EMERALD: May Birthstone
"The emerald condenses the green of the meadows and certain aspects of the ocean." - Charles Blanc
EMERALD FACTS AND HISTORY
EMERALD QUALITY FACTORS
Given the lack of a standardized emerald grading system, it is important to know what to look for when purchasing emerald jewelry.
- Emerald Color: This is the most important aspect effecting the value of the emerald. Color should be evenly distributed and not too dark. Emerald color can range from light green to a deep, rich green. The deeper or more green an emerald is, the more valuable. The rarest emeralds will be an intense green-blue.
- Emerald Cut: This is very important on an emerald because the proper cut will maximize the green color that is desired. A popular cut for an emerald is the emerald shape. This cut brightens the stone and adds sparkle while minimizing inclusions.
- Emerald Clarity: Emeralds are usually highly included. This means the clarity of May’s birthstone is not graded under 10x magnification like the diamond but instead emeralds are graded by the naked eye. Inclusions are so common to an emerald that they do not greatly affect price. The value lies in the gem’s color.
- Emerald Carat Weight: There is a wide price range between smaller emeralds and larger ones. Some of the most famous emeralds in private collections or museums weigh hundreds of carats and are considered to be priceless.
One of the largest rough emeralds ever found is the Bahia Emerald, weighing approximately 752 lbs (approximately 1,700,000 carats). It was discovered in 2001 from a mine in Bahia, Brazil. The stone has been valued at around $400 million, but the true value is unclear.
EMERALD TREATMENT & CLEANING
The availability of a high-quality emerald is limited so they are often treated. There are a number of processes used to alter and improve the color and clarity of an emerald, but the most common treatment method is oiling. Oils are often used to fill surface-reaching fractures in emeralds. This is done to reduce the visibility of the fractures and improve the clarity and color. Oil treatments are not necessarily permanent and stable. Time, heat, or improper cleaning, will cause the oil to evaporate, change color, or leach out of the stone. This is not a problem because emeralds can be re-oiled if the oil is accidentally removed or it has become discolored. For cleaning purposes, using warm, soapy water coupled with gentle scrubbing is the safest way to clean emeralds. It’s risky to clean them ultrasonically or with steam because the ultrasonic vibrations can weaken already-fractured stones, and hot steam can cause oil or unhardened resin to sweat out of fractures.
THE IMPORTANCE OF EMERALD CERTIFICATION
Often times when purchasing a fine quality emerald it will be accompanied by a certificate. There are countless laboratories that grade emeralds some of which are good and some not so good. G.I.A (Gemology Institute Of America) is known as one of the top labs in the world who grade precious gemstones. Two other very respected laboratories that grade only colored stones (rubies, sapphires & emeralds) are G.R.S (Gem Research Swiss-Lab) and AGL (American Gemological Laboratories).
When looking over a lab report (certificate) you can trust, remember that origin is a very important factor as well as treatment, both of which should be indicated on the certificate (lab report). We do not recommend purchasing a larger fine emerald without a TRUSTED lab report! There has been many instances of innocent victims being fooled by bogus lab reports claiming false information.
EMERALD JEWELRY IN BOCA RATON
Looking for emerald jewelry in Boca Raton? Devon's Diamonds & Decor has got you covered. Stop by our jewelry store in Boca Raton to view our selection of emerald jewelry; including emerald rings, emerald earrings, emerald bracelets and emerald necklaces.