Emerald History and Buying Guide
Comprehensive guide to buying Emeralds
Emeralds have been known and loved for at least 5000 years. From Egyptian Pharaohs to the Aztecs and Incas of pre Colombia Emeralds have dazzled the t hearts of rulers through out History. The first know avid collector of Emeralds was Cleopatra. Remains of "Cleopatra's Emerald Mines" were discovered about 1817, along Red Sea coast.
Shah Jahan, the builder of the beautiful Taj Mahal, loved emeralds so much he inscribed them with sacred text and wore them as talismans to bring luck and word off evil. If you read the history of Shah Jahan you know this did not work well for him.
Islamic Emerald Tablet
When last Inca king of Peru was taken prisoner in 1532, his crown set with some 453 emeralds, which weighted approximately 1,523 carats was taken as a prize. Sadly crown was sold to an American syndicate in the 1940s. The crown was broken up and sold off in pieces.
In 1747 Ottoman Padishah Mahmud commissioned the stunning Emerald a gold dagger as a gift for Nadir Shah of Iran, unfortunately the Shah of Iran was assassinated before the dagger was delivered.
Emerald and gold dagger
Shah of Iran Nasseridin Shah (1848-1896) Love gems so much he commissioned and elaborate jewel incrusted Globe. At a height of 110 cm and a diameter of 45 cm, the globe is covered with more than 51,000 gemstones, and its wood base is covered with a layer of pure gold weighing some 35 kgs. Seas and oceans are shown as emeralds, while land masses are shown as Diamonds, Rubies and Spinels. The largest emerald used in the globe is approximately 175 carats.
The Jeweled Globe
In 1958 Harry Winston designed an Elegant Emerald tiara for the Marriage of Empress Farah to Reza Shah Pahlevi. The tiara holds seven large emeralds across its top varying from 65 carats to 10 carats.
Queen Elizabeth II a well known gem coinsurer owns many fabulous Emeralds.
Other famous Emeralds
The Chalk Emerald weighing 37.82-carat surrounded by 15 carats of Diamonds. Even with many inclusions this gems is considered to be one of the finest Columbia Emeralds in the world.
The Guinness Emerald Crystal. An uncut Emerald crystal showing great color. It is a staggering 1759 carats!
The Mackay Emerald Necklace. This Emerald and Diamond necklace at in platinum was designed by Cartier in 1931
The Hooker Emerald Brooch a 75.47-carat emerald surrounded by Diamonds.
Maximillian Emerald Ring contains a 21.04-carat step-cut emerald
The Chalk Emerald
The Mackay Emerald Necklace
The Hooker Emerald Brooch
Unfortunately the vast majority of us will never be able to own anything as fabulous as the jewels shown above. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little treasure in our lives. If you do your home work your can still find a great deal now a then on a really gorgeous Emerald.
What to look for when buying an Emerald.
- Cut: Due to their crystalline structure Emeralds are most commonly cut in Square and Octagon shapes. Round and Ovals cuts are also widely available. Fancy cut are very uncommon in Emeralds.
- Color: Emeralds occur in a variety of green colors, from a light luminescent blue/green to deep rich emerald green. Chromium and Vanadium are what give Emeralds their extraordinary color.
- Clarity: Emeralds should have inclusions. Specks of carbon, fractures, cloudiness and silk inclusions are all common and should be seen in a natural minded from the earth Emerald. Silk inclusion can not be created in a lab and is an excellent sign the Emerald you are looking at is the real thing. An Emerald that is large, very green and has no flaws is highly suspicious.
- Cost: Small light Emeralds can be purchases for just a few dollars. Large Emerald can cost many thousands of dollars!
- Care: Emeralds should be cleaned with a soft, dry cloth. You should never clean an emerald with an ultrasonic cleaner. Ultrasonic cleaners can easily damage you gem. Emeralds are heat sensitive, avoid sudden temperature changes as emeralds can lose their color when strongly heated. Do not wash Emeralds in hot soapy water, this can dry them out.
