The emerald is the stone linked to the month of May. It is one of the most precious stones, yet not everyone knows it thoroughly. Here are the essential things to know about the emerald ♦
How to recognize an emerald? It is easy to understand the value and quality? The answer is no. Only a survey conducted by an expert (or disinterested unpaid) can provide a serious judgment. But knowing the basics can help you figure out if you should pay for an expert opinion, and it helps to have an idea about the stone that interests you.
Four C. Emeralds, like diamonds, are evaluated based on four parameters (The Four C): color, clarity (clarity), cut (cut) and carat. Unlike diamonds, however, for the color of emeralds is the most outstanding feature. If you think it is also the only gem that gives a name to a color : emerald green.
Color. In the emerald hue and saturation of the color can vary significantly. A deep shade is most appreciated. Hence, the value is linked to the gradient of color: the more intense, the more sought after.
Sharpness. As for diamonds, in an emerald can be no inclusions or blemishes. Sometimes these imperfections are invisible to the naked eye : you have to use powerful lenses and watch against the stone. Among other things, these tiny tracks constitute a kind of ” fingerprint “. Obviously, inclusions, bubbles or scratches that internal influence the value of the stone.
Cutting. The word cut (cut) refers to the way in which it was given shape in an emerald to optimize its beauty. A great emerald can be improved only with the experience of a good cutter. Many have a particular cut emeralds, roughly rectangular in shape that is called, in fact, the emerald cut.
Carat. It is a measure of the weight of an emerald. Of course, the larger an emerald, the higher its carat weight, and often the cost. However, it is not the main feature : better a smaller stone, but transparent and intense color that a large but full of imperfections.
Provenance. The best emeralds are those of Colombia. Other mines are found in Zambia, Africa.
Beware of treatments. The stones are often treated to improve their appearance. One of these techniques is the so-called heat-treatment (ie through heat): it consists in heating the stone to improve its color and purity. The Deep Diffusion Treatment instead consists in spreading in the stone additives such as beryllium, whose purpose is to obtain colors totally different from the original ones, generally rare in nature. For example, the orange color for sapphires. These two treatments are recognized by professionals, and are specified on the certificate of the gemmology laboratory that examined the stone.
Origin. In Buddhism, the emerald is considered one of the seven treasures and equated with wisdom. The word emerald comes from the Latin smaragdus, which in turn derives from the Greek word σμάραγδος (smaragdos). But the Greek word derives from izmargad, a Semitic term, or maragata, a Sanskrit term (ancient language of India), which means green stone.