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How to buy Gemstone: Emerald
Emerald cut stones Pears and Octagon
Evaluate and buy Emerald, Gemstones and Jewelry
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Know it before buying an emerald
Emerald is a precious Gemstone and one has to know about it before buying. Gemstones are mysterious and difficult to get knowledge of it. It takes a lot of time, experience and training to get skills to evaluate and identify emerald.
I am giving here some tips to know and understand emeralds. I am describing here from the perspectives of customers / buyers. A layman can understand these tips before buying an emerald. You need not be an expert of emerald to buy it. However, having a general knowledge about emeralds will help you while buying an emerald, a precious stone.
Emerald is a color stone also referred as a colored gemstone. It belongs to the beryl group of gemstones. Beryl is chemically beryllium aluminium cyclosilicate. It is found naturally in nature. Beryllium aluminium cyclosilicate, when added with coloring certain agent(s) becomes emerald. The coloring agent is also a metallic oxide found and added naturally in the mines during crystallization process of the precious stone.
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Physical properties, origins and astrological views of emerald:
Physical properties of emerald: Beryl is opaque, translucent and transparent. Beryl with coloring agent green with translucence or transparency is called emerald. The specific gravity of emerald is between 2.65 and 2.8 and its hardness in Moh’s scale is measured between seven and a half to eight. The refractive index of emerald varies between 1.56 and 1.59.
Origins: Columbia, Zambia, Brazil, Madagascar, Russia, Zimbabwe, Pakistan and India are major sources of emerald. However, Columbian emeralds are considered as the best. Zambian and Sandwana (Zimbabwe) mines are also producing very good emeralds. Origin or mine of emerald plays a major role in determining its valuation. It is, therefore, advised to know about origin before buying an emerald.
Emerald is a precious stone belonging to Navratna family according to Indian astrology. The green color of emerald resembles the mercury among planets. Hence, it is prescribed for the planet mercury. Emerald is the birthstone for month May according to western astrology and palmistry.
Emerald: Rough to ready
Four “C”s of emerald that determines value of the stone
Like any other gemstone, four “C”s play a major role in determining the value of an emerald. These four “C”s are Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat weight. It is better to know about four “C”s before buying an emerald.
Cut: There are various types of cuts in the emerald gemstone. These are faceted, cabochons, beads, drops, carvings etc. Cut stones are the costliest followed by cabochons and beads. Cut stones are faceted but cabochons are plain. Beads and drops are manufactured both in faceted and plain quality.
There are various shapes in both cut and cabochons such as Oval, Octagon, Square, Pear, Heart, Marquise, and Round.
There is a special cut for emerald. It is basically octagon but called emerald cut. This cut enhances the beauty of emerald.
Clarity: Clean emerald is rare of the rarest. Gemstone emerald often has many inclusions. Black and yellow spots, cracks, micaceous, hole inside, fissure, dichroism etc are main inclusions of emerald.
More inclusions mean lesser clarity (purity). Clean is rare and fetches the highest price. Emerald with better purity has more price and with lesser purity has a lower price.
Carat weight: Bigger the size more the price. It is true for good quality emeralds. Fine quality emeralds of bigger sizes are rare. Generally, fine quality Zambian or Sandwana emeralds above 10 carats are rare. Sizes between four to seven carats for a fine quality Zambian emerald is considered as very good.
Color shades: Color of emerald varies from light to deep green.Sometimes it has blue, yellow or black tints. Light color fetches lesser price than deeper color. However, over color emeralds fetch a lower price. Generally, bright green is the costliest. Bright green with golden tint is the royal color of emerald. Blue, yellow and black tints present in emerald lower the price of an emerald gemstone. The oily green color is not also considered good.
Colombian emerald has the most pleasant bright green color. Russian emerald is normally of light color and Zambian emerald has blue tints. Bright color and transparency of Colombian emerald fetch maximum price. Hence, you can stress on Colombian origin while buying an emerald.
However, the price of emeralds does not depend too much on mines like rubies. Mines other than Columbia also fetch a very good price. Fine quality Zambian or Sandwana emeralds are also very expensive.
Treatment of Colombian emerald
Treatments of Emeralds and from where to buy emeralds
Treatments: Natural emeralds are also treated to enhance its color, clarity, and transparency. Most popular treatment is oil treatment and vacuum treatment. Natural emeralds are costlier than treated emeralds. There are some other treatments such as pressure fillings. Most of the treatments enhance clarity of emeralds. Treatments of emeralds generally do not last long. There are some other types of treatments and I will discuss them elsewhere in future. Pouring Joban (A type of oil) is a traditional and most popular treatment in India for enhancing the beauty of gemstones being followed for centuries.
Buy from a trustworthy Jeweler: Evaluating and buying emeralds are tricky things . Even experts vary in their opinions. Evaluating emerald is a difficult thing. It is almost impossible for a layman or a buyer to evaluate it correctly. Hence, the best way is to go to a trustworthy jeweler and gemstone dealer.
You can also ask a certificate before buying an emerald. There are many certification agencies worldwide. Gublin (Switzerland) is the most renowned in certifying emeralds and other color stones followed by the Gemological institute of America. Gems and Jewelry Export Promotion Council of India also run their certification lab.There are some other certification agencies you can rely on.
Above mentioned are only some tips to evaluate and buy emerald gemstone. It will help you in identifying and evaluating emerald. However, it is advised to consult an approved valuer or trustworthy gemstones dealer or a jeweler before going to buy an emerald gemstone.
Emerald: Real and imitations
Origins and cutting centers of emerald
Jaipur is the main cutting and polishing center of emerald. Jaipur cuts highest quantity of emeralds in the world.
Sandwana mines in Zimbabwe is famous for fine quality emeralds. It has very good green color with golden tint.
Zambia produces colorful and good quality emeralds. Zambian emeralds have blue tint.
Sakota and other mines in Brazil produces large quantity of emeralds. Vivid green color of Brazilian emeralds is attractive.
Colombian mines are one of the best mines of emerald. Good quality, transparent, big size....
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