HomeMajor Colored StonesEmeraldIntroduction and History of Emeralds
 
Introduction and History
Emerald is derived from a Persian word meaning "green gem". It changed from Greek to Latin as smaragdus, then to esmaurde, esmralde, and in the 16th century to esmeralde.
Emeralds are ancient gemstones. According to the oldest book in the world, the Papyrus Prisse, "But good words are more difficult to find than the emerald, for it is by slaves that it is discovered among the rocks."

This book is 4500 years old, but the passage was copied from a writing 1000 years earlier. The book was probably referring to the Egyptian Mines. The Cleopatra Mines were lost for a thousand years, only to be rediscovered in 1818. Today, Egypt is full of excavations and tunnels. The poor quality and small stone production explains the practical reason why the mines were originally abandoned.

It was recorded that Nero would watch the gladiator games through flat emerald crystals. Pliny, the Roman scholar, was the first to suggest emerald was a family member of beryl. It was not until the early 19th century that science proved him right. Further, Pliny stated regarding the emerald, "Indeed, no stone has a color that is more delightful to the eye, for, whereas the sight fixes itself with avidity upon the green grass and the foliage of the trees, we have all the more pleasure in looking upon the emerald, there being no gem in existence more intense than this."

History

The first known emerald mines were in Egypt, dating from at least 330 BC into the 1700s. Cleopatra was known to have a passion for emerald, and used it in her royal adornments.

Mogul Emerald

Emeralds from what is now Colombia were part of the plunder when sixteenth-century Spanish explorers invaded the New World. The Indians had already been using emeralds in their jewelry and religious ceremonies for 500 years. The Spanish, who treasured gold and silver far more than gems, traded emeralds for precious metals. Their trades opened the eyes of European and Asian royalty to emerald's majesty.

Emerald is often mined and sold under peril - the natural resource Colombians cherish is also coveted by underworld drug traders. The availability of fine-quality emerald is limited, and emerald was plagued in the late 1990s by negative publicity about treatments commonly used to improve its clarity.

Summary: It is birthstone for those born in the month of May and anniversary stone for those completing 20th, 35th and 55th year of marriage. It is the ideal gift for someone you love provided you have a bulging pocket and the genuine instinct to buy a genuine stone, as the market is flooded with imitations, synthetic gems and simulators. To make the purchase of a true stone buyer needs awareness and information about this captivating gemstone.

Emerald, the name is derived from a French word 'esmeraude'. This word had its origin from Latin and Greek word 'smaragdos' meaning green stone. It was discovered millions of years ago in the mines of Egypt known as Cleopatra Mines. Since then it is an important part of the jewelry. Every generation considered it as a valuable asset.

It is birthstone for those born in the month of May and anniversary stone for those completing 20th, 35th and 55th year of marriage. It is the ideal gift for someone you love provided you have a bulging pocket and the genuine instinct to buy a genuine stone, as the market is flooded with imitations, synthetic gems and simulators. To make the purchase of a true stone buyer needs awareness and information about this captivating gemstone. Thus, this article provides the required knowledge and facts that would also act as a buying guide for them. All the important characteristics of the gemstone are discussed here like four important Cs of gemstone, price, source, precautions etc.

Introduction and History

It was recorded that Nero would watch the gladiator games through flat emerald crystals. Pliny, the Roman scholar, was the first to suggest emerald was a family member of beryl. It was not until the early 19th century that science proved him right. Further, Pliny stated regarding the emerald, "Indeed, no stone has a color that is more delightful to the eye, for, whereas the sight fixes itself with avidity upon the green grass and the foliage of the trees, we have all the more pleasure in looking upon the emerald, there being no gem in existence more intense than this."
Lore

Emerald's lush green has soothed souls and excited imaginations since antiquity.Its name comes from the ancient Greek word for green, "smaragdus." Pliny the Elder described emerald in his Natural History, published in the first century AD: "...nothing greens greener" was his verdict He described the use of emerald by early lapidaries, who "have no better method of restoring their eyes than by looking at the emerald, its soft, green color comforting and removing their weariness and lassitude." Even today the color green is known to relieve stress and eye strain.

Legends gave emerald the power to make its wearer more intelligent and quick-witted. It was once believed to cure diseases like cholera and malaria. Its color reflects new spring growth, which makes perfect choice of a birthstone for the month of May. It's also the gemstone for twentieth and thirty-fifth wedding anniversaries.

History

The first known emerald mines were in Egypt, dating from at least 330 BC into the 1700s. Cleopatra was known to have a passion for emerald, and used it in her royal adornments.

Mogul Emerald

Emeralds from what is now Colombia were part of the plunder when sixteenth-century Spanish explorers invaded the New World. The Indians had already been using emeralds in their jewelry and religious ceremonies for 500 years. The Spanish, who treasured gold and silver far more than gems, traded emeralds for precious metals. Their trades opened the eyes of European and Asian royalty to emerald's majesty.

Emerald is often mined and sold under peril - the natural resource Colombians cherish is also coveted by underworld drug traders. The availability of fine-quality emerald is limited, and emerald was plagued in the late 1990s by negative publicity about treatments commonly used to improve its clarity.
Summary: It is birthstone for those born in the month of May and anniversary stone for those completing 20th, 35th and 55th year of marriage. It is the ideal gift for someone you love provided you have a bulging pocket and the genuine instinct to buy a genuine stone, as the market is flooded with imitations, synthetic gems and simulators. To make the purchase of a true stone buyer needs awareness and information about this captivating gemstone.

