Birth stone for May, Emeralds are joined to beauty, health and happiness. Investment emeralds signify wealth and status. Fake investment emeralds are on the rise. Protect yourself with knowledge. Beryl- Berylium Aluminum Silicate.
Ancient Indian culture associated Emerald with mental power and wisdom. Before other cultures appreciated diamonds, rubies or sapphires, early Egyptians mined and fashioned gems at what is generally accepted to be the world’s oldest source of Emeralds, a site now called "Cleopatra Mines." Treasured by Romans during their occupation of Egypt, emerald grew in its way to popularity as it seized the imaginations of ancient Rome, Turkey, Persia and old India.
THE MOST DESIRABLE SHAPE AND CUT
Emeralds are materials that when domed with good green color shows a great beauty and depth. Cabochons are the oldest way to cut gems before the world knew faceting methods. Most Royal jewelry were set with cabochons before faceting became possible in the 16th century. Faceted emeralds today come in a variety of shapes: rounds, pears, ovals, emerald-cuts, etc. However, the emerald cut or (octagon) is the most popular and classical shape since gems are sold by the carat, they have a tendency to be cut first for weight, then for beauty. The emerald cut suits the hexagonal crystal and its refractive index, delivering a good yield as well as a beautiful look. Rather than seeing reflections from a stone, emeralds are cut to allow you to experience the richness of deep color and inclusions known as "jardin" garden that give emeralds a unique character in fine gemstones.
TRAPICHES: In one of every few thousand of Colombian emerald crystals, a very unique natural shape of six separate crystals joined to a centered black core is found-called trapiche. Cutters never facet Trapiches, instead they smooth them into cabochons. Trapiches are one of the most unique natural crystals nature ever produced, highly prized and appreciated by gem dealers and emerald connoisseurs.
INCLUSIONS AND COLOR
Emeralds are the only major precious gemstone expected to have heavy visible inclusions, in fact any emerald without inclusions is probably synthetic or imitation. Emeralds must be green, however, a perfect balance of darks to lights, is the most desirable color, not too dark and not too light. Marbling can depreciate the value, but enhance the beauty for which this stone is prized. Independant appriasals can return wildly different estimates of value, so multiple opinions are often required to determine the precise value of a particular stone or set. Not all deep green emeralds are classified as the best grades, the purer and more bright the emerald, the more valuable it is even though it is lighter in color, or highly included. Intensity rules in value appraisals for emeralds. While the majority of Brazilian emeralds are color enhanced these days by using resins, green oil and opticon to hide fissures and cracks and to enhance the color, the majority of Colombian and African emerald cutters, polishers and miners are still using the commonly accepted way of oiling emeralds by using colorless oil. Clarity is usually a product of laboratory intervention.
Zambian emerald. Roughs yielded stones so clean that dealers at first suspected they were synthetic, but in June 1989 Tiffany’s began advertising Zambian emerald because Zambian emeralds because while they are still usually included, they tended to be cleaner and brighter. Zambia was the first Emerald producer to give consumers who cannot afford fine top grade Colombian emeralds a chance to buy unenhanced affordable emerald.
Colombian emeralds, especially the ones that are mined from the famous Muzo mine seems to be the most valuable. Because Colombian emeralds are known to have the best appearance, largest in size and lacking black or gray internal impurities, emerald dealers choose the Colombian stones as the finest, paying 10 to 20% premium on comparable African or Brazilian materials.
When Brazilians discovered in the early 1960s green crystals identified as beryl but colored by a trace of the element vanadium, many eem traders and eemologists refused to recognize them as Emerald for the simple reason that they were not chromium based green beryl. Brazilian miners and dealers fought for acceptance of this crystal as an emerald until G.I.A. issued a lab report in 1963 identifying vanadium-colored stones as natural emerald. Now most experts agree that either chromium, vanadium, or both, may give emeralds their rich green color. There is not a distinguishing factor, but there is variation in color and clarity. In fact, the term green beryl is a commercially a wrongly used and confusing term. The fact that an emerald is light in color does not mean that it is a green beryl, it may be just light colored, less valuable emerald. Besides, the green beryl has a completely different appearance and crystal structure, although it is a member of the beryl family. Green, white, yellow and blue beryl (aquamarine) are often mined flawless and without inclusions and these are considered A++ gemstones. On the contrary, emeralds, including light color emeralds, are investment quality gemstones that are "almost always included."
Most jewelers, even some gem dealers these days are still confused and confusing customers by not understanding the difference. Vanadium-colored emeralds do not have as many inclusions as chromium colored emeralds. When the oversize chromium atoms stress the emerald crystals, it produces internal fissures or what is called jardin "a garden of inclusions that gives emerald its unique appearance." Because vanadium-based emerald is associated in most cases with lighter brighter cleaner emeralds, often bluish in tone, most inexperienced jewelers do not believe it is an emerald, even though they conclude it is a natural green emerald beryl crystals. Regardless of its origin, the difference between emerald and true green beryl is simple: emerald is the most valuable beryl, it is usually included and can be colored by chromium, vanadium, or both; while green beryl is a less valuable green usually flawless (eye-clear), chemically colored by the presence of iron. In fact, most of the world’s aquamarine, especially the Brazilian origin, is actually green beryl. Color all depends on the ultimate heat and pressure to which the stone has been exposed. Exposure = color. Plain and simple.
