E for EmeraldAnna S.
“…nothing greens greener” – that’s how Rome’s antique philosopher Pliny the Elder described emerald. And he couldn’t have said it better! Emerald’s name is derived from the ancient Greek word for green, “smaragdus”.
Emerald is a vibrant green variety of beryl. Among minerals of beryl group, emerald is considered to be the rarest and most expensive gemstone.
Nowadays, this incredible green gem is considered a serious competitor of diamonds: some high-quality faceted emeralds are valued more expensive than diamonds with similar characteristics.
Emeralds can be formed as trapiche crystals. Such trapiche emeralds are considered to be the most desirable specimens. This outstanding inclusion leads to a crystal-like wheel with six spokes radiating outwards from a central core. Trapiche emeralds are extremely popular among jewelry designers due to their shape and uniqueness.
There are too many legends about emeralds. According to one of them, emerald was one of the four precious stones given to King Solomon by God – the gift gave Solomon all the power over the world.
However, the first known emerald mines were founded in Egypt. Cleopatra was in love with emeralds and used them in her royal adornments and accessories. She even had an emerald mine named after her! Moreover, in ancient Egypt emeralds were endowed with magical powers: placing this gem under the tongue helped the user to foresee the future, revealed the truth and protected against evil spells.
Emeralds gained popularity in Europe in the 16th century when Spanish explorers invaded the New World. At that time Incas had already been using emeralds in their jewellery and religious ceremonies for about 500 years! It opened the eyes of European and Asian royalty to the beauty and magnificence of emeralds.
Today, emeralds continue being one of the most sought-after precious gemstones – and nearly every royal collection has at least one major emerald piece! Queen Mary’s Art Deco Emerald Choker (worn by Princess Diana), the Danish emerald parure, the Duchess of Angoulême’s Emerald Tiara – the list goes on and on!
Numerous celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Emma Stone and Zoe Kravitz have also worn emerald pieces for various red carpets and special events.
Numerous legends attribute emerald to the goddess of love, Venus. If lovers exchange rings with an emerald, their love won’t weaken with years, but will only grow stronger. To preserve peace and love in the family for many years, it is believed beneficial to give the newlyweds an emerald on their wedding day, which the bride and groom should sprinkle with the festive wine: the groom with red one, the bride with white one.
In Egypt, emerald was attributed to the goddess Isis. It was beneficial for young girls, as it helped to preserve chastity. Lovers exchanged rings with an emerald, which was considered a pledge of loyalty.
In India, it was believed that the emerald was connected to the world of spirits, and its sparkling facets could keep record of the past and the future.
Emeralds are, most of all, about color. The most desirable emerald colors are bluish green to pure green, with vivid color saturation and tone that’s not too dark. The most-prized emeralds are highly transparent. Their color is evenly distributed, with no eye-visible color zoning.
Eye-clean emeralds are especially valuable because they are extremely rare, since typically emeralds contain inclusions that are visible to the unaided eye. Nevertheless, eye-visible inclusions are generally acceptable in higher-quality emeralds. However, when the inclusions have a negative effect on transparency and clarity, they dramatically reduce the value of the gem.
Cutters consider the emerald’s depth of color, its durability and inclusions in order not to reduce the potential value of the gem.
Cut emeralds come in a wide range of sizes – from extremely tiny to enormous ones. For example, the Sandawana emerald mine in Zimbabwe is known for its tiny, yet vividly colored stones. Its emeralds are as small as 1 square millimeter, yet they’re intensely green.
Emerald’s price can rise dramatically as the size increases.
“Emeralds are just a fairytale. These incredibly beautiful gems – the rarest and most popular of which are from Colombia – are excellent investment stones. Collectors and gem hunters are willing to pay any sum for an untreated Colombian Emerald.
The old Emerald deposits have recently been depleted – that led to the appearance of several new sources. One of the richest deposits is in Zambia, where most of the Emeralds entering the market are born. But even these Zambian Emeralds – in case they haven’t been oiled – are very expensive.
If a stunning Emerald is from the Urals, Colombia or Afghanistan, it immediately acquires an investment character”.