Emerald, the name is derived from a French word 'esmeraude'. This word had its origin from Latin and Greek word 'smaragdos' meaning green stone. It was discovered millions of years ago in the mines of Egypt known as Cleopatra Mines. Since then it is an important part of the jewelry. Every generation considered it as a valuable asset.

It is birthstone for those born in the month of May and anniversary stone for those completing 20th, 35th and 55th year of marriage. It is the ideal gift for someone you love provided you have a bulging pocket and the genuine instinct to buy a genuine stone, as the market is flooded with imitations, synthetic gems and simulators. To make the purchase of a true stone buyer needs awareness and information about this captivating gemstone. Thus, this article provides the required knowledge and facts that would also act as a buying guide for them. All the important characteristics of the gemstone are discussed here like four important Cs of gemstone, price, source, precautions etc.

Colour - It is green coloured beauty and is available in almost all shades of green. The variations in the green colour occur due to the change in the chromium content present in the chemical composition of the crystal. No two mines or deposits producing the gemstone would have exactly the same composition some changes are obvious so different shades come into existence. With the increase in the amount of chromium the colour becomes rich and dark.

The colour shade of the stone is a very important characteristic as it is a mode of judging the originality of the gemstone. With the colour of the stone, its producing country is determined. Stones from Columbia are deep green in colour while Russia offer patchy and pale green colour. Zimbabwe stones too possess rich green colour but are of small magnitude. Emeralds from the gemstones land Brazil are bright light green in colour. Gems mined from India are bluish green and at present are valued most. Stones from Zambia are known for its bright colour and clarity.

Clarity - This stone is never a clean stone. It occurs in thousands of years thus would certainly contain some blemishes or inclusions. The inclusions are considered as the part of the stone and are very well accepted in the gemstone industry. Absolutely clean and clear stone is impossible to be offered by the Mother Nature. However, number of flaws would vary from one stone to another. It also contains surface cavities that are filled during the initial gemstone processing.

Cut - Cutting is a very crucial aspect as a good cut enhances the colour of the stone and augments its worth in terms of money. It is a hard and tough stone but still cutting remains a challenging job for the cutter. However, with the modern techniques it can be cut in different shapes viz. round, pear, oval, marquise, cabochon, square, emerald cut, step cut and many more. The most preferred cut is emerald cut, as the colour of stone is best visible in this shape. This cut is actually rectangular step cut.
Carat Weight - It contains vitreous luster. It is transparent to translucent in nature. The beauty of the stone is enhanced in large sizes. The carat weight suitable for jewelry items is between 0.5 -4 ctw. Gems beyond 4 carat weight are rare and priced very high. Rough more than 10 carat weight seldom occurs.

Price - It is priced very high. This treasured stone is valued on the basis of colour, clarity and carat weight. More bright and intense the green colour more is the price. Similarly with the increase in the carat weight the cost of the stone would also increase and finally less flaws in the crystal more is the worth. Different permutations and combinations of these three Cs are available in the market, buyer can select any of them depending upon their pockets.

Occurrence - It is the green coloured variety of beryl mineral. It is found in mica schists between granitic rocks or pegmatites rocks. Sometimes eluvial and aluvial deposits also hold this stone. The crystallization process occurs in excessive heat and pressure. During the process, some geological disturbances always takes place which results in inclusions in form of cavities, fractures or bubbles. Thus, it is never found as a crystal clear gem.

Source - Finest quality of this precious gemstone is obtained from Zambia and Muzo, Coscuez and Chivor mines in Columbia. The difference in the stones from these countries lies in the stone size & inclusions. Smaller stones with few flaws are from Zambia while larger stones consisting many inclusions are from Columbia. This country also produces rare stone with cat eye effect or six-rayed star. Countries namely Russia, India and Austria have huge deposits of this extremely wonderful stone. It is also procured from Brazil, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Afghanistan, Norway, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania, Nigeria and the United States of America.
Enhancement - Each and every single stone is enhanced by some method in order to improve the appearance of the stone. The cavities present within the crystal are filled with hard clourless substance. Later it is treated with colourless oil or wax to hide the surface fractures. Under this treatment, oil is applied all over the stone such that oil seeps inside the stone and covers the breaks or cracks making it look less prominent. This process need to be repeated again after few years as effect of colourless oil diminishes with the passage of time. Oiling is the oldest method used for enhancing the clarity. These days a new method has been discovered to improve the clarity. The stones are treated with clear natural resin known as opticon. It gives better results than colourless oil. These two methods are accepted worldwide but the treatment of stone with green dye is non-acceptable.

Imitations - Emerald being the precious stone fetches high price therefore synthetic gems are preferred by many people across the world. Aluminum oxide is mixed with chromium and is heated under high temperature and pressure to create synthetic gems. United States and France are the major producers of these man made gems. These laboratory created gems are accepted in the gemstone trade ethics when sold to the buyer specifying that it is a synthetic stone.

There are few clever dealers who deceive the innocent buyer by selling stones that are even not properly created in the labs. They would merely join two pale green colour stones with bright green glue and irradiate with green dye. Later sell these nothing but fake stone at the price of genuine natural stones under the misleading names such as Biron Emerald, Chatham Emerald, Gilson Emerald, Kimberly Emerald, Lennix Emerald, Linde Emerald, Regency Emerald, Zerfass Emerald etc. These are only few names the list of such trade names is endless. Similarly glass dyed in green is also major simulator of this beautiful stone. Buyers need to be extra cautious while making the purchases of gems or its jewelry.

