Emeralds Have Been Highly Prized for Centuries
Deep Green Emeralds are Prized, But They Come in Other Colors
Emeralds and Diamonds are Stunning When Combined; The Diamonds Also Protect the Softer Emeralds
Emeralds are a highly prized precious stone which have been appreciated for centuries. They are not always green, although when the same stone comes in other colors they are called by different names.
The most common use for emeralds is in jewelry because they are typically too soft to be used for most industrial purposes.
Emeralds and diamonds are a lovely combination and they are often used together in fine jewelry. The deeper the color, the more valuable the emerald. Deep green emeralds are more noticeable when surrounded by contrasting white diamonds.
However, in addition to appearance, there is another reason why emeralds are often surrounded by diamonds in the setting.
Diamonds are one of the strongest, brightest gemstones available. By contrast, emeralds are much softer and can easily be scratched or chipped. I know, because I have an emerald ring which I chipped when I foolishly wore the ring while gardening. This is the major reason why they are often surrounded by diamonds or placed in gold, silver or platinum settings to protect them. When combined with other gemstones, the contrast can heighten the effect of both gems and protect the softer stone at the same time..
Emeralds rank about a 7.5 to 8 on the 10 point Mohs scale. Diamonds rank 10. Anyone who plans to design jewelry needs to be aware of this difference. While you may want to surround the emerald with diamonds, you do not want the stones to actually touch each other, because the stronger diamonds could also damage the emeralds.
These Emeralds are Set in Sterling Silver and Surrounded by Diamonds to Protect Them
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More About Beautiful Emeralds
Emeralds are graded, like other gemstones, based on their color, cut, clarity and crystal, which simply means their transparency. While emerald gemstones can range in color from yellow to blue, only the ones that are medium to dark green are considered true emeralds.
Most emeralds are treated with an oil, such as cedar oil, to improve their clarity. This is an accepted practice in preparing emeralds for sale and it is very important that people who wear emerald jewelry are aware of this fact, so they do not unintentionally damage the stones.
Some other types of oils have been used with emeralds, but are not considered appropriate. Therefore, if you decide to purchase a very expensive emerald, you should have it examined by a gemological lab in order to be certain that it is worth the extra expense.
In addition, you should keep your emerald out of hot water or other sources of extreme heat, since the oil can be leached out, which will cause the stone to loose some of its luster.
The emeralds used in jewelry may be either natural or synthetic. About 50% of the world's natural emeralds come from Columbia, while Zambia produces about 20%. Emeralds are also mined in Brazil, Canada, China and other countries.
In addition to the natural, mined emeralds, modern technology has also made it possible to develop beautiful synthetic or created emeralds. They have the same chemical and gemological composition as natural emeralds and are just as lovely in jewelry. However, they tend to be less expensive and can be an attractive and more affordable alternative to mined gemstones.
Emeralds Have Become Popular in Engagement Rings
Many young women are opting for color stones combined with diamonds when they select an engagement ring or rings for other occasions. Since this is a piece of jewelry that the woman is likely to wear every day for the rest of her life, a wise groom will get his fiance's input in selecting the perfect engagement ring.
In addition, while a bride may be attracted to the appearance of a color stone of any kind, including an emerald, she should be aware of the specific features of the gemstone she selects and knows how to care for it appropriately. For example, wearing an emerald engagement ring on a daily basis while showering and washing dishes could do damage to the oil in it.