Formula : Be3Al2(SiO3)6
Birthstone for the month of May
For a list of all birthstones, click here
Particular hardness: 7,5
An emerald can only be scratched by materials that are of equal or higher hardness. Ruby might scratch an emerald for example.
Emerald is a brittle gem. Because of its brittleness emerald is more likely to break when handled carelessly. The exact level of brittleness depends on the number of encasings inside the stone.
Emerald is known for its green colour. Often the colour of the stone is said to represent a natural phenomenon or object. The same is the case for sea-blue aquamarine or dove blood red ruby. However, in the case of emerald often the colour becomes emerald-like instead. Something may be called emerald green for example. Nearly all natural emeralds contain impurities in the form of encasings.
Origin & History
Emerald is most commonly found in: Brazil, Colombia, India, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
The following may be found in the 1914 reference work “The Book of Talismans, Amulets and Zodiacal Gems”:
“If worn in a ring, emerald strengthens the memory and protects from giddiness.“
Nearly all natural emeralds contain encased impurities. Because of these encasings they are often treated with oil. The oil fills any disparities and prevents the stone from being crushed too easily. The oil treatment is otherwise invisible.
It is a no-go to put emeralds in an ultrasonic cleaner. Besides the fact that chemicals in the bath could negatively impact the stone, sufficient vibrations could break it as well. The chemicals in the oil residue left in the stone by oil treatment may dissolve as well, increasing brittleness.
Furthermore we advise against wearing emerald jewellery to occasions that may involve increased risk of the stone breaking, especially when the stone is a larger emerald.
Common materials used in creating imitation emeralds are: green tourmaline, glass, aventurine quartz and green stained quartz. Glass is often used to create imitations of lesser quality emeralds.
The most common cut for emeralds is aptly named the emerald cut. This unique cut brings out the best of an emerald’s qualities. The rectangular oblong cut with cut corners results in an octagonal shape with one side longer than the other. Even when the stone is dense with impurities this cut will result in a beautiful end result.
The reason for the elongated shape of the cut is the natural occurrence of emerald in prismatic crystalline structures. Besides rectangular shapes, oval shapes are also possible. In addition to the facetted cut it is also possible to have the emerald done in a cabochon cut. The beautiful end result often exceeds expectations.
Jewellery with emerald can be found here: