The most famous of the Beryl family is unquestionable the Emerald – sister to Morganite and Aquamarine. The emerald has been a gem of fascination in many cultures for over six thousand years.
Emerald is found in most commonly found in granite stone making mining difficult. Some emeralds find their way into gravel where the action of the water tumbles and smooths them to they resemble shiny pebbles. The first known emerald mines were in Southern Egypt and show evidence of being mined since 2000 BC. Today, most emeralds are mined in South America and Africa.
Beryl is the name of the composition that is an Emerald, Morganite and Aquamarine but the presence of Chromium or Vanadium is what results in the green color. Emeralds are a hard 7.5 – 8 on the Moh’s scale, but it can be brittle because Emeralds are naturally included stones, and these inclusions are considered to be one part of what makes Emeralds unique and beautiful. Tiny mineral inclusions or fractures are referred to as “Jardin,” from the French word meaning ‘garden’. This refers to the moss or branch like appearance of the flaws.
Emeralds are often dyed to enhance color so be sure to buy from a trusted source! The are also regularly oiled to disguise inclusions – this is an accepted practice that has little , if any, negative impact on value. Emeralds have been revered for millennia, and continue to be adored and collected today. As we see engagement rings take a different form, emerald engagement rings are starting to become popular. But emeralds are seen in every style of jewelry including elaborate but unique rings, earring and spectacular necklaces.