Green with Envy Over Emeralds
Emeralds are popular and well-known for their vibrant (and vibrantly green) appearance. The green color you see results from a combination of unique elements and occurrences that happen naturally.
There’s a reason why emeralds are a favorite gemstone across the globe — their dazzling color. In many cases, the intensity of green our finest emeralds achieve is unmatched by anything else the occurs in nature.
This inspired us to create our Emerald Guide — with the goal of providing our valued customers with an informative and comprehensive reference.
Beginning with their formation all the way down to selecting the perfect emerald for your jewelry, My Jewelry Repair welcomes our customers and readers to embark on a learning experience that will not only improve emerald knowledge but will also help you make more informed purchases down the road.
More Than A Pretty Stone
“Love is an emerald. Its brilliant light wards off dragons on this treacherous path.” – Rumi
What Should We Be Looking for in an Emerald?
Did you know that emeralds are 20 times more rare than diamonds?
Sometimes emeralds can command higher prices than diamonds. Emeralds can range quite wildly in price, for lack of a better term. Cost and value are important, but so is how special the emerald makes you feel when you wear it.
When discussing the anatomy of an emerald it is useful to incorporate the four C’s:
- The cut of an emerald will highlight its special features. Emeralds happen to be on the more brittle side, so extra special care needs to be taken during the emerald cutting process.
- A quality emerald is cut in a way to minimize natural fractures, not to mention protect against damage and wear and tear.
- Emeralds come in a variety of cuts, most commonly “the emerald cut,” which is rectangular and stepped, maximizing color and saturation.
- A proper cut will make a statement any time you wear an emerald.
- All-natural gemstones will have inclusions, which are visible “flaws.” Inclusions can result from liquid, solid, or even gaseous materials getting trapped in the stone during its formation within a rock.
- As far as gemstone clarity goes, emeralds tend to have more inclusions when compared to other gemstones. If you find an “eye-clean” emerald, meaning you cannot see inclusions with the unaided eye, these are especially valuable.
- Inclusions in emeralds will often appear mossy, which are called “jardin,” which is French for “garden.” Many emerald connoisseurs look for jardin due to its lush, textural beauty.
- Gemstone size varies in weight and density. Important note: Size is not generally measured in carats. Rather, size is measured in diameter (in millimeters).
- Emeralds are typically valued more for their color than their size, as well as the emerald’s cut and clarity.
- Most emeralds end up weighing less than 1.5 carats. Larger stones are rarer.
- Gemstone color can often be the most important aspect of a gemstone and this goes especially true for emeralds.
- The emerald’s signature green color can range and vary in saturation intensity.
- Emeralds featuring a brilliant, bluish-green (or even a pure-green) hue are considered the rarest and most desirable. They will also end up being the most expensive.
Each of the metrics mentioned above (along with others) end up being considered and combined to create a value for each emerald that either deems it more or less expensive.
Natural vs. Lab-Created
The “Real” and the “Fake” of Sparkle & Brilliance
Let’s talk about an important new trend in the jewelry industry: Lab-created gemstones.
A lab-created emerald is classified as a real emerald but not a natural emerald. Synthetic emeralds are among the most expensive synthetic gems. Why? Because the methods used to create synthetic emeralds in laboratories necessitate the operation of expensive equipment. Creating an emerald in a lab is a slow and arduous process and the overall yield is relatively low.
However, regardless, remember that a lab-created emerald is not as valuable a natural emerald.
The History of Emeralds
What’s in an Emerald?
Emeralds can be bluish-green all the way to a pure-green variant of the mineral beryl. Beryl also forms morganite and aquamarine. If a gemstone’s color is more on the yellow or blue side of the color spectrum, then the gemstone is likely not an emerald, but likely a different beryl variety. The trace elements responsible for an emerald’s verdant hue are chromium, vanadium, and iron.
It is the most valuable stone in the beryl group, and is classified as one of the four precious gemstones with diamond, ruby, and sapphire. Emeralds are relatively rare — they can only be found in select locations worldwide. Regions include Canada, Columbia, Madagascar, Russia, and Zambia.
The most desirable color for an emerald is a bluish green to pure green, and unlike some of the other gemstones that are available in different colors, emerald is always green. Most emeralds have imperfections visible to the naked eye, and this is an easy way to differentiate the genuine gemstones from lab created or synthetic ones.
Emeralds are 20 times rarer than diamonds, and therefore are much more expensive.
The name “Emerald” comes from the old French word “esmeralde” which is derived from the Greek word ‘smaragdos’ meaning ‘green stone.’ The emerald is also known as the modern birthstone of May.
These beautiful green gemstones are known to symbolize good fortune and luck, growth and renewal, peace, balance, well-being, and hope. In ancient times, wearing emeralds were known to prevent epilepsy said by the Greek philosopher, Aristotle. They were also known to fend off danger and protect the wearer from unfaithful lovers as the stone of fidelity. Emeralds are also used in powdered form in traditional medicines by other cultures.
Emeralds have a hardness of 7.5 – 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness, they are the softest and most fragile of the precious gemstones. A hardness of 7.5 – 8 is normally a decent hardness for jewelry, but most emeralds have many inclusions and fractures that can reach the surface, which can weaken the gemstone and cause it to be brittle, and this can cause breakage. If your emerald is set in a ring or bracelet, be careful, rings and bracelets get more wear and tear than any other piece of jewelry since they are worn on the hand and wrist.
If you or someone you know was born in May, we recommend looking into purchasing an emerald piece as a gift! Whether you’re interested in the gemstone’s magical properties or simply its beautiful color, gifting an emerald will ensure having an amazing present.
