Emeralds are one of the most desirable gemstones along with Diamonds of course, but also sapphires and rubies. So how do you pick the right emerald for you? Well we will come to that but first you need to understand a little about emeralds;
- Emeralds are part of the Beryl family, along with Aquamarine. It is associated with bluish greens to strong intense greens.
- Stone dealers refer to emerald generally as the richer green variety. This colour is in more demand and deemed as more precious. Whilst some emeralds of the paler more delicate greens as green beryl. They try to disassociate this more common colour of stone from the more precious variety.
- It is the gemstone for the month of May and stone for the Zodiac sign of Taurus (April 20th to May 20th). You can use it to represent your wedding anniversary for 20th or 35th years together).
- The first known mine of emeralds was founded about 3500BC, Cleopatra was known to have favoured emeralds and had a few pieces.
- The greenest of green emeralds tend to be found in Columbia and for this reason have a premium. Zambia is another area known to find delicious emeralds. Other deposits have been found in Russia, Madagascar, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Brazil.
- Crystals of Emeralds naturally grow in hexagon shaped rods, they are themselves beautiful in themselves.
- Due to this growth structure, to utilise as much of the material as possible stone cutters tend to cut emeralds into Emerald cut stones. However other cuts such as cushions or rounds are still readily accessible.
- One of the rarer forms of emeralds we simply adore is the trapiche emerald. It is Mother Nature at her finest. The natural growth of the inclusions within an emerald makes it look like a naturally formed geometric sweet, it is truly a rarity. In our time within working in the Jewellery trade (a couple of decades) even we haven’t seen one in the flesh.
Like other gemstones there are a few variables to consider when buying a stone; colour, cut, clarity and carat. We have already stated that the most desirable emerald colour is Columbian rich intense green and that the most common cuts of emeralds are emerald cuts, cushion and rounds. Carat relates to the three dimensional size of the stone. The larger the size the rarer it is hence the more money you spend per carat. Lastly the clarity, Mother Nature’s natural characteristics within a gem, its natural imperfections. Emeralds can have a really ornate display of inclusions sometimes resembling a forest within the stone. Fundamentally the more translucent the stone the rarer the stone is which reflects again with the price. In recent years emeralds have seen an influx in demand which has made the overall effect on emeralds boom, the prices aren’t too far off diamonds.
Overall picking an emerald is one to follow your gut instinct. You know the colour that attracts you and the stone will speak to you irrespective of the inclusions (sorry to sound corny). Your jeweller can advise on their recommendation for a stone as unfortunately emeralds are one of the more fragile stones used within jewellery and there may be risks to the stone when setting it within the jewellery design. If you need advice on what stone to use within a bespoke piece just ask.
Whilst our personal tastes sway to stones with bluey hues be it sapphire or tanzanite we always love the unusual stones Mother Nature throws our way. We would love a trapiche emerald any day.