At the first glance it is very difficult to distinguish between the natural and synthetic gems. However, it is not impossible. Buyers can identify the original stone in two ways. First, check for the inclusions. Man made stones consist very thin inclusions as compared with the naturally occurred stones. Secondly, colour of the synthetic stones in ultraviolet light would appear reddish while the colour of genuine stones would remain same in every light source.

There are many other semi precious gemstones that are green in colour such as peridot, chrome diopside, tourmaline, zircon, hiddenite and green garnet. All these gems are unique in there respective characteristics and are priced accordingly. These stones have there own identification and value in the gemstone trade market. But unfortunately, few dealers sell them at the price of genuine Emeralds. Therefore, in order to avoid all the future shocks buyer should always prefer buying this most expensive gem from the reputable and authorized dealers only.

Uses - It is only used as a gemstone. It makes all sorts of jewelry items ranging from simple delicate rings, earrings and pendants to heavy necklaces. It is very well paired with diamonds. The jewelries are made up 18K or 22K yellow gold or white gold, platinum and sterling silver. Silver is relatively used less as it complements the precious stone less as compared with gold and platinum. Prong, bezel and bead setting can be used for making jewelries holding this marvelous gemstone. Out of these three types of setting, bezel setting is ideal for Emerald as it is protected from every corner. It is also cut and polished into cabochons and beads to make exquisite jewelry pieces.

Precautions - It is relatively a hard stone consisting the hardness of 7.5-8 Mohs. Inspite of having high on the hardness scale it requires special care and precautions. As it is treated with colourless oil to enhance the clarity, it should be protected from harsh chemicals and acids present in the cleaning solutions and cosmetics else the oil would be washed off. Also excessive heat and sudden temperature changes are harmful for the stone. It should be protected from sharp blows and scratches else some internal cracks can be developed inside the crystal.

It should neither be soaked in water or cleaned in home ultrasonic cleaner else the oiling would be damaged or removed from the stone and the inclusions would be clearly visible through the naked eyes. In the same way soapy water, steam, hot water or even the moisture is harmful for the stone as water can seep into the fractures and dissolve the oiling. Instead clean the stone with dry soft cloth and store in a separate jewelry box lined with soft cloth or cotton or velvet. Gems should be cleaned once in couple of years and not regularly. Repairing of the jewelry items holding this valuable gemstone should be done with an extra care. First the stone should be removed and then only the repairing work must be done. These precautions are too little effort as compared to the price paid to acquire this fascinating gemstone.

Belief - In ancient times, this amazing gemstone was associated with Venus, the Goddess of Love. Lovers wore the stone to know about the faithfulness and loyalty of their partners. It also symbolized wealth and financial power of royal families. This gem was widely used in Roman and Russian crown jewels. Indian kings and queens also admired its beauty and used it in their ornaments. Few emperors from India adored emerald so much that they would inscribe the religious text on the stone and wore it as talismans. Most beautiful women in universe Cleopatra used to treasure this stone a lot. It was said to improve the intellect and future instincts of the wearer. It was believed to cure and heal many chronic diseases.

Today, astrologers associate this incredible stone with good luck, growth and prosperity. It is a boon for businessmen as it offers them huge profits. It is believed to offer marital bliss as it develops mutual love and harmony among the partners. From the health purpose it is said to strengthen heart and kidney functioning. Also associated with curing the eyesight problems, circulatory and neurological disorders. It is even good for spiritual growth.
This unique stone with lovely green colour is full of hope, energy and love. Green colour represents harmony, beauty, joy and eternal love. It is a sacred stone that would certainly flourish its wearer with ample of wealth but to possess an Emerald, first the buyer have to pay a premium price!!
Summary:History is full of instances when the emerald has been loved and treasured by the royalty of the ancient times. This gem was treasured in the form of jewelry as well as used as an object of worship. The emerald was also worn as a talisman for bringing good luck, especially by the Moguls in ancient India

Emerald, the gemstone with a beautiful rich green color, has been a popular and much coveted gemstone from the ancient times. Even in the modern world of today, the emeralds popularity is unquestionable. This gemstone, which belongs to the family of Beryls, owes its brilliant green color to the presence of chromium and vanadium. The emerald, with a hardness rating of 7.5 to 8, has many inclusions and cracks. In fact, compared to other gemstones, emerald has the most inclusions and fissures. These fissures are clearly visible when viewed through a microscope.

The origin of the emerald dates back to almost 3000 B.C. The ancient Indians and Egyptians believed the rich green gemstone to be a symbol of eternal love and rebirth. Green, the elementary color in which nature abounds in, was worshipped in the bygone ages, as the color of life itself. Just as spring follows winter year after year, when the bare trees blossom with fresh green leaves, the color green was believed to symbolize the beginning of life and rebirth. Thus, the beautiful green emerald was loved and worshipped through the ages as a symbol of the eternal cycle of life. History is full of instances when the emerald has been loved and treasured by the royalty of the ancient times.

This gem was treasured in the form of jewelry as well as used as an object of worship. The emerald was also worn as a talisman for bringing good luck, especially by the Moguls in ancient India. One of the largest emeralds, dating back to the Mogul era, has sacred writings inscribed on it, and was auctioned by Christies for an enormous sum of money. The Romans, according to history, worshipped the emerald, believing it symbolized Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. Emerald is also supposed to be Cleopatra's treasured gemstone. Ancient tribes like the Incas, worshipped the emerald, believing in its healing and supernatural properties. Even today, green is the holy color of Islam, hence the importance given to the green emerald.

