May birthstone: Emerald

emerald neckEmerald Facts:

-Emerald is one of the four recognized precious gemstones.   The others are ruby, sapphire, and diamond.

-Top quality emeralds can be worth more than diamonds because emeralds without imperfections are very rare.

-A 1 carat emerald appears larger than a 1 carat diamond because emeralds have a lower density.

-Most emeralds have some type of inclusion or imperfection. Instead of use the term imperfection, dealers like to reference emerald inclusions as an internal “jardin” (garden in French).

-Most emeralds are treated usually by filling the emerald with an oil to fill in the cracks and help prevent unintentional chipping or cracking.

-Due to the inclusions within an emerald, it is not wise to clean these gems in an ultrasonic cleaner. Instead clean gently by hand using warm water.

-Emerald is made of beryl just like aquamarine but gets its green coloring from very small amounts of chromium and/or vanadium

-Color, clarity, cut, and carat weight are four factors used to determine the value of an emerald. The most important of these four is color.

-The best color is vivid green or blueish green with even saturation and no color zoning.

-It is also important that the emerald is very transparent and isn’t too dark or too light.emer ring

-The first known emeralds were mined in Egypt around 1500 BC.

-One of Cleopatra’s favorite stones was emerald.

-Emeralds were discovered in South America in the 16th century by the Spanish. They were used by the Incas well before this discovery.

-The Spanish then traded these emeralds across Europe and Asia for precious metals, opening up the emerald trade to the rest of the world.

-According to ancient folklore, putting an emerald under your tongue would help one see into the future.

-Today, Colombia yields the largest amount of emeralds, contributing to more than 50% of all emerald production worldwide.

-The Duke of Devonshire Emerald is one of the largest uncut emeralds weighing 1,383.93 carats.

-Synthetic sapphire and ruby were created in 1907, but synthetic emeralds were not created until 1935 when American chemist Carroll Chatham successfully grew his first one carat Chatham emerald which is now on display at the Smithsonian Institute.

-Emeralds were first discovered in North America in the Yukon Territory in 1997. Though large emerald deposits in the United States and further north are very rare.

-A gemologist judges a diamond’s clarity grade by using a 10x loupe. The clarity of an  emerald is often assessed with the naked eye.

-An emerald pendant necklace owned by Elizabeth Taylor sold for $6.5 million in 2011, breaking down to about $280,000 paid per carat.




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