Emerald - May Birthstone

Have you seen Megan Fox's new engagement ring?


It's a gorgeous combination of this month's birthstone - emerald and April birthstone - diamond.


If you are a May baby, I have good news, you don't have to be a celebrity to treat yourself to a gorgeous emerald!



Megan Fox pear shape emerald and diamond engagement ring



Curious to find out more about this unique gem?



Let's begin with some fun facts:

  • Emerald is one of the most popular gems (along with Ruby, Sapphire and Diamond)

  • It is a part of the beryl family (along with Aquamarine and Morganite)

  • Emerald colour ranges from yellowish green to bluish green in light and dark shades (vivid, bluish green and green emeralds are considered most desirable)

  • 1 carat emerald looks larger than a 1 carat diamond because of its lower density


emerald rough crystal in a host rock on a grey background



  • Emerald crystal structure is elongated, which is why it is typically cut into elongated shape like emerald cuts, ovals and pears

  • Most of the emeralds on the market are visibly included

  • Emeralds that have no visible inclusions are rare and more expensive

  • Emerald is a traditional gift for a 35th wedding anniversary. The stunning pair of emerald and diamond earrings below was created for that specific celebration



a pair of pear shape emerald and diamond white gold drop earrings on a light blue background

 

To find out more about why certain gemstones are only cut into certain shapes, visit my previous post: Let's get in shape!

 

Source

Although some believe that the first emerald mine was located in the European Alps around 500 BC to 400 AD, it was a mine in Egypt that was the major known source until the 16th century.


Spanish explorers then learned of emerald mines in Colombia, South America, which is still considered a major source today.



Pear shape emerald and diamond halo white gold pendant and chain necklace on a white silk background


Although Colombian mines produce emeralds of different qualities, the term

"colombian emeralds" is often used to describe gemstones of high quality.


Many clients are now using the phrase “Colombian Emerald” as a colour reference rather than the source, which can get a little confusing.


For example: “Irina, I am looking for a Colombian emerald, but it doesn't actually have to be from Colombia”, what they are looking for here is a high quality emerald.



Emerald and diamond suite, Pear shape emerald and diamond halo white gold pendant necklace and matching drop earrings on a white silk background


Other emerald sources include Brazil, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Pakistan and Russia.




Availability


Emeralds are fairly abundant and can be found in a wide range of sizes and qualities.


As I mentioned before, they are generally cut into elongated shapes like emerald cut, ovals and pears, but they can also be found in round shapes.


As cutting gemstones into round shapes causes too much material loss, it is difficult to find large round cut emeralds. The cutters typically try to save as much emerald rough as possible by cutting stones into elongated shapes.


Although there is a wide variety of round emeralds available up to around

1 carat in weight, if you are looking for a stone larger than 1.5 carat, I highly recommend opening your search to an oval, pear or emerald cut.



woman's hand wearing a large oval emerald and diamond halo split shank white gold vintage inspired cocktail ring engagement ring


Treatments


Some gemstones are more likely to be included than others. For example the majority of emeralds are fairly included, showing significant fractures within the stone that can be seen without magnification. Therefore finding an emerald without inclusions is almost impossible.


As emeralds are typically fractured inside, a common treatment known as oiling is used and is an industry standard. The process involves filling of surface-reaching breaks with various oils and resins.


With roughly 90% of all emeralds undergoing this treatment, finding an untreated emerald is virtually impossible and will be reflected in the significantly higher price.


Take a look at this before and after example.




2 loose emeralds side by side showing presence and absence of oiling before and after oiling comparison




Interestingly, Morganite and Aquamarine that are also a part of the same family show virtually no inclusions, even under magnification.


 

To find out more about why some gemstones have more inclusions than others, check out my previous blog post: Let’s get some clarity on gemstone inclusions

 

woman's hand wearing an emerald cut emerald and diamond halo split shank white gold engagement ring cocktail ring vintage inspired white gold ring, white nail polish manicure on a cream silk background


May Birthstone


Emerald is also known for the following traits:

  • creates positive actions and outcomes

  • calms upset emotions and brings peace

  • gives the strength to overcome any problems

  • magical reputation, associated with the ability to see in to the future


May birthstone emerald infographic


 

Do you know what powers and qualities your birthstone holds?


To find out, visit my previous post, What is my Birthstone?

 


selection of loose oval and emerald cut emeralds on a white sorting tray


Durability


In terms of hardness, emerald scores a 7.5 - 8 out of 10 on Moh's scale.


With sapphires and rubies at 9 and diamonds at 10, these can scratch your emerald if not stored properly or if they rub against each other.


Emeralds are a great option for cocktail rings, right hand rings and other jewellery such as pendants and earrings.

a pair of vintage inspired oval emerald and diamond halo white gold earrings on a white background

 

Looking for tips on how to keep you jewellery Clean and Damage-Free?


Get my FREE jewellery cleaning guide here

 


woman wearing an oval emerald and diamond halo yellow gold pendant and chain necklace


Synthetic emeralds

Synthetic (man-made) emeralds have the same crystal structure and chemical composition as natural emeralds and can be developed by scientists in labs.


They may look similar but can be identified as synthetic with the use of certain equipment by a certified gemologist, like me. One main factor that gives them away is the lack of inclusions.


Although synthetic emeralds are available for purchase at certain jewellery stores at a fraction of a price of a natural emerald, the two should not be confused as their value is completely different.


When purchasing natural coloured gemstones from Tsarina Gems, you will receive an independent, third party appraisal for your piece of mind. I take pride in working with companies who supply responsibly sourced, natural gemstones.





Is Emerald on your wishlist?



I would be delighted to hear about it!



To discuss your options, schedule a complementary, 30 minute connection call with me here






Looking for inspiration? Visit our Instagram page for more stunning jewellery ideas