Precious stones: the emerald

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EMERALD

The emerald is the most precious stone in the family of the Beryl. In this small guide, discover this gemstone to the matchless green …


A little history...

The emerald is the most precious stone in the family of Beryls (as the Aquamarine or the Morganite).
Its discovery goes back to more than 4 000 years in Egypt. Nowadays, the main deposits are situated in Latin America, but there are still emeralds in Africa.
Many fantastic stories have grown up around this gem. The Incas and the Aztecs considered the emerald as a sacred stone. Among all these beliefs, it is believed that the emerald absorb the qualities but also the defects of the one who wears it. In conclusion, it is better to know the previous owner of the stone if you do not want to inherit from an emerald carries bad luck! And for to loop the loop on the dark side of this stone, it would protect the swindlers and the traffickers.
But perhaps because of his color, Emerald has always been considered the most feminine gems. Symbol of hope, vitality and fertility, the emerald would favor the discernment, the truth and would propitious to the meditation. Beneficial for the blonds, the lovers and protect the sailors. Pierre of wisdom favoring the truth and the justice, she would bring together the separate couples. In certain traditions the Holy Grail would be in emerald.
It also granted him many therapeutic virtues, she would care for the eyes, lungs, heart, muscles, immune system, and cure infectious diseases. But these are just beliefs ...
The Devonshire, a raw emerald of a steady green of 1384 carats, is maybe the most famous emerald. Among the illustrious emeralds, represent among others, those of Cléopatre, the fabulous "necklace of the freedom " offered to Benjamin Franklin by a Polish countess, the emerald of the moghol sovereign, the Napoleon's signet ring, and the "Queen Isabelle", a magnificent 964 carat gemstone.

THE TINTS

The emerald is always green. It is the presence of oxide of chromium that gives its beautiful green color to the emerald. They can range of light green to deep emerald green and certain emeralds can present nuances of blue yellow or green green.
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The emerald, more than any other gemstone, contains a large number of inclusions, fractures but also tiny cracks on the surface. For these reasons, the vast majority of emeralds are treated to enhance their appearance and their clarity.
The traditional method accepted in the international standards of gemology is the oiling. They dip the stone into a bath of oil of cedar. The oil on the surface will fill the open cavities and cracks. Unfortunately this treatment is not eternal, over time the oil dissipates and the stone tarnishes. To regain its radiance, the oiling may be renewed indefinitely.
Another method, but not tolerated on the market of emerald, involves injecting a colored synthetic resin (or opticon PermaSafe) aimed to conceal the inclusions and artificially improve the color. The filling of emeralds is considered a treatment that alters the stone and taking into account as the color of an emerald is the main criterion of evaluation of its price, the fact of transforming artificially the color is a real ethical problem. The emerald is fragile and tender. It scratches easily. It should be cleaned gently and without corrosives.

ESTIMATING THE VALUE OF THE EMERALD

Contrary to the other precious stones, There is no international classification for emeralds and it is not the purity which dominates in the valuable criteria but even if this criterion is important in the estimation, it is the color which we take into account first of all. The emerald is the precious stone containing most inclusions, called the " garden of the emerald ". These inclusions are accepted but it is all the same preferable that they are not too numerous, too visible to the naked eye and that they let circulate the light. Very rare are pure emeralds, even in high jewelry the emeralds are used with inclusions. These tolerated defects are in fact a security of the authenticity of the stone. In short, beware if your stone has no defects!
It is also necessary to take into account in this estimation the quality of the cut developed above. Any stones has to have a certificate mentioning the characteristics of the stone, based on the usual techniques of expertise and on the application of international standards of gemology.
( See → the 4C of the diamond)
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The color remains the most determining factor. The more the color is intense, the more the price soars. The intense tints are very sought, to note all the same that a too dark stone loses of its brightness, but a clearer gemstone and of excellent purity can be worth its weight in gold.
The emerald is lighter than the other precious stones. At equivalent weight, so it seems larger than a ruby or a sapphire, for example. As for the other stones its weight is expressed in carat.
For a long time, Colombia will remain the world center of the emerald mines but nowadays, its mines produce less and less. The biggest mine of Colombia, Muzo, produces no more than 50 quality stones jewelery per week and the great majority of the other stones are treated.
The emeralds used by the big jewelers come mostly from Brazil, but also of Zambia. Brazil is moreover the first producer of emeralds of beautiful quality. The origin of the emerald cannot thus be a criterion of choice.

THE CUT

The most common 3 forms in jewelry are the oval size, the pear and the emerald. We also use the round size but it is very difficult to find stones of more than 6.5 mm in diameter. It is also cut in shuttle, heart and cushion.
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The fact that the emerald is fragile, its size is a difficult and delicate operation. The lapidaries specially created its own shaping, the " size emerald ". This special cutting with sides, in the shape of octagon is the most solid. It respects of advantage the crystallization of the stone and emphasizes its brightness. We find this shape of size to the other precious stones.
Just like most of the stones of color, the emerald are generally cut in its country of production.


SOME SURPRISING EMERALDS

EMERALD TRAPICHE

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The shape " trapiche " was discovered first of all on emeralds from Colombia. This shape also finds itself on certain corundum as the sapphire.
The trapiches emeralds present geometrical figures in triangles and several tints and color. These figures are due to a stronger concentration in chemical elements in certain parts of the gemstone.
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Luxurious shopping-list for wealthy fortunate girls ...

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1 and 5 : creations CHOPARD
2 : creation BULGARI
3 : creation VAN CLEEF

4, 8 and 9: creations BOUCHERON
6 : creation ADLER

7 : creation CARTIER
9 : creation DE GRISOGONO

 

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