The main characteristics of the emerald, apart from its green color, are its many inclusions and fissures. These are caused by the enormous pressure and intense heat the stone is subjected to, during the process of crystallization. Emeralds are therefore treated with oil or resin, to strengthen it and also to minimize the flaws. Even though the emerald has so many inclusions and cracks, it is quite a hard and durable gemstone. Color is the most important factor when determining the value of this gem. The more deep and saturated the color, the more valuable the gem is. The really dark green emerald may not have the brightness the lighter green colored emeralds have. This does not diminish the value of the emerald. The richness of the dark green color makes up for it.

A large emerald with a rich green color and clear transparency is very rare. Sometimes, these rare emeralds, inclusions and all, are more valuable than the best of diamonds. Also, a gem with a rich green color and many inclusions, has more value than a paler stone with less inclusions. In fact, the inclusions, known as the gardening effect, is what helps identify a genuine natural emerald from a fake one. Due to the many inclusions and cracks found in the emerald, it is a very difficult to cut.

The brittle nature of this gem with its many cracks, makes the process of cutting, setting and polishing, very problematic indeed. To overcome this problem, the cutters developed a special cut for the emerald and named it the emerald cut. This cut is either square or rectangular. The beveled edges in this cut not only protect the gem but also enhance its beauty. Of course the emerald is also cut in many other classical shapes too. There is the round diamond cut, oval Trillion cut, the princess and marquise cut. Then the rounded pearl cut which is so popular especially in India. Emeralds are mostly cut in Jaipur in India and Tel Aviv in Israel.

Emerald is a hard gemstone and this protects it from being scratched. The gem is treated with oil or resin or wax in order to nullify the effects of the inclusions, but this treatment is not permanent. So, never clean the gems using ultrasonic jewelry cleaner, or with harsh detergents and other chemicals, as it dissolves the oil and hence weakens the stone. Emeralds are found in many countries like Columbia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, India, Pakistan, etc, but it is Brazil which produces more emeralds than any other country. Jewelry crafted with emeralds in the form of rings, pendants, earrings, necklaces, bracelets etc are very beautiful and loved by one and all the world over.

Emerald is the birthstone for the month of May, hence it is considered a lucky charm for Geminis. Taureans and Cancerians also benefit from this gem. It is an anniversary gem for the 20th, 35th, and 55th year of marriage, perhaps symbolizing enduring and eternal love. Many wear this gem as a treatment for certain physical and mental ailments. Emerald is also supposed to sharpen the memory and intelligence of the person wearing it. Popularly known as the spring gemstone, emerald is one of the high value gemstones. .  
Chemistry and Crystallography
Chemical Composition Be3Al2SiO6
Crystallographic System Hexagonal
Cleavage  
Fracture  
Fracture Lustre  
Habit  



Physical Characteristics

Hardness 7.5 to 8
Toughness poor to good
Specific Gravity  
Streak  



Optical Characteristics

Colour and Cause

Green; Chromium is the usual element claimed to be responsible for the attractive green colour of emerald. However, some emeralds from Colombia, Russia, Lake Manyara(Tanzania), Afghanistan, Nigeria, Zambia, and Carnaiba(Brazil) are characterised by unusually low contents of chromium. Indeed, some of these emeralds contain up to about 0.3% V2O3, which also may contribute to their emerald green colour(Brown, 1984; Platonov et al., 1984; Wood and Nassau, 1968). The large variation of iron content in emeralds is due to the possibility of incorporating iron, either as Fe2+ and or Fe3+, in different sites in the beryl lattice. Indeed specimens of bluish green Zambian emerald were quite distinct from other emeralds analysed as they have the highest iron content but low concentrations of chromium.

Both colombian emeralds and the synthetic emerald had less FeO than all other emeralds. In addition, the Colombian Emeralds contained considerable amounts of CuO. Bluish green Zambian emerald and emeralds from Carnaiba(Brazil) both had lower chromium contents than emerald from other locations. Some emeralds from Afghanistan and Brazil were slightly enriched in iron as well as vanadium.

Degree of Transparency  
Polish Lustre  
Refractive Index 1.56 to 1.60
Birefringence 0.003 to 0.010
Optic Character Uniaxial negative
Pleochroism  
Dispersion  
Phenomena  
X-Ray Fluorescence  
Transparency to X-Rays  
Ultraviolet Fluorescence  
Chelsea Filter Reaction  
Absorption Spectra  



Description

Appearance  
Variety and Trade Names  
Misnomers  
Typical Size Range  
Typical Cutting Styles  

Inclusions 

Treatments 

 

Treatment Purpose Stability Prevalence Detection
Dyeing Improves colour; Adding a colorant to the oils or resins used in the fracture filling process to improve colour. Not permanent Rare May be detectable by a trained gemmologist of gemmological laboratory.*
Coating Improves colour. Covering a light-colored beryl with a green plastic to create an emerald imitation. Not permanent. Colour layer can be damaged or destroyed if the stone is repolished or recut Rare Detectable by a trained gemologist or gemmological laboratory*
Fracture-filling with oil or epoxy resin Improves clarity appearance by hiding fractures. Filling surface-reaching fractures with colorless oils or resins to improve clarity. Not permanent; fair stability. Heat and chemicals can damage or destroy the filling. Oil will probably dry out or discolour in time Routine Detectable by a trained gemologist or gemmological laboratory* can be assumed because of prevalence.
Cavity-filling with epoxy resin or glass Improves clarity appearance by hiding cavities; adds weight if the cavities are large Fair. Heat and chemicals can damage or destroy the filling Rare Detectable by a trained gemologist or gemmological laboratory*

* If there is any doubt, send the gem to a gemological laboratory for verification.

