Precious Stones: Emeralds
An emerald’s green colour is from the mineral beryl. This mineral produces a clear and rich green colour.
Throughout history ancient peoples have prized the beauty and rarity of emeralds. The Aztec and Inca people thought this stone was sacred. The area where the Aztecs and Incas found emeralds is still one of the best locations to find these beautiful stones to this day.
The emeralds which have the most history were found near the Egyptian Red Sea. The ancient pharaohs found these stones. Many emeralds come from mines that were named after Cleopatra. However, these mines are no longer lush with emeralds as all of the emeralds found in these mines have been mined.
If you want to find an emerald for yourself, you would want to think about the four Cs that are important for diamonds. The four Cs with regards to emeralds also take in to consideration colour, clarity, cut, and the amount of carats.
Most emeralds are polished up with oil to improve the clarity of the stone. Cedar oil is often used for this process and it has become accepted in the gemstone industry as a way to improve the look of emeralds.
There are some differences, however, between evaluation of a diamond and an emerald. The order of the four Cs is different when considering a diamond or an emerald. When looking at an emerald for value, the colour is the most important trait. In general, the darker the colour of the emerald the more it is valued. A high quality emerald should be dark blue green in colour and clear. These stones fetch the highest price on the market. If an emerald is dark green in colour but is cloudy, it is not very valuable.Another C that is looked at when purchasing an emerald is how clear it is. Emeralds have spots similar to diamonds, called inclusions. In an emerald an inclusion is often called a garden because the inclusions of an emerald are green. These spots are what cause the emerald to have the green colour.
Emeralds are such precious stones because so much of the stone must be cut away in order to form it properly. An emerald can start off as a large raw stone, but much of the weight of an emerald is lost when it is cut for use in jewellery. This makes emeralds more expensive to purchase than other types of stones. Even emeralds created in labs go through a process of being cut down and refined for use in jewellery.