Picking the Perfect Emerald for Your Jewelry
Sparkle and Brilliance to Fit Your Personality
Emeralds come in all shapes and sizes, literally. When choosing the perfect emerald for your jewelry, remember that you have many options. The characteristics of the jewelry might even reflect your personality and should certainly impact your decision.
- What type of jewelry are you adding an emerald to – a ring, bracelet, pendant, necklace, or earrings?
- What kind of metal is the jewelry in question composed of?
- What cut is going to look best in the jewelry setting?
- Will the emerald be featured alone or will it have side-stones accompanying it?
Each of these questions will help you nail down the perfect emerald for your setting and help you better visualize what you’re trying to achieve.
Caring for Your Emeralds
Maintaining Sparkle and Brilliance
Emeralds face a lot of direct contact and natural wear and tear — we love showing these green treasures off when we are out and about. Everyday or even casual use will end up attracting grease to the emerald’s surface, resulting in loss of sparkle and shine. Even seemingly innocuous exposure (like touch of your own fingers) can cause an emerald to lose its shine.
Understanding how to properly clean and care for emerald jewelry is crucial. Maintaining the sparkle and brilliance of your emerald is fairly simple task and can be done with warm water, a soft-toothed brush, and some common dish soap.
Our At-Home Step by Step Cleaning Process
- Make sure to clean and polish your emerald jewelry on a regular basis — once or twice a week is best. All you have to do is simply soak your jewelry in a mild degreasing solution. Warm water and a few drops of dish-washing liquid will do the trick.
- After soaking your emerald jewelry, use a soft brush (a soft-bristle toothbrush will do just fine) to gently remove remaining dirt and oil. Make sure to take the time to clean the underside of your emerald since this is often where dirt and oil build up considerably.
- After you’re finished with your cleaning process, be sure to rinse your emerald jewelry with clean water. Pro tip: bock the drain if you end up cleaning your jewelry over your kitchen sink.
- Finally, dry your emerald jewelry with a soft cloth (make sure the cloth is lint-free).
Avoid using toothpaste or strong cleaning agents on emeralds as these types of cleaners may be too harsh or contain abrasive agents that are unkind to precious metals and gemstones.
A Step Further in Emerald Care
In order to give your emeralds the best care possible, be sure to have your emerald jewelry cleaned, polished, and inspected by a professional every six months.
My Jewelry Repair is the go-to source for your semi-annual clean, polish, and inspection service. Our service not only provides professional cleaning but also inspects the mounting to ensure the metal is in good condition. And, of course, we also check the security of your stones. Our service helps to keep your emeralds and all your jewelry looking like new and is now available for $39.99.
Visit our Emerald Replacement page for more information or to create your first repair order.
We Specialize in Sparkle and Brilliance
Clean & Polish Services
A basic clean, polish, and inspection is part of the routine care and maintenance needed to keep your jewelry looking like new. The inspection process includes looking for loose stones, bent prongs, and any damage to the metal or stones that need to be repaired.”
Stone Setting Repair
“A stone setting repair can be a simple re-tipping of a worn prong (which is considered routine care and maintenance) or the complete rebuilding/replacing of a damaged prong. In the case of severe damage, the entire head of the ring may need to be replaced.
Regardless of whether or not the prongs are compromised due to normal wear and tear or a result of accidental damage, we can provide the routine care and maintenance in order to ensure you do not lose a stone in your setting.”
Diamond Replacement Services
“The process of a Emerald Replacement is simple enough, yet requires trained eyes to be able to make a flawless switch. We aim to leave no trace of our work, which means not only will your setting be perfected, but the sapphire we choose will complete your jewelry piece effortlessly.”
Invisible Setting Repairs
“A centuries-old, originally French technique, invisible set gemstone jewelry (aka the Invisible Setting), is one of the most beautiful setting types available. It involves the process of setting stones side-by-side, hiding the metalwork underneath, which can give the appearance of a larger stone. This technique creates an uninterrupted flow in the gemstones, thus producing the coveted “Invisible Setting”.
We hand-select master jewelers who not only know how to perform an invisible setting repair but are specialists in the art of this technique. Your special accessory will be placed in the hands of a professional who appreciates the difficult process of making your invisibly set jewelry as perfect as possible.”
The Glue Method is not a practice we subscribe to at My Jewelry Repair.
Emerald Gemstone Services
“The most trusted way to identify if your emerald is real or not is to have it inspected directly by an experienced jeweler. My Jewelry Repair happens to have Master Jewelers, who have long-term experience with emeralds, as well as the equipment needed to work with any type of gemstones.
Depending on where you purchase your emerald, individual companies may provide a Emerald Certification that confirms the quality of diamond, accurate information on its grade, and ownership verification. This also can be referred to as the 5th C when evaluating emeralds.”
The Ultimate Birthstone Guide
“If you were born in May, your month’s birthstones are Emerald and Agate.
If you didn’t already know, there are some months that have multiple birthstones, whereas some only have one. Traditional birthstones are gemstones that were most commonly associated with its respective month in the early 20th century and even beyond, with Ancient Greek and Roman philosophers associating these gemstones with the star signs. Those that are more commonly known in this day and age are the modern birthstones, which were officially named by the Jewelers of America in the 1950’s.
If you would like to learn more about birthstones in general, visit our Ultimate Birthstone Guide!“
“If you would like to learn more about emeralds or inquire about a specific one, feel free to contact us on our website to learn more.
This is the best Emerald guide out there to learn from, unless of course, you’re looking for the Pokémon Emerald Walkthrough. We can’t help you catch them all as a jewelry and watch repair company, but we sure can restore them all. If your ultra ball is broken, we can fix that!”
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