Synthetics
Summary: Synthetic emeralds are produced in Germany, France, and United States of America with flux growth and hydrothermal processes in laboratory. These are expensive methods and difficult to yield major results .It is mentioned that the first synthetic emerald appeared in last part of last century.

Introduction - Right from beginning of this world, Emerald has fascinated this world. It was and still is favorite gemstone of ruling dynasties and elite classes around the world. In past, Indian rulers like Shah jahan was so much enamored with emerald that he decorated monument of his departed wife with plentiful of them. That magnificent monument is known as 'Taj Mahal'. Even Egyptian pharaohs used them in crowns and many were buried with them. It is considered as an auspicious gemstone to ward off any evil influence from our life. Though much has been mentioned about it, people still find it difficult to differentiate between natural and a synthetic emerald.

Gemologists explain that natural emeralds are formed when the natural forces of the earth apply heat and pressure in due course while synthetic emeralds are formed when heat and pressure are applied to minerals after a while in a laboratory. Synthetic emeralds in other words are laboratory grown and are not mind from the ground like natural emerald. These are also less expensive in comparison to natural emeralds. Therefore, those who cannot afford expensive counterparts purchase them but all aspire to have natural emerald.

Emerald is the deep colored variety of beryl. It is above six carats and known to be a costly gemstone. Emerald has a Conchoidal fracture and delicate tenacity therefore it is sensitive to pressure and heat. It is so green that famous roman scholar 'Plini' called it "greener than green.'' Being extremely beautiful Emerald was always patronized by kings and elite classes in past. People are mystified by its green light. Few know that its green colour is caused by impurities from chromium and vanadium. It is said that the finest emeralds are sourced from Colombia especially in mines of Mura and coscuez but nowadays these are also sourced from Zambia, Brazil, Russia and Pakistan. However, the finest emeralds are known to be transparent but many common emeralds also come with inclusions
Synthetic emeralds are produced in Germany, France, and United States of America with flux growth and hydrothermal processes in laboratory. These are expensive methods and difficult to yield major results .It is mentioned that the first synthetic emerald appeared in last part of last century. One of the reasons given was extremely slow productive methodology used in synthesizing emerald.

It is always difficult to differentiate between natural and synthetic emerald because they both have the same chemical composition and crystal make-up. Previously synthetic emeralds were tested with Chelsea colour filter to found out difference between natural and synthetic emerald. but it produced limited results. After much research reputed gemologists and jewelers concluded that difference between natural and synthetic emerald can be found out by assessment of specific gravity and refractive indices of emeralds. In simple words, Specific gravity of emerald is its weight in air divided by the loss of weight in water. It is tested with density meter, a scientific instrument. Refractometer is a scientific instrument that calculates speed of luminous rays arising from the stone. Refractometer is also used to check the indexes of refraction of stone.


Major Differences

Expert gemologists have found out that the major differences between synthetic and natural emerald are

(a) Specific gravity of a synthetic emerald (2.66) is lower than natural emerald (2.70-2.78) and refractive indices of a synthetic emerald (1.565) are lower than natural emerald (1576-1582).

(b) Flux growth and hydrothermal processes can produce synthetic emerald and due to them it shines unexciting red with ultra violet light which one does not get in a natural emerald.

(c) Synthetic emerald possesses feathery inclusion which is not to be found in natural emerald

(d) Natural emerald produce green light because of impurities but in synthetic emerald this may not be possible

(e) Clarity of natural emerald be enhanced by oiling but in synthetic emerald this cannot be done.

Emeralds are second most precious gemstones after diamonds. Since global market is flooded with synthetic and fake emeralds, veterans in this field always insist on extensive tests to be used to distinguish a natural emerald. International gemologists have ardently appealed to those who are involved in buying and selling emeralds to advise their clients to seek help of professional gemological centers to check authenticity of natural emerald.

Therefore, world-renowned gemologists advice buyers to (a) purchase laboratory-tested emerald from a certified jeweler (b) Get a certificate from the source of emerald for its identity. Major emerald producing countries like Columbia and Brazil have associations that certify exporters and sellers for quality control.

Scientific methods to distinguish a natural emerald- Any serious buyer of emerald must avail services of gemologists because gemologists always use number of laboratory tests to gauge identity of natural and synthetic emerald. At the outset, they use hand lens to check visual features like clarity and binocular microscope for features such as colour zoning, growth, and inclusion. As it is difficult to distinguish a natural emerald from synthetic emerald, a scientific instrument known as spectra scope is used. Spectroscope is an instrument that allows observer to relate a gemstone's colour to its observation spectra

Raman spectroscopy is an advanced method to judge fingerprinting inclusion of synthetic emerald Later on, gemologists often use advanced testing instruments like energy-depressive x-ray fluorescence system (EDXRF) for further investigation. These advanced tests are performed by trained gemmologists, and only after intensive testing conclusions about natural and synthetic emerald can be made.