- Treatment: Oiling, the oils seep into the breaks and fissures in the gemstone to 'soften' the appearance of flaws. This is done to nearly all Emerals.
3.8 carat emerald showing wispy silk inclusions and 2 tiny specks of carbon. This is considered a VERY clean Emerald. Appraised at just under $8,000
- The Best: known Mines are Muzo, Coscuez and Chivor in Colombia South America
- Good: USA, Brazil, Zambia, and Austria
- Fair: Norway and Russia
Other information on Emeralds
Birthstone for the month of May.
Wedding Anniversary: Emerald is the anniversary gemstone for the 20th, 35th and 55th year of marriage.
Emerald with its bright green color, is another of the heart stones that can help you love yourself, breath easier and bring bliss into your life. It quiets the emotions, bringing peace and harmony into your thoughts and actions.
Mystical power: It is said to drive away evil spirits, and to preserve the chastity of the wearer. Emerald is said to bring wisdom. Believed by the ancients to empower the owner with foresight into the future, an emerald is regarded as an amulet for good fortune.
Poor quality Emerald, opaque with noticeable dark crystal inclusions. Worth about $10.00
Excellent quality Columbian Emerald
Excellent example of a Emerald from Zambia
Even with visible inclusions this is considered a very good Emerald.
- VARIETY OF: Beryl , Be3 Al2 Si6 O18 .
- USES: Gemstone.
- BIRTHSTONE FOR: May
- COLOR: various shades of green.
- INDEX OF REFRACTION: 1.57 - 1.60
- BIREFRINGENCE: 0.004 - 0.008
- HARDNESS: 7.5 - 8
- CLEAVAGE: one direction, poor.
- CRYSTAL SYSTEM: hexagonal
- Pleochroic: weak
Emerald Crystal Rough
Like these Emeralds? - Would you like to own one?
Now is your chance!
Great books on Gems and Rock Hounding
Colored Gemstones--The Antoinette Matlins Buying Guide : How to Select, Buy, Care for & Enjoy Sapphires, Emeralds, Rubies and Other Colored Gems with Confidence and Knowledge All the Information You Need to Buy, Collect, Sell--or Simply Enjoy--Sapphires, Emeralds, Rubies and Other Colored Gemstones with Confidence and Knowledge With more varieties than ever before to choose from, including altogether new gems, revolutionary new cuts, and new ways to buy gems--such as internet auctions and TV shopping--there has never been a more exciting time to buy or collect colored gemstones. But there are also new high-tech treatments and sophisticated frauds to look out for. Lack of information, error, or misrepresentation can make the thrill of buying a gem or piece of jewelry confusing, intimidating, overwhelming, and costly. Buyers need a source of expert guidance. This practical, comprehensive, easy-to-understand guide provides all the information you need in order to know what to look for, and what to look out for, including: * What qualifies as a "gemstone"? * How to evaluate color--and its impact on price. * Deciding between a natural gem and an enhanced gem. * Colored gemstone synthesis and treatment. * What to ask when buying the stone. * What to get in writing. * How to get what you want within your budget. * Price guides for popular gems, opals, and synthetic stones. And much, much more! Written by an "insider," this easy-to-read guide is the "unofficial colored gemstone bible" for anyone who wants to get the most for their money and enjoy what they have purchased.
The rapid growth of gemological sciences and mineralogy requires a comprehensive dictionary for gemologists, mineralogists, geologists, jewel dealers, industry, and hobbyists. The second edition of this dictionary contains about 25,000 entriesÂ – about 9,000 more than the first edition. The comprehensive definitions are now completed by more than 1,500 charts, diagrams and figures. The author offers a one-stop reference to any matter dealing with gems and gemology.
Part of the Fred Ward Gem Book Series. This lavishly-illustrated book in the all-color seriess includes History & Lore, Hunt for Treasure, Romancing the Stone, Jewels and Artifacts, Created Emeralds, Fakes, and Imitations, and Buying and Caring. This book provides the ideal introduction to one of the world's most famous gems. Follow author Fred Ward around the world in search for the most important examples of this and historic gemstone.
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