Steeped in magic and mysticism, emeralds have stolen the hearts of people around the world and throughout the ages. Made from the beryl mineral, they are among the four gemstones that are globally recognized as ‘precious’, which is quite appropriate considering their immaculate beauty and rarity. The one-of-a-kind green color of emeralds is the face of royalty and regality. The emerald is a gemstone known for its bright green color, and it is the birthstone for those born in May.
Curious about the science behind this infamous stone? Read on to find out all about the elements responsible for this stone’s distinct color, as well as its formation process. We will also cover how to properly care for and clean them. Let’s dive in!
A Brief Overview of Emerald’s Formation
All gemstones get their distinct colors from trace metals or impurities in the mineral, and in the case of emeralds, traces of chromium and vanadium give them their intense green color. The majority of gems are formed naturally as minerals within the Earth. Learning about the geological processes that lead to the formation of gemstones will help you better understand some of the properties you will come across in gemstones.
The Greener The Emerald The Greater its Value
The color green is what distinguishes an emerald from all the rest. A specimen must be noticeably green in color, ranging from bluish-green to green, to slightly yellowish-green, to be classified as an emerald. Trace levels of chromium and/or vanadium give them their green hues. Unlike other valuable stones, which come in a variety of colors, emeralds are always green, with shades ranging from yellow-green to deep jade.
The gem must also be of a deep color to be considered an emerald. Green beryl, the mineral family it belongs to, should be used to describe stones with low saturation or a light tone. Considering the palest stones, they are not emeralds, but rather green beryl, contrary to popular perception. Blueish-green to green emeralds with vivid saturation and a medium to medium-dark tone are believed to be the most attractive. It is an “aquamarine” if the beryl is greenish-blue in color, while it is a “heliodor” if it is greenish-yellow.
Science 101: Formulation Process of An Emerald Birthstone
The Natural Process
Unlike diamonds, which have their own grading system, natural emeralds are regarded as one of the most valuable precious stones, having a long history and a distinct worth. The natural method of emerald development differs from that of manufactured emerald development. Emerald is commonly found in granite pegmatites and metamorphosed rocks, known as schists. It can also be found embedded in calcite or quartz, and is sometimes connected with altered limestones.
The Synthetic Process
The hydrothermal growth and flux-fusion processes are the two main ways for creating synthetic emeralds. The latter is a well-known but old way of creating lab-created emeralds. This process makes use of a flux, which is a heated mineral solution that cools to create crystals. Crystals are formed by dissolving chromium, beryllium, and other elements in a molten flux and allowing crystallization to develop on a seed of beryl in the flux-growth process. Lithium oxide, molybdenum oxide, and vanadium oxide are among the compounds in the flux that remain liquid at high temperatures.
All Shapes & Sizes
Emeralds come in a variety of forms, with pear and oval being particularly great at showcasing their size and color. The following are some of its various shapes:
A faceted oblong shape, these make for exquisite centerpieces of rings. Distinguishing the cut nature of an emerald is often difficult, and the preference for a more square vs a longer shape is largely reliant on personal taste. The range of adequate profundity percent fluctuates from precious stone to gem as a result of this one-of-a-kind characteristic.
The emerald cut crystal has a long, rectangular form with etched advance cuts and straight direct brilliance that runs parallel to the stone’s length. The margins of an emerald cut stone are usually cut to add strength and prevent cracks. When selecting an emerald cut, we recommend selecting one with a higher clarity rating.
Often confused with emerald cut, the asscher is a more square version. Emerald gemstones epitomize elegance and complexity. The emerald cut is rectangular, with cut corners and columns of step-aspects that reflect off each other, while square emeralds are commonly referred to as Asscher cut jewels. This effect is referred to as a “corridor of mirrors” every now and again. Considerations are easier to notice in an emerald jewel with the naked eye because of its large advanced aspects.
Pear cuts, in addition to emerald cuts, are becoming increasingly expensive and rare as a result of the greater amount of harshness required to cut them. Often fitted on rings, these pear-shaped stones are stunning.
Properly Cleaning and Caring for Your Emerald Stone
Warm soapy water or a lukewarm cloth are the best ways to clean emerald jewelry. Avoid using powerful detergents that could dilute or eliminate the stone’s natural oils and shine. Alcohol, acetone, or paint thinner should never be used to soak emeralds. To properly clean your emerald, follow the procedures below:
- Remove the grease and grime from the emerald jewelry with a delicate microfiber towel.
- Fill a bowl halfway with lukewarm water and a small amount of mild soap. Place the jewelry in this slightly soapy mixture.
- Clean the jewelry with a soft toothbrush or a jewelry brush. Use the brush to get into those hard-to-reach areas and completely clean them, being sure not to scratch or damage the surface.
- Fill a second basin halfway with lukewarm water. Submerge the jewelry completely in the water, making sure there is no soapy residue remaining on the emeralds.
- Using a gentle, clean microfiber towel, dry the jewelry. When the jewelry is completely dried, it can be safely stored away or worn again.
Shop Enchanting Emeralds
The emerald is one of the most beloved gemstones in the world. It has truly stood the test of time, with famous names such as Cleopatra and Princess Diana cherishing this stone, and still being worn and adored to this day. With its bright green exterior that dazzles and shines, it captivates from the very first glance. Its aesthetic beauty is then coupled with its unparalleled powers and properties that help the wearer shine from the inside out. Providing a wealth of inspiration, wisdom, and harmony to all who wear it, there is nothing not to love about this enchanting stone.