Each gem has its own special property that makes it unique and stand out from others. Diamonds radiate a special brilliance, rubies exhibit a vibrant red hue, and emeralds exhibit the most mesmerizing shade of green, so special that the shade of green has been called “emerald green.”
Emeralds are one of the most valuable and coveted gemstones on the planet, so their market value is not much lower than that of a diamond. But apart from their color and classic cut, there is much about emeralds that is not known to most people. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about emeralds to help you understand this amazing stone a little better and help you find the perfect one.
1. What are emeralds?
Emerald is a gemstone that is a variety of the mineral beryl. With an impressive green color, emeralds usually contain a lot of inclusions, making them quite prone to breakage. Therefore, they only rank 7.5-8 on the Mohs hardness scale of gemstones, while diamond, the strongest gemstone of all, ranks 10th. The word emerald comes from the Greek word meaning “green gem”.
2. Is emerald a mineral?
Emeralds are a type of beryl, and beryl is a mineral, so emerald is a mineral.
3. Are emeralds rare?
While emeralds themselves are not that rare, high quality emeralds are. Because most emeralds have a lot of inclusions, it is extremely difficult to find a gemstone that both boasts a rich green color and is slightly interspersed. It is important to note that a bright green emerald with inclusions, even if it is noticeable, can be much more valuable than a flawless but light emerald.
4. What color are emeralds?
Although emeralds are known as green, they can actually also be yellow and blue. This makes a lot of sense given the fact that green is not a primary color, but rather a combination of the primary colors yellow and blue. While the primary color of emeralds is usually green, the secondary color can be yellow or blue. In addition to the color/s of the stone, tone is also important. This refers to how dark the stone is. The only stones that reach 75% on the tone scale are emeralds. Green beryls are considered lighter stones. Saturation is another marker. How brightly the color is seen with the modifier, which is usually gray in emeralds. A greyish green modifier will result in lower saturation and an overall lighter stone.
5. Are emeralds expensive?
Emeralds, like other gemstones, are graded based on the 4 Cs, which denote color, clarity, carat, and cut. While all four elements are of equal importance for the most part when it comes to colorless diamonds, for example, certain aspects take precedence over others when it comes to emeralds. Considering the fact that the color of the emerald is synonymous with its name, it is understandable that the color is the most important feature. Similarly, since emeralds come with so many inclusions, it is imperative to find one that is as flawless as possible in order to be considered a valuable and therefore more expensive emerald. Size, of course, has a certain effect on the price of the stone, especially if it is a large emerald that is also dark and of good quality. Finally, cutting an emerald can make it more expensive. To summarize, emeralds tend to be expensive, but this is highly dependent on the particular stone. If you are willing to compromise on one of these four aspects, the emerald can be obtained at a more affordable price.
6. What does “emerald crystal” mean?
Emerald crystals refer to the natural state that emeralds are in. Before an emerald is cut into a gem, it will be an emerald crystal, much like a rough diamond. After the cutting process, the emerald crystal is shaped and considered a cut emerald gemstone.
7. What is the most expensive emerald?
The 381 kg, $400 million emerald, known as the Bahia emerald, is believed to be the most expensive emerald in the world. However, this is an uncut emerald.