It is advisable to be careful with emerald because it is not only precious but one cannot differentiate between a natural and synthetic emerald without thorough knowledge of the subject. Therefore those who are buying it must first know about specific gravity of a natural emerald that is often between 2.70 to 2.78 and also refractive indices that is always between 1576 to 1582.They should also receive a certificate containing particulars like source, carat weight, colour, clarity from the jeweler.
  • Hydrothermal
  • Biron
  • Leichleitner
  • Flux Growth
  • Chatham
Kyocera, Farben, Linde
Inamori
Gilson
Igmerald
Nacken emerald
Chatham emerald
Gilson emerald
Zerfass emerald
Lennix emerald Flux-growth
Developed by M. Lens of France, these synthetic emeralds are grown as rectangular rather than hexagonal crystals and have a tabular habit. Their constants are slightly lower than those of the natural stone (R.1.=1.562, 1.566; D.R.= 0.004; S.G.=2.62-2.65). Two-phase and three-phase inclusions resembling feathers and particles of flux are typical, as are spiky cavities. The most characteristic features are small crystal clusters looking like rosettes. The stones show a strong red through the Chelsea filter.
Inamori emerald - Seiko emerald             
Russian synthetic emerald
Hydrothermal growth of emerald
Linde emerald - Regency emerald
This synthetic emerald is grown using the original Linde technique and Union Carbide patents. Constants are generally close to those of the natural stone, although the S.G. is slightly lower, at 2.68. There's very little iron content, with the result that the stones have a high S.W. U-V transmission factor and a strong red fluorescence (even under a beam of high-intensity white light). Typical inclusions are wedge-shaped, dagger-like growth tubes, two-phase features stemming from phenakite crystals, and the occasional healed-crack type of feature.
Biron emerald
Russian hydrothermal emerald
Lechleitner emerald
Malossi Hydrothermal Emerald
are synthetic emeralds grown by a hydrothermal technique in the Czech Republic using Italian technology.(Characterization of the New Malossi Hydrothermal Synthetic Emerald, Ilaria Adamo et al, Winter 2005 Gems & Gemology) 

Origin 
Geologic: requires source of the element Beryllium
  • veins
  • hydrothermal and pegmatites
  • also found with feldspar and quartz

Locality 
Emeralds are found in New Granada, near Bogota, Egypt, East India, Burma, Ural in Europe; Salzburg, Austria; Mt. Remarkable, South Australia; and North America. Some of the finest come from the mines of Muza, near Bogota, and the best stones are called Peruvian emeralds. During the conquest of Peru by the Spaniards, many very fine emeralds were destroyed by the invaders, who tested them by grinding and pounding, and concluded that the emeralds were worthless, because they were not as hard as the diamonds or sapphires.
 
Colombia is one of the largest commercial producers of emerald. Fine Colombian emeralds are highly regarded for their excellent color. Zambia is also a commercial source of emeralds with good clarity. Other sources include Afghanistan, Brazil, Pakistan, Russia, and Zimbabwe.
 
Emeralds from Panshir Valley along the Pakistan, Afghanistan set the standard for connosseur gemstones.
 
Dr. Gaston Giuliani, of IRD and CRPG/CNRS, Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France, reported on the use of oxygen isotopes to classify emeralds from numerous worldwide deposits into three groups at the recent GemmoBasel 2005.
 
Oxygen Isotopes for Origin Determination in Emeralds
 

Egypt
Discovery
Mexico
Peru
New Granada
Columbia
Who first discovered the lovely green crystals found the Andes of Columbia, which gives to this South American country the honour of being the source of the world's finest emeralds, will never be known. It is quite evident that the native Indians realised something of the value in the emeralds which they had used to barter with other neighbouring tribes, and which probably extended to those as far north as Mexico, and south to Bolivia and Peru. Despite 300 years' diligent search no other emerald-bearing areas outside Colombia have been found in the Andean ranges, or in Central America or Mexico. The so-called 'Peruvian' or 'Mexican' emeralds were in all probability products of the ancient Columbian mines.

Europe first knew of the fabulous emeralds from South America when Pizarro ruthlessly conquered and despoiled Peru, taking from the Incas an immense quantity of emeralds, many of incredible size being sent to the Queen of Spain. Subsequently the old native workings in Colombia were found by the Spanish invaders and worked by them; they shipped the stones, both those mined and those taken from the Indians, to Spain where they were later sent to Paris for sale.

The emerald mines of Colombia are situated in the Cordillera Oriental, the eastern range of the Andes. They lie north to north-east of Bogota, the Colombian capital, in the departments of Boyaca, Cundinamarca, and Santander. Colombian emeralds are mined from two zones: the western zone that hosts, from north to south, the Penas Blancas, Cosquez, Muzo and Yacopi mining regions, and the eastern zone that hosts the Chivor/Somondoco and Gachala mining regions.
Muzo/Cosquez Mines
Chivor/Somondoco


Brazil
Salininha
On July 10, 1963, a find of emerald-green beryls occurred at a small hamlet called Salininha, east of the San Francisco River, near to the town of Pilao Arcado, on the border of the states of Piaui and Bahia. The discovery was made by a garimpeiro. Local garimpeiros did not believe that these rich green beryl crystals were emeralds - but this find was to change the face of the Brazilian gemstone industry and, together with subsequent discoveries, firmly established Brazil as one of the world's major gemstone producers.

When the occurence was annouced, there were some experts who took the view that because these Salininha crystals contained mainly vanadium, instead of chromium, as a colouring agent, they should not be classified as true emeralds. This view was based solely upon chemical analyses.

