Emerald gemstoneHome ➤ Encyclopedia of gems ➤ Emerald gemstone
Physical properties of emerald
|Hardness:||7.5-8 out of 10 on the Mohs scale|
|Color:||green, yellowish green|
Characteristics of an emerald
Emerald (Ismagard, Smaragd, Green Beryl, Igmerald) is a gemstone that is now considered to be one of the best and most expensive precious stones (they are also called stones of the first order), such as the well-known rubies, diamonds and sapphires. Emerald is a variety of beryl (namely, bright green transparent beryl - this is an emerald).
The name "emerald" comes from the Latin word "esmaraldus", which means "green gem".
In ancient Greece, emeralds were called emeralds or smaragdos (although initially all green gems were generally referred to as emeralds). In some countries, the word "smaragd" is still more often used than "emerald", for example, in Germany. And the Indians of Colombia called the emerald "green ice".
Emerald is not in vain recognized as one of the best stones. High quality stones are even more expensive than diamonds of the same size.
However, there are some controversial issues regarding the emerald. So, for example, the green color of the emerald is most often due to chromium compounds. But Ural emeralds are colored green (more precisely, grassy green) due to iron ions, and Colombian emeralds (which are world famous) contain impurities of vanadium, which give these emeralds a dark green color. However, these scientific disputes are of more interest to gemologists and jewelers, and there is not much difference for buyers in what kind of impurities the emerald owes its color to.
Some emeralds, like the best diamonds, even got their own names. One of the most famous (although not the largest) is the "Emerald Kokovina" (now disappeared). The weight of an uncut stone was half a kilogram. The so-called imaginary "Emerald Kokovina" weighing 2 kilograms is also known (now in St. Petersburg), but this stone was of lower quality than the real Kokovin emerald. The “Emerald of Nero” is also known, and, according to legend, Nero admired the conflagration of Rome through his emerald. Another well-known stone was named the "Emerald Goddess" (the Indians of Peru worshiped him), which, according to legend, was broken by the Incas themselves so that the "Goddess" would not fall into the hands of the Spanish conquistadors.
The largest emerald was found in Brazil and its weight was 7.5 kilograms. The second largest crystal was found in Africa, and it weighed 4.8 kg.
However, be careful, there are a lot of synthetic emeralds on sale now, which even got their own name - "igmerald" (the name is derived from the words "smaragd" and "emerald"). Igmeralds still have differences from real emeralds, but this can only be determined with the help of an examination for authenticity.
By the way, there is a special step cut, called emerald cut, which is often used to cut emeralds. Although emeralds are cut in a different way, other gemstones can also be given an emerald cut.
How much is an emerald
Prices for natural emeralds are high and only rising as the number of emeralds mined decreases. Even stones with defects are valued at least $ 150 per 1 carat. Only artificial stones or emeralds of non-jewelry quality can be cheaper. But already the usual average quality emeralds no larger than 2-3 carats are valued at $ 350 per 1 carat. Large emeralds (more than 4-5 carats) of high quality can be valued at $ 800-1000 and more per 1 carat.
|★ Amethyst gemstone|
|See also:||★ Ruby gemstone|
|★ Demantoid gemstone|