highest quality emeralds display their beauty in a deep translucent
green. Inclusions are common, but nevertheless, in top qualities
emeralds are even more valuable than diamonds.
Incas and Aztecs in South America, where the finest emeralds
are still being found today, it was a holy stone. The oldest
sources of emerald known are located near the Red Sea. These
mines were already being worked by Egyptian Pharaohs between
3000 and 1500 B.C., and gained fame under the name of "Cleopatra’s
Mines,” but had already run out when they were rediscovered.
ago in the Vedas, the ancient and sacred writings of Hinduism,
stressed the value of the green gemstone and its healing power.
It's no surprise then, that the treasure chests of Indian
Maharajas and Maharanis contained most wonderful Emeralds.
emerald green is the color of life and of eternal spring.
Even in ancient Rome green was the color dedicated to Venus,
goddess of love and beauty. Today there are still many cultures
and religions where green holds a special position.
good quality emeralds are rare, as inclusions frequently spoil
the stone. Fine inclusions do not diminish the value: a deep,
rich green emerald with inclusions is valued more highly than
an inclusion-free stone of paler color.
are beryllium aluminum silicates with a hardness of 7.5 to
8. They are related to aquamarine, pale pink morganite, golden
heliodor and pale green beryl. Pure beryl is colorless. Trace
elements add the color that makes these gemstones pleasing
to the eye.
is still the main country of occurrence for fine Emeralds
but emeralds are also found in other places like Zambia, Brazil,
Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan or Russia.
hardness protects emeralds from scratches to some extent,
but their brittle structure and many fissures can make cutting,
setting and cleaning the stone difficult. Cutting emeralds
is always a challenge, even for experienced cutters. Many
emeralds today are treated with oils or natural resins. This
is customary in the trade, but it means also that the stones
can be damaged or dulled through carelessness. For example,
they should not be cleaned ultrasonically, and contact with
soaps or solvents (even dish soap) should be avoided.
article written by Mike McGinnis and published originally
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