Anderson and Payne, who conducted a gemmology class at the Chelsea College of Science and Technology, in London, also took the view that the Salininha crystals should not be classifed as true emeralds. They had devised a two layer gelatine filter which, excluding other parts of the colour spectrum, transmitted only a portion of the yellow-green and red bands of light. When viewed through the filter some natural emeralds containing chromium appear reddish. It was known, however, that most South African and Russian emeralds did not respod to the filter. The Salininha crystals also failed to appear reddish - stubbornly, they remained emerald-green.

The presence of vanadium as a colouring agent in emeralds had been demonstrated as early as 1926, when Wild and Klemm, conducted tests on emeralds from the Ural Mountains in Russia. In 1934, Vogel, had shown that the absorption curves produced by chromium and vanadium in emeralds were so familiar that he concluded vanadium behaved like chromium in inducing a green colour.

Jules Roger Sauer, taking issue with those experts who refused to recognise the Salininha stones as Emeralds, submitted them to the Gemological Institute of America. On August 9, 1963, after analyses, the Institute issued a certificate confirming that the Salininha crystals were true natural emeralds. Today, the Chelsea Filter has been totally discarded as a tool for identifying emeralds.

USA
North Carolina, USA
Iran
Turkey
India
Pakistan
Gujar Killi
 
Russia
Urals

Europe
Austria
 
View down Habach Valley
 
Said to have been known since the time of the Romans, there is an occurence of emerald in a very inaccessible spot some 2300 m above sea level, on the east side of the Legbach ravin, a branch of the Habchtal, in Salzburg, Austria. The occurence is of little importance, but mining by irregular methods has been carried on intermittently through the years, and in 1937 the mine was reopened on a small scale. Since WWII some crystals have been seen but whether these are from the 1937 working or from a resumption mining since the war is not certain. The simple hexagonal crystals are found in a mica and chlorite schist, a type of mother rock similar to that of the Uralian source. Thus the inclusions seen in the Habachtal emeralds are in general similar in type to those seen in the Russian emeralds, that is tremolite rods and mica plates with rounded outline. The SG of the Salzburg emeralds approximates to 2.73 and the indices of refraction are ordinary 1.591 and extraordinary 1.584, showing a birefringence of 0.007.
Although the occurrence of Emeralds in this high alpine valley is the only relevant one in Europe, it is of no importance in the international market. Most likely you will never have an Austrian emerald coming by in your everyday work. But some interesting differences to other gemstone deposits and mines like you know it from your areas lead to a myth that has formed around these gems.

1.) The History

The first written documents mentioning emeralds from this region date from the year 1669.
But it was proven by analysis (There is a link in the “Old mine colour” post of Richard related to that) that emeralds were already found in the region hundreds of years before that time.

The longer you go back in time, the more beautiful the gems: There is a Monstranz (I don´t know the English word for it, It is a catholic sacral object holding the consecrated wafer) in a monastery about 100 km north of the mine in which 12 beautiful rough emeralds up to 9 cm in length are mounted. There are only old black and white pictures of the piece, the monks dont show it to the public anymore and it is, understandingly, kept in a bank safe. I try to convince them since a few years that a better documentation of these fantastic gemstones by experts would be in their own interest.

Through the fact that the emerald hosting rocks are situated in 2.000 to 2.200 m above sea level in extremely steep mountains, it was not possible to establish a mine for a very long time. Thanks to the climate change the actual primary deposit is free of ice for about 3 - 5 months a year and it may have been covered with snowfields all year long back in the 16th century.

Avalanches, rolling stones, missing street connections, landslides and high flash floods always kept people away from this area, which nowadays is a national park called “Hohe Tauern”.

The first bigger international appearance of Habachtal emeralds was in 1861 at the London world industrial exhibition. The stones were so beautiful that a Viennese jewellerer invested a lot of money in opening a mine up there. He was successful, one of the gems he mined in that period was 42 carats after cutting and is now mounted into the English crown jewels.

Later on an English company (Esmerald Mines Ltd.) took over the operations for about 20 years, and the stones they mined in that period (There are only figures for one year left in documents: in the 1903 season they sent 32.000 Carats of fine rough and 7.000 Carats of best quality to England) were labelled as “Indian emeralds”, because the deposit was not known to most of the people in gem trade and would have sold for a much lower price.

The first world war (England and Austria were opponents) set an end to that profitable mining period. Before the English were forced to leave, they blew up the so called “emerald breast” a geological formation within the mine were the best gems were found. This rich mother lode is still undetected nowadays, wich adds another piece of puzzle to the myth of Habachtal.

All following mining operations up to the present time never repeated the success of the English period. Since the mine is in a national park, the authorities only allow methods of mining that are harmless to the environment. No machines (Except a generator for electricity to light the tunnels) are allowed and they are only allowed to extract 50 cubic meters of mother rock per season. Everything is done by hand. Most pieces were and are sold as mineral specimens. The family that runs the mine today generates good money with these specimens, but only about 20 to 50 emeralds per year are clean and big enough to match up with the best colombian gems.

Here is another interesting difference to international emerald market: All cut and polished emeralds from Habachtal are sold for double (Poor qualities) to triple (The best gems) the price of comparable Colombian material. These high prices are paid by European collectors only, but paid is paid.
Some people tried to take advantage of this fact and imported cheap rough from other mines around the world to sell them as Austrian emeralds.
These betrayals were uncovered very fast, since the inclusions of Austrian emeralds make them easily identifiable to gemmologists.