Investing in stocks, homes or properties may become worthless, if a real threat is present; people do not run for their lives with gold or dollar bills. But they may with gems, the most compact and valuable investment of all time. Emerald has been known as one of the best investment among all precious gems, it can be the best investment if you know...
HOW TO BUY WELL ???
* The BIGGER, the BETTER,….
* As with most gems, large crystals of good grade emerald are much more valuable and rarer than smaller ones.
* Origin does not matter as long as you are buying good grades, but remember, Colombian emerald will resale for a higher premium.
* Emeralds over 3ct with good color may be sold for higher than comparable size diamonds. And if you have to trade off color or clarity, choose relatively clean gems with medium color, rather than heavily included ones with perfect green color.
* While a dark green emerald with a "sleepy" appearance maybe considered commercially good grade, it can’t in any case be considered as an investment grade. Brightness (as in spring green) or life is an important factor in selecting an investment grade emerald.
* Type of inclusions: no doubt that the type of emerald inclusions affect its value, emeralds with external fractures and internal excessive carbon or black spots, sleepy or translucent to opaque can can be investment grade even though they are light green in color. Importance factors in order of decending importance are: size, color, cut, clarity, beauty or projection.
WATCH OUT FOR FAKES AND IMITATIONS
There has never been a gem that has had as many types of synthetic or imitations as emeralds. All the way from Green Glass, Doublet Emeralds, Gilson, Chatham and Hydrothermal Emeralds, not even mentioning the most recent lab grown Emeralds known as Byron. Buy only from reputable dealers and request a Gem Lab Certificate if you are buying an investment grade. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR, DO NOT BE FOOLED. Every reputable dealer will allow ample time (expect 30 days) for you to get an independent appraisal of their product. Every reputable dealer will make a full refund on return items because the value of the gemstone does not depreciate if it is really an investment grade stone and not a laboratory created monster.
PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT
Choose an Emerald specialist to design and set your Emerald, as most of the diamond setters, who may not experienced with softer Gems, can damage your unset Emerald by ignorance and claim that it was oiled or flawed to avoid replacement! Emerald and all other Gems (including Diamonds) can break, but Emeralds are much more durable than many other Gems such as Opals, Tanzanites, etc. At 7.5 to 8 on Mohs scale of hardness, Emeralds are harder than most steel. Properly set, emeralds are a tough beautiful stone.
WHAT TO ALWAYS LOOK FOR IN GENUINE EMERALDS
WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE AN APPRAISER . . .
1. Inclusions? – Expect both types of gemstone: near eye clear and heavily included stones. Near eye-clear, natural untreated gemstones are almost never available in the trade because of their extremely high price, so you should heavily question gems that display no inclusions or opaque qualities of any real size (.25 carat and above). Best current investment is extremely attractive, opaque, deep or bright green stones of considerable size (1.5-2 carat and above), or specialty items of considerable total carat weight. Because natural quartz is so often twinned, much quartz used in industry is synthesized. Large, flawless and untwinned quartz crystals are produced in an autoclave via the hydrothermal process: flawless eye-clear emeralds are synthesized the same way and are about as valuable as green quartz. You are better off with an opaque, heavily included genuine emerald than owning a flawless clear green piece of synthesized rubbish.
2. Expected Size/Weight Constraints? – Emerald is a seemingly light stone compared to it’s relative weight. Expect a one carat emerald stone to appear much larger than a similar one carat sapphire or diamond (i.e., a two carat sapphire will look about as large as a one carat emerald).
3. Color Variations? – Emeralds are always a variation of green, but remember that they are a beryl stone, on a color continuum with its sister blue-green beryl stone, aquamarine. The term aquamarine is applied when beryl emeralds become too light or too blue to be called emeralds any more. Also, aquamarine is more commonly seen in larger investment sizes at lower prices, in near eye clear stones of consider size and weight. Watch for aquamarines that have been color enhanced to appear as darker emeralds but that will lose color over time. Some eye clear or perfect stones offered as emeralds are temporarily color treated aquamarines.
4. Surface Marks? – Investment quality emeralds will have minimal to medium surface textures to the naked eye. Hand cut stones may be quite rustic, while machine work can turn emeralds to a shiny smooth finish. Both are emeralds, however, ugly surface textures always reduce a stone’s value.
5. Light Reactions? – Emeralds are always green, and well cut stones always sparkle in the natural light, sometimes with a light chatoyancy. Expect to see some color variations in all but the smallest natural, untreated stones, eye-clear or opaque varieties.
6. Aqua Filter Reaction? – none.
7. Magnification Help? – allows examination of healed fractures of opaque stones, and searches for small inclusions in genuine eye-clear stones. Even light magnification can show you many aspects of a stone not seen by the naked eye.
8. Sound on Striking? – dull, solid, medium pitch.
9. Rub Test? – surface textures are usually evident when broad flat surfaces are lightly rubbed together. Small faceted stones can not be tested this way.
I hope this information helps you make informed decisions about emeralds. If it has, please vote for my guide. Thanks.