Jewellers of Birmingham - Diamond Engagement Ring and Wedding Ring Specialists

Emerald - May birthstone

Mohs Hardness 7.5 to 8

Mined From  Afghanistan, Brazil, Colombia, Pakistan, Russia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Species  Beryl

Typical Cutting Style  Faceted or Cabochon

Colour  Medium light to dark green, slightly yellowish green and bluish green shades. The most desired colour is a deep green which is more valuable, even with natural inclusions compared to a pale clean quality. The distribution of colour within an emerald is often irregular, in spots or stripes.

Chemistry   Be3 Al2 SI6 O18, Aluminium beryllium silicate. The pigment is chrome or sometimes vanadium.

Treatment  Fracture filling is a very common with emeralds. The fracture is filled with colourless oils or resins, this will improve the colour and clarity of the emerald.

Inclusions Emeralds have many natural inclusions. Only the very finest qualities are transparent, as most emeralds are clouded by inclusions these can be liquid or gas bubbles, healing cracks and foreign crystals. These  inclusions are not necessary classed as faults, but are evidence as to the genuineness of the gem.

Cleaning & Care  Warm soapy water and a soft toothbrush will help maintain the sparkle of your emerald. Estimates state that approx 90 % or more of emeralds are fracture-filled. Since the great majority of fashioned natural emeralds contain filled fractures, it’s risky to clean them ultrasonically or with steam. Ultrasonic vibrations can weaken already-fractured stones. Heat can damage emeralds, especially by extending existing fractures. Light and chemicals can cause the oils, resins  used to fill surface-reaching fractures to alter in appearance or deteriorate. Visit us on a yearly basis for a FREE clean and polish service.

Storing Your Emerald  When you are not wearing your emerald jewellery place it in a cloth pouch or in a separate compartment to other gemstone jewellery (i.e, diamonds are a higher hardness level on the Mohs scale) they could cause scratches to other items of gemstone jewellery that have a lower hardness level.

Interesting Facts The first known emerald mines were in Egypt, dating from at least 330 BC into the 1700s. Cleopatra was known to have a passion for emerald and was used in most of her royal adornments. Emerald comes from the Ancient Greek word smaragdus meaning green.

Emerald is the most famous member of the beryl family. Legends gave it the power to make its wearer more intelligent and quick witted. It was also believed to cure diseases like cholera and malaria