 1 carat looks more massive than a diamond, since green gems have a lower density. In ancient times, it was believed that if you put an emerald under your tongue, you would see the future. We have not tested the theory, but we believe that if you wear a ring with green stone or earrings, the effect will be more noticeable. Because being unsure of a happy future while wearing emeralds is at least a crime.

Where are emeralds mined?

Colombian stones have a rich grassy green color. Emeralds found on Ural, also have a deep hue and are distinguished by natural purity when compared with stones from other deposits. The darkest emeralds are from Zimbabwe, and the stones from Zambia They also have characteristic blue shades. By the way, Zambian stones make up 20% of the total number of emeralds mined on the planet, and they are also much purer than Colombian ones. Instances from Brazil easily recognized by its greyish-brown notes and lighter tone. Important fact: Colombian emeralds are the standard among beryls. Also, large gem-quality stones are found in Russia, the Urals, Brazil, India, Egypt, Afghanistan and the USA. IN North America green stones have been found in different states: Montana, Connecticut, Nevada, North Carolina and South Carolina. By the way, the deposit of natural stone is determined by the characteristics of the shade and inclusions inside.

Emerald cut is a stepped type of processing of a mineral in the form of a rectangle or square with beveled corners to protect the fragile stone from damage.

How emeralds make better

Emerald is one of the most fragile stones. Therefore, finding a piece of jewelry quality is another task. Emeralds that managed to avoid processing are rather an exception to the rule. Most stones are refined, making the color richer and hiding internal imperfections. Oiling – one of the simplest, most popular and long-known ways to make a fragile mineral ideal. They do this with cedar oil or resins – “Canada balsam”. Thanks to viscous liquids, barely noticeable cracks do not turn into very real faults over time. As they harden, they expel air from cracks and bubbles. Why cedar oil? It has the same refractive index of light as emerald.

Can the average consumer tell that an emerald is enhanced? No.
Does oiling affect the price of a stone? Yes, and sometimes this difference reaches 50%.
Is it possible to find jewelry in stores without processed emerald? Hardly: their market share does not even reach 1%. And these are collector’s items.

The uniqueness of emeralds is that the stones are formed only when two rocks come into contact. Stones from Colombia – with significant changes in temperature and pressure. Another way to improve an emerald is artificial materials, with which the stone is processed even before cutting, so that during the process it can withstand all the refinements of the shape. Gem quality stones have a thick, rich color and a minimum of defects. Although these shortcomings often serve as proof of originality and practically do not affect the price, but since a person strives for the ideal, emeralds lend themselves to different types of processing.

Forest – internal inclusions inside emeralds. They are also called “Jardins”, which means “garden” in French. They are more noticeable in African stones

How do artificial emeralds differ from natural ones?

Hydrothermal emeralds are artificially grown stones that have a lower density, lower refractive index and subtle bluish tints. First synthetic beryls green colors were created back in 1935, and since then technology has stepped far forward. So much so that even in artificial stones, some companies recreate that very “forest” inside the minerals. And distinguish natural emerald from man-made it becomes almost impossible, if we talk about the visual part without the use of special devices. Natural emerald or synthetic – which is better? Incorrect question. Of course, the latter are much lower in price, but if you want a unique specimen with features in the form of inclusions, then choose natural stone. Jewelry emerald of natural origin – a good investment, and not just a spectacular addition to precious frame.

How to wear emerald jewelry

If you believe the legend, then ring with emerald adorned on the finger of Venus herself. We think the ancient Greek goddess of love had great taste! In everyday looks, laconic white gold items are more appropriate: studs or rings in a minimalist style. In the evening, you can choose any jewelry from the box or add larger accents to the same studs in the form of a massive ring or brooch. Please note that yellow gold – the most spectacular setting for green stones. So even a laconic product will look bright in it. White gold and emeralds are a more sophisticated and elegant option. How to wear or not wear jewelry with one of the main jewelry stones? It all depends on the design and your personal style solely. There are no universal rules dividing advice into a clear yes or no.

Emerald is the birthstone for those born in May. Jewelry with a green stone is also customary for the 20th, 35th or 55th wedding anniversary. Although we do not recommend waiting that long: please your loved ones now.

How much does an emerald cost?

  • Color
  • Transparency
  • Field
  • Cutting
  • Size
  • The weight
  • Density

Minerals are pale green in quality emerald cut prices start at $40 per carat, cabochon stones with many cracks and air bubbles start at $13 per carat. It is interesting that dark-colored specimens, even with inclusions, are valued more than better quality, but lighter stones.

If a diamond is valued for its play of light, then when working with an emerald, the cutter faces another task – to make the color of the stone more expressive and richer. But specimens with exceptional purity and a minimum of processing are already worth amounts with three zeros on the price tag.

Small emeralds – stones up to 0,49 carats in size
Medium – from 0,5 to 1 carat
Large – stones up to 10 carats
More than 10 carats are very large stones

Jewelry with natural emeralds is status jewelry. But in our catalog you can also find everyday jewelry, which will brighten the image regardless of the occasion!

It is possible to visually distinguish stones from each other by color, but what to do if the shades are almost the same? There are so many cases in mineralogy when one stone was mistaken for another, and as a result a new, previously unknown mineral was discovered. At first glance, it is very difficult to distinguish leucosapphire from colorless topaz, or ruby ​​from garnet. To do this, gemologists conduct many tests, among which there is a very important one – testing the stone for hardness. In this article we will talk in more detail about the hardness scale and its creator.

