What You Need to Know About Emeralds
Emeralds are a member of the beryl family. The green color an emerald has comes from the chromium in them. Emerald is considered one of the precious stones. The stone should be cut and mounted well to retain its strength. Also, to enhance its clarity and improve its quality, an emerald should be treated with oils.
What Does Oiled Emerald Mean?
Oiling of emeralds is very common due to the mining process used. Modern mining methods make the stone have fractures. The oil is meant to make the fracture disappear while enhancing the appearance of the stone.
The oil can be seen with good magnification. It is recommended that an oiled emerald should not be washed with vinegar or windex as it will dissolve the oil on the gem.
History of Emeralds
The oldest emerald dates back almost three billion years ago in Egypt. The stone was believed to stand for fertility and rebirth. Also, mummies used to be buried with them to symbolize eternal youth.
Emeralds were first discovered in South America by the Spanish. The Incas used the stone before the Spanish discovery. In North America, the emerald stone was discovered in the Yukon Territory though not in large quantities.
Fun Facts Concerning Emeralds
Several facts make emeralds stand out. Below are some fun facts about this gem:
- They get their green color from chromium and vanadium. Other stones can be found in many colors, but emerald is always green.
- Emeralds are rare, and they tend to be more expensive than diamonds. According to statistics, emeralds are 20 times rarer when compared to diamonds.
- Almost all emeralds have inclusions. Clarity is vital in determining the stone’s value, unlike emeralds. Statistics show that 99% of emeralds in their natural states have inclusions. Some of the inclusions include gasses, other minerals, crystals, and liquid emeralds taken during their crystallization process.
- Emeralds are known to be the softest gem to be known by human beings. The reason why they are soft is due to the inclusions. The softness makes them prone to cracking when hitting a hard surface.
- Emeralds are thought to have unique qualities. In ancient times, people believed they could see the future by placing an emerald under their tongues.
What Are the Benefits of Oiled Emeralds?
Over 99% of emeralds have surfaces treated with oil, wax, resin, or something else. High viscosity oil like cedar oil can be used during oiling. As discussed above, the main reason emeralds are oiled is to improve their physical appearance and hide the fractures experienced during the mining process.
What Makes Emerald Special?
Two main factors make emeralds unique. They include:
- Their green color
The green color is an emerald’s signature, making the stone stand out. The stone should not be too dark because it will not shine when worn. It also does not need to be too light because it will lose its identity as an emerald.
- They are rare and expensive than other gemstones
For an emerald to form, many things have to fall in place. Such things include geology, where beryllium and chromium must come together under high temperature and pressure. The stone must undergo a slow cooling process that creates a large crystal. Colombia is one place known to have the perfect geology.
Even though the oiling of emeralds is typical, you need to get all details from where you are buying. If the oiled emerald fades, your stone will lose that sparkling look, which is not good. Also, you should never clean emeralds using chemicals.