Emeralds are one of the most popular and valued gemstones in the world. They have been around for thousands of years, were well known and written about as far back as 6,000 years ago. The Emerald is a very attractive stone that was extremely popular in Ancient times and during the Middle Ages and Renaissance period in Europe. It’s most known attribute is its deep and intense green hue, sometimes referred to as “green fire”.
Emeralds are made from the mineral beryl. Beryl is actually a common mineral that is found in many regions all around the world. Beryl includes trace elements of beryllium and is known for its many precious gemstones such as Heliodor, Morganite and Bixbite. Emeralds not only are composed of beryl, but also contain two trace elements, they are vanadium and chromium. Depending on the amount of these elements, the Emerald can appear light green to a very deep, dark green.
Most Emeralds that are used for ornamental jewelry are rather small in size and usually weight less than a carat. The reason for their size is due to the fact that many larger Emerald stones contain inclusions that are noticeable to the naked eye. They are called jardins or gardens.
Emeralds for commercial use are usually treated with oil and the most valuable Emeralds are usually translucent to transparent. . However, most Emeralds are opaque or translucent. Emeralds have their own cut and can be cleaved according to their crystal structure. While they can be made into many shapes, one of the cuts that are popular is the Emerald cut.