Emerald - May Birthstone

Emerald - May Birthstone
Originally Mined at Queen Cleopatra’s ancient Egyptian emerald mines the “green fire” was so highly valued in the middle ages that Spanish Conquistadors embarked on notorious campaigns to find the location of South Americas legendary emerald mines. With bright vivid green colors that are unmatched by any other gem, emerald, the birthstone for May, continues to be one of the world’s most desirable gems.

Emerald, the green variety of the mineral beryl, is the most famous and favored green gemstone. Its beautiful green color, combined with durability and rarity, make it one of the most valuable gemstones. Beryl also contains other, lesser known gem varieties, such as aquamarine and heliador. Pure beryl is white; emerald's green color is caused by chromium impurities. Deep green is the most desired color in emeralds. The paler the color of the emerald, the lesser its value. Pale emeralds are not called emeralds, but "green beryl". They are sometimes heat-treated, in which they become aquamarine.

Emeralds are notorious for their flaws. Flawless stones are very uncommon, and are noted for their great value. Some people actually prefer an emerald with very minute flaws over a flawless emerald, as this proves authenticity of the stone. Many emerald flaws can be hidden by treating the emeralds with oil. Newer, more effective fracture-filling techniques are also practiced. Irradiation of some emerald gems is somewhat effective in removing certain flaws.

Many emerald fakes and doublets are known. Two pale colored stones may be glued together with a deep green paste, creating a stone resembling emerald. Faceted green glass also resembles emerald, and it may be coated with a hard substance to mask its low hardness. Synthetic emeralds are also sold to unwary buyers without them knowing the stone is synthetic. Experts can distinguish all these fakes, and it is especially important to only purchase emeralds from reliable dealers. Experts can also determine if an emerald was treated with oil to mask internal flaws. Generally, unless otherwise specified, it can be assumed that an emerald has been treated with oil.

Emerald may develop internal cracks if banged hard or if subject to extreme temperature change. Emeralds that were treated to mask internal flaws should never be cleaned with an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner, nor should they be washed with soap. These practices will remove the oil and expose the hidden internal flaws. It is best to have your jeweler clean and inspect your emerald jewelry.

3165 S. Alma School Rd., Suite 21 Chandler, AZ 85248 Phone : 480-857-9707 info@rakhmanjewelers.com
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