This illustrious and most esteemed member of the beryl family has long been regarded as one of the most precious of all gemstones, surpassed only by ruby. Cellini in the 16th century remarked that the value of a fine emerald would be half the price of a like ruby, but was four times more valuable than diamond.
The color of emerald, the birthstone for the month of May, has been described as the "warm green of a meadow in spring". Its grass green primary hue is usually modified by slight bluish or yellowish undertones. A vivid, slightly bluish green is the most desirable color. The most valuable emeralds are top quality stones from Colombia, unrivaled in their - chromium induced - silky hue of green.
Emerald is a type III gemstone on the GIA clarity scale as they are usually quite included. The vast majority of emeralds have been treated to improve their clarity and appearance, a practice that has been widely accepted for centuries. Cedar oil, a natural and colorless oil with a refractive index similar to emerald, is the most common and accepted method of treatment, providing a stable and reversible effect.
|Color:||Green with blue or yellow tones|
|Durability:||May be fragile/brittle|
|Similar Stones:||Confusion is Possible with Tourmaline, Diopside, Fluorite and Green Glass|
|Treatments:||Emerald is Routinely Fracture Filled and/or Oiled|
|Country of Origin:||Brazil, Colombia, Africa|
|Ultrasonic Cleaning:||Not safe|
|Steam Cleaning:||Not safe|
|Warm Soapy Water:||Safe|
|Chemical Attack:||Usually resistant|
|Heat Sensitivity:||Very sensitive, unstable|