Emerald (Beryl)

  • Emerald (Beryl)
Peace. Fertility. Healing. Balance. For thousands of years, the emerald has symbolized each one of these- drawing the attention and admiration of many. Cleopatra herself favored the stone as the Egyptians mined it as early as 3500 B.C.

A gem variety of the beryl family, the emerald gets it color from a combination of chromium, vanadium, and iron. Most sought after are the stones with a bluish-green to green hue with medium to medium-dark tone and strong to vivid saturation. A few small differences in the color can mean a significant difference in price.

Since most emeralds, over 90%, have significant fissures, most are oil treated. The process can improve the color by making it more even and consistent while making the fractures less obvious. While oiling with colorless oil is standard practice, using colored oil, which adds artificial coloration to the stone, is unacceptable in the industry. Non-treated emeralds, as you’d expect, are exceedingly rare.

Emeralds from Muzo, Columbia have long been considered the finest in the world but many argue that those from Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan easily rival their South American counterparts. Unfortunately, due to political instability in the region, supply of Afghan emeralds is extremely limited. Outside of these two areas, Zambia and Brazil are also major producers of the gem.

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