2.) Mineralogical and geological overview of the deposit

The main reason for the low share of facettable material to be found is the geological process that led to the crystallisation of the emeralds.
They all grew inside the mother rock as porphyroblasts and although the region is full of alpinotype caves filled with beautiful crystals (More than 120 different minerals can be found in the Habach-valley) there were no bigger findings of clean emerald crystals in such pockets.

The emerald hosting mother rock is a series of layers built up by talcum, mica schists (Biotite and Muscovite) and banded gneisses. This series of layers formed at a tectonic contact zone of two huge geological complexes that were transported down into the earth´s crust within the formation of the alps and later on folded up again. The Habachtal is the type-locality for the emerald deposit type “Schists without Pegmatites”.

One of the complexes brought the beryllium, the other one the chromium and as the rocks were “cooked up” the green beauties crystallized under great pressure within the mother rock.

As a result of that growth within the rock , austrian emeralds are hosting a wide variety of crystalline inclusions. When observing them carefully, these emeralds can easily be separated from other origins.

Another interesting mineralization a few hundred meters above the emerald formation is the occurrence of Phenakites. These Phenakites are the biggest ones to be found in Europe. Some of them are above 50 Cts. after cutting and they are very much sought after by collectors.

3.) Inclusions

List of Minerals found as crystal inclusions within emeralds, aquamarines and beryls of the deposit:

Sulfides: Pyrite,Pyrrhotine, Chalcopyrite, Molybdenite,Pentlandite
Oxides: Magnetite, Ilmenite, Rutile, Anatase, Brookite
Carbonates: Calcite, Dolomite
Tungsten: Scheelite
Phosphates: Mixed crystals of the Apatite group
Silicates: Mixed crystals of the Biotite-Phlogopite row
Muscovite
Beryllium-Margarite
Mixed crystals of the chlorite group
Mixed crystals of the Tremolite group
Mixed crystals of the Epidot-group (zonar growth) often Epidot, Klinozoisite, Allanite and Zoisite
Mixed crystals of the Plagioklase group (zonar growth) mostly Albite and Oligoklase
Mixed crystals of the Tourmaline-group (zonar growth) mostly Dravite and Schorl
Talcum
Titanite
Zircons
Mixed crystals of the Kalifeldspars mostly Microkline and Adularia
Phenakite

There were a few other minerals found as an inclusion but those were only detected with instruments a normal gemmologist has no access to.

4.) The myth is alive

Many European mineral collectors go for vacation to this valley every summer to dig for the secondary deposited emerald crystals. I also do that since I was a child. It is my definition of adventure. In difference to other regions of the world, where poor miners work hard for a few pennies because they have no other choice, in this area lawyers and doctors with a mineralogical or gemmological hobby background invest their precious time for the unbeatable adrenaline kick you get when a traffic light green gem glows in the mud. Even if a majority of crystals are of nearly no value.

The crystals are washed out of the mud under the mines entrance. Since the mother rock only has hardness 1 after Mohs the water unearthes the relatively light emeralds and transports them downwards. Into our hands. The majority of the crystals we find is good in colour but poor in clarity. I would estimate that about 1 of 100 emerald crystals found is of cutting quality. Another problem is brittleness which is even higher than in normal emeralds. But most of the emeralds are never being cut, especially pieces of mother rock with emeralds bring a lot more money if you sell them. Most people never sell what they find…


Whenever one of you visits Austria in summertime, I recommend to go to the Habachtal for a few days. Beautiful landscape, many interesting people and a lot of fun when acting like little childs climbing and digging around covered with mud!

I find between 5 and 35 Emeralds a day when I dig there, and I know noone who went there and didn´t find at least one of them.

The biggest one I found (It is not cuttable but a mineralogic curiosity) was a 21,57 Carats conglomerate of 7 crystals that seem to be molten together. I always have it with me.

A few years before a mineral collector from the Netherlands found the best emeralds since half a century: Look at the Picture, these look nearly Colombian and there are 14 of them on this piece of rock. The biggest one is over 3 cm and they are very clear. I know people that would pay over 50.000,- Euros for that piece…

Norway

Africa
Sandawana Belt
Zambia
Zimbabwe
Tanzania
Mozambique
Nigeria
South Africa

Madagascar
Australia
 
Care

Cleaning Methods Emeralds are routinely treated with colourless oils or resins to improve clarity. To clean emeralds, only warm soapy water should be used. Avoid the use of harsh detergents and vigorous scrubbing.
Stability Acids do not attack the beryl, but it melts with borax and is soluble in salts of phosphorus.

Market 
Availability  
Public Recognition  
Wearability  
Recommended Disclosures  

Key Separations, Suggestions for Testing and Evaluation

Emerald imitations can be made from green glass or synthetic spinel triplets.

Synthetic emeralds may be grown using the flux of hydrothermal method.

Emerald alternatives include alexandrite, demantoid garnet, diopside, jadeite, Peridot, sapphire, tourmaline, tsavorite garnet, and zircon.
 
Possibilities for Confusion


Bibliography and Suggested Further Reading

 

  • Peter G. Read, Gemmology
  • http://www.gia.edu/library/4463/emerald.cfm
  • http://www.minsocam.org/ammin/AM53/AM53_777.pdf

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The Geohavens name is an assurance of timeless beauty, distinct quality and uncompromising value. The Company spares no effort in sourcing from the farthest markets and the deepest mines in order to unearth the most attractive gems.

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