For a variety of reasons emeralds are one of my favourite precious stones. The colour can vary and the stone is often characterised by its inclusions and ‘imperfections’, but that beautiful green is often what draws people to emerald rings.
Emerald stones are a favourite among such A list actresses as Angelina Jolie and Halle Berry. Angelina has in fact created a range of jewellery using emeralds and tablet cut stones where all proceeds go to her charity, the Education Partnership for Children of Conflict.
So, knowing that we at Hot Pink can create any bespoke style, shape and design of ring or jewellery you want, let us actually look at the stone itself. If you are seeking an Emerald engagement ring, then there are a few things you might like to know about….If I get my geek out the way first, emeralds exhibit double refraction, meaning they refract light in two different patterns. This often causes the Emerald to exhibit two different distinct colour patterns, usually being a green primary body colour with a bluish green secondary colour, which adds to the visual beauty of the Emerald. This phenomenon, present in gemstones that have measurable birefringence (double refraction), is known as pleochroism. Pleochroism is the ability of a gemstone to present two (or more) distinctly different colours in visual observation.
Genuine Emeralds, colour and clarity
Emerald is the most valuable type of beryl. It is coloured by minute traces of chromium and vanadium. Emeralds are not like diamonds where there is a very set standard and system of grading. The main things to look out for when looking for a genuine emerald is the colour and the clarity (by clarity, I refer less to the imperfections and more to the general ‘cloudiness’ of the whole stone – how transparent and clear it is).
Emeralds and other coloured precious gemstones tend to go on a grading system, that you can see above and below.
Natural AAA gemstones are the top 10% of gemstones in terms of quality. They are rich green, moderately to slightly included and exhibits high brilliance. They are comparable to that used by the top 5th Avenue or Rodeo Drive Jewellers.
Natural AA gemstones are the top 20%-30% of gemstones in terms of quality. They are Medium green and moderately included. They are comparable to that used by leading independent/family jewellers.
Natural A gemstones are the top 50%-75% of gemstones in terms of quality. They are Dark green, opaque and heavily included. They are comparable to that used by mall jewelers or small family jewelry shops.
A good quality natural genuine emerald will set you back a bit – if you want a good colour and clarity. The other aspect that will determine price jumps is the actual shape/cut of the stone. Emeralds are notoriously tricky to cut due to the inclusions, which yes, can make a poor quality emerald a little susceptible to damage, but a good emerald less so. Emeralds are between 7-8 on the Mohs scale (diamonds are 10), so the fragility that we are aware of is from low quality and high inclusions. Also how an emerald is set, but these are fairly common sense aspects, such as protecting corners and things like that. Fissures and fractures that are characteristic of emerald are traditionally filled with oil to minimize their visual impact. Cleaning emerald with an ultrasonic cleaner can remove or damage the oil, thus making the fissures more visible, so don’t do this!
Emerald alternative rings
If a genuine or graded emerald is out of your jewellery or ring budget for a design or shape you have in mind, there is an alternative. We offer Chatham stones, which are very high quality ‘genuine’ gemstones grown in a lab, instead of the ground. Chemically speaking, they are the same, but you will find differences. For example, Chatham emeralds tend to be much clearer and have less inclusions than a genuine natural emerald, some people actually like this, so it’s down to budget and personal preferences. Here are some examples of Chatham emerald stones below. Watch out for stone dealers who may be selling “genuine” emeralds – Chatham and lab grown stones are ‘genuine’, they are not, however, mined from the ground – so if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Emeralds are a precious and valuable stone, so the price will reflect this. Below are some examples of Chatham emerald stones.
Emerald engagement ring meanings
There are some wonderful myths and legends surrounding emeralds. This precious stone has a long and rich history and some of the superstitions and beliefs about it are lovely and might make you feel invincible while wearing it!
The green colour of emerald is the sign of spring, and ancient Egyptians and other cultures believed that Emeralds stood for rebirth, love, eternal youth and fertility. It has been treasured for at least the past 4,000 years by different cultures all around the world.
Emeralds have often been used to provide protection on journeys. It is believed that one who is in possession of an Emerald will be provided with ‘divine’ protection, blessed with good fortune, posses mystical powers, have strengthened memory, intelligence, and the ability to predict the future! So, not too shabby eh?
Emeralds are also believed to hold healing powers, both emotional and physical.
Many believe that wearing an Emerald provides will power, mental clarity and easing of stressed states. Emerald is also associated with providing love and fidelity, inspiration, wisdom, harmony, growth, patience, peace and abundance.
Emeralds are the star sign birthstone and planetary stone for Taurus (April 20 / May 20), and the lucky charm for Gemini (May 21 / June 20). However, from the looks of it, having an emerald provides you with an abundance of super powers regardless! 🙂
– The Knot