Emerald, the first stones were mined in the deserts of Egypt near the Red Sea in what were known as Cleopatra's Mines. Egyptian Emerald mined today are small and dark stones. Sources for this gemstone are Colombia, Africa, and Brazil.
Emerald is a member of the Beryl mineral family, along with Aquamarine, Golden Beryl, Goshenite, Bixbite and Morganite. The name for Emerald is taken from the Greek smaragdos, meaning Green stone. Chromium, vanadium, and iron are the trace elements that give emerald it's color. The presence or absence of each and their relative amounts determines the hue, tone, and saturation of an emerald. Generally, the higher the chromium or vanadium content, the more intense the green color. As iron content decreases, so does emeralds degree of blue. When iron content is relatively high, emerald is a bluer green. When iron content is relatively low, emerald is a purer green. Emeralds can be very strong bluish green to green hues, although some emeralds may be very slightly yellowish green.
The most desirable emerald colors are bluish-Green to Green, with strong to vivid saturation and medium to dark tone. If the hue is too yellowish or too bluish, the stone is not emerald, but a different variety of beryl. As with other colored stones, a well-trained eye is normally required to recognize the sometimes-subtle variations that make significant differences in emerald value.
Inclusions are generally accepted in Emeralds since all but the rare few have visible inclusions of Mica, Pyrite or Calcite or the "garden" type inclusions. The most prized emeralds are highly transparent, with evenness of color, and with no eye-visible color zoning. Inclusions can be important in separating natural from synthetic emeralds as well as for identifying the country of origin. Emerald is heat sensitive, excessive heat could cause fracturing or complete breakage. Chemicals that could attack this gem are hydrofluoric acids, solvents may drive out the oil.
TREATMENTS - Virtually all Emerald on the market has some sort of surface-reaching fractures and openings. The visibility of the inclusions is reduced by filling them. Traditionally, oils (such as cedarwood oil) are used but in time they tend to dry out thus making the inclusion more readily visible again and the gem would require another oil bath. Today, natural resin or wax type materials are preferred over the traditional oils, since the resin or wax is a natural substance with more of an almost permanent treatment life. Emerald enhancement processes date back over 600 years, and oil, natural resin, or wax type treatments are accepted trade practices that do not adversely affect the performance and durability of the gemstone, so you can expect all Emeralds will have some type of enhancement. There's no need to worry when you see oil or natural resin type enhancements disclosed since it does not seriously affect it's value. It is to be noted, however, that a natural non-treated or untreated gem is more desirable to collectors, therefore these will carry a higher premium.
The following links are to reputable Gem Laboratories and Appraisers :
CARE - Emeralds must be treated with care to prevent chipping. Emerald jewelry should not be cleaned
in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner. We recommend Ionic Cleaners and/or warm, soapy water and a soft brush as the best way to clean Emerald jewelry.
We only feature and offer Natural Emeralds. The vibrant Green incomparable beauty is reason enough for owning this Gem.