In the photo: German scientist and mineralogist, creator of the hardness scale – Friedrich Moos.

German geologist Friedrich Mohs moved to Austria in 1801 to work for a mining company. He was also hired by a wealthy Austrian banker to store and identify his extensive mineral collection. Mohs’ tasks included sorting collection minerals and identifying stones unknown to science. Friedrich Moos knew that gems were classified according to their chemical composition, but wanted to simplify, improve and speed up this process. In 1812, he created a hardness scale that was initially criticized by the mineralogical community, but eventually achieved worldwide fame.

Friedrich Mohs followed the botanists’ lead and grouped minerals according to their physical characteristics, starting with how hard they were. According to some reports, Moos took plaster and was unable to scratch any other stone with it. He conditionally defined its hardness as 1. The scientist arranged the following minerals in order of increasing hardness. The last tenth stone turned out to be a diamond, since no other nugget could scratch it.

However, Moos is not the first to do this. For the first time, in 77 BC, Pliny the Elder compared the hardness of diamond and quartz. He described his research in the book Naturalis Historia, and Friedrich Moos decided to continue the ordinal ranking system of Pliny the Elder. So he came up with a set of 10 hardness values ​​that could be determined relative to each other by scratching.

In the photo: Mohs hardness scale.

The hardness of a mineral usually refers to the resistance that its surface exhibits when you try to scratch it with another stone or object.

  • minerals with hardness 1 and 2, such as talc and gypsum, are considered soft and can be easily damaged even with a fingernail;
  • stones with a hardness of 3 to 6, such as calcite, fluorite, apatite and orthoclase, are considered medium hard. They can be damaged with a pocketknife or a coin;
  • gems over 6 points are called hard.

Crystals generally provide a consistent hardness, but some stones have unique characteristics and may have different hardnesses. For example, minerals such as garnet or quartz can have several different chemical compositions, so their hardness will vary from 6,5 to 7,5.

The Mohs hardness scale has been used in mineralogy and geology for over 200 years. Thanks to this table, many specialists in the field determine which group of minerals the found nugget belongs to.

In the photo: “Starlight” pendant from the Maxim Demidov jewelry house.

Jewelry metals can also be rated on the Mohs hardness scale:

  • Gold – from 2,5 to 3 points. Gold is a very soft metal and it is for this reason that it is never found in pure form in jewelry. To make the products suitable for daily wear, it is necessary to add an alloy in the form of silver, copper, zinc, palladium or other metals. Such alloys give gold the desired hardness.
  • Platinum – from 4 to 4,5 points. The silvery-white metal is almost twice as hard as gold. The material is so durable that jewelry can be made from pure metal, without adding a ligature.

In the photo: platinum ring “Elsker” and gold ring “Heart Ties” from the Maxim Demidov jewelry house.

Diamond has a 10 on the hardness scale and is considered the hardest substance. Jewelers know all the intricacies of processing this precious stone and take into account important parameters when cutting. For example, an unprocessed crystal has edges that are practically impossible to cut. And there are also those that, if the master moves incorrectly, can split the gem. Understanding such subtleties saves time and allows you to create the best diamond with minimal waste.

In the photo: Monopoly diamond ring from the Maxim Demidov jewelry house.

The best quality rubies and sapphires are used to create jewelry. These crystals are rated 9 on the Mohs scale, which means they are second only to diamond in hardness. Thanks to these almost ideal parameters, the stones are perfect for industrial purposes. Non-jewelry corundums are used in the production of laser systems and transistors, in medicine and dentistry, in the production of watch movements, etc.

In the photo: a ring with a Milonga ruby ​​and a ring with a sapphire “Royal Attribute” from the Maxim Demidov jewelry house.

Topaz and spinel score 8 on the Mohs scale. And the hardness of the beryl group: aquamarine, morganite, emerald, in some cases can vary from 7,5 to 8 points. These are also quite hard gems that can not only sparkle in jewelry, but also be useful in production: aircraft and astronautics, high-precision instruments, musical instruments, ceramics and dyes that have increased resistance to overheating. But even in this case, only non-jewelry quality samples are used in production.

In the photo: ring with topaz “Fantasy of Youth” and ring with spinel “Delight of Sunset” from the Maxim Demidov jewelry house.

The most fragile and delicate stone in the Maxim Demidov jewelry treasury is pearls. It has a hardness ranging from 2,5 to 4 on the Mohs scale. Mother of pearl beads can be easily scratched by any sharp object. But at the same time, pearls are considered a fairly strong stone and are almost impossible to split.

In the photo: pearl set “Longi” from the Maxim Demidov jewelry house.

Although the Mohs scale is an indicator of mineral hardness, it does not take into account an important feature – the structure of gemstones. Any gem needs careful treatment and care. Even a diamond that has a score of 10 can break if accidentally dropped, since the stone is fragile. Always exercise caution when wearing any gemstone jewelry to ensure that these timeless pieces do not lose their beauty.

The Mohs table is only a means of determining whether stones belong to a certain type. But it is not a table of distribution of stones by cost. Some people believe that if a diamond scores 10 on the Mohs scale, it is the most expensive of all gems. However, it is not. The price of precious stones is influenced by the quantity of their reserves in the world, as well as quality characteristics: clarity, color, weight and cut.

You can see more details about what parameters make up the cost in our video “How much do precious stones cost?”

The Maxim Demidov jewelry house invites you to enjoy the shine of precious gems.

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