Do not let the heavy greenish hue misguide you – the emerald truly is a cousin of both aquamarine and morganite, despite their gentle, dreamy pastel color. Present for more millennia, it has belonged to many queens and princesses, but also people who have come across it in many witty ways.
Reminiscent of lush forests and the green bloom of spring, it is not strange that the emerald is the birthstone of May. The green tranquility and the sensitive peacefulness a person achieves just by glancing at it, explains why this gemstone is the zodiac stone of Cancer. But before the very meaning behind the emerald, once upon a time it was simply adores because of its plush beauty and grace. That was the case with Cleopatra, and who knows better than the person who religiously bathed in milk?
Besides its luxurious appearance, ancient Greeks have attributed the emerald with intense soothing properties. Yes, there are other gems like peridot and even tourmaline that possess a greenish hue, but there is nothing as opulently green as the emerald, being a true ode to the finest, nature’s green. In fact, Ireland, country synonymous with everything green is being dubbed as “Emerald Isle”.
The value of difference, the difference of value
Being the best-known member of the beryl family comes with a price. And by price, we mean literally price. Emerald is the most expensive beryl, due to certain reasons. As many gemstones out there, it has to adhere to certain expectations, with color and transparency being the most important factors when it comes to this gem. The deepest green emeralds are the one with the biggest value. Darker the color, higher the price. Speaking of color, it is evident that micro particles – inclusions make all the difference, in other words, all beryls would remain colorless if there were none inclusions. The magic ingredient for the rich toned emeralds is chromium, and sometimes vanadium. However, it comes with a catch, as the inclusions have to remain invisible to the eye, which is hard to achieve, as the body of the gem is filled with micro fissures, making it easy for inclusions to pass by. Therefore, the flawless emerald has the perfect deeper green color that is equally distributed, with no darker accumulations.
With greater demand come greater innovations, and that’s how lab created emeralds were born. With no obvious and concrete difference at first sight, they may seem completely the same. But, as more glances get aimed towards the lab emerald, everyone would notice that it does lack something which is present in the natural emerald. Although synthetic emeralds have little to no fissures and inclusions, they get too similar to each other when observed in a bulk. On the other hand, natural emeralds always end up unique, with the special trait being that micro inclusion in the upper part of the gem, or even a very specific green hue, which is almost never the case with a synthetic gem. And of course, the economic aspect tells us that greater supply lowers the price, which is applicable in out synthetic vs. natural emerald comparison.
The many admirers of emeralds
Being an established gemstone present throughout the history, many stories, conspiracies and tales have been told about the emerald. As famous and beautiful as it is, the emerald was the gem of choice for the engagement rings of many famous ladies. Jackie Kennedy wore her Van Cleef & Arpels emerald and diamond combination ring proudly to many events and she has even redesigned it several times, with the emerald always remaining present.
Care for Emerald jewelry
Having elaborated on why and how an emerald is precious, once you get your hands on the gem, it should definitely be cherished and thoughtfully cared for. Being slightly softer than sapphire and ruby (and of course, diamond) it demands slightly bit more care than the named gems. Specifically, it should avoid heavy heat and chemicals, due to the tiny ruptures present on its surface. When it comes to cleaning, heavy duty ultrasonic and steam cleaners better be avoided. Instead, opt for some basic lukewarm soapy water.