Dec 18

The Many Facets of Buying an Emerald

Emerald, popularly known as the birthstone of May, is also called “The Healer’s Stone”. It is widely believed that emeralds can foretell the future. They are also believed to be associated with increasing mental clarity, wisdom and memory. Some say that it revives the wearer’s passion for a job or a person. It may also contribute towards the harmony in your life and marriage.


Whatever be the reason for you to buy the stone, it is important to choose the right kind of emerald. Here are a few points that will help you in the process:


  1. Types of Emeralds: There are several types of emeralds; some of them are named after the region they are found in. e.g. Columbian and Brazilian emeralds. Columbian emeralds are known for exceptional quality. Other types include Cat’s Eye, Star and Trapiche emeralds. Trapiche emeralds contain black impurities and only mined in the Muzo area of Columbia, while Cat’s eye emeralds have an effect that looks like a wide slit similar to a cat’s eye pupil and are very rare.


  1. Colour: While the primary colour of emeralds is green, they occur in hues ranging from yellow-green to blue-green. Gems medium to dark in tone are considered emeralds, gems that are light-tones are called green beryl. The finest of emeralds are said to be 75% tone, where 100% tone would be opaque black and 0% would be colourless. An emerald’s hue should be vivid. A grayish-green hue is due to a normal saturation modifier found in emerald.


  1. Treatments: Sometimes emeralds are oiled in order to fill in surface cracks, to improve their stability and clarity. Cedar oil, synthetic oils and polymers are used in this generally accepted practice. Oil treated emeralds are less valuable than un-treated emeralds. Other treatments such as using green-tinted oil are unacceptable. When considering levels of enhancement, gems are graded as: none, minor, moderate and highly enhanced.


  1. Clarity: Inclusions are foreign materials that are not actually a part of a stone. Inclusions could be gas, liquid or solid. Flawless emeralds are those that do not display any visible inclusions to the naked eye. The emeralds that are most expensive are the ones with a vivid primary hue, with only as much as 15% of any secondary hue. Stones that lack any fissures are extremely rare, and hence most are treated with oil to improve their clarity. Brittle emeralds should not be accepted, only strong emeralds are true.



  1. Genuineness of the stone: Many manufacturers sandwich a thin layer of paler emerald between pieces of cut glass using deep green epoxy to fake a higher-quality emerald. Take a good look at the stone edge as also the top facet to spot a fake. Looking at the sides would help you find out if you’re dealing with a fake stone.


As you can see thee are many facets to emerald buying, just like the stones themselves.The important thing is to make sure you are dealing with a jeweller you trust.

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