May birthdays fall right in the heart of spring, and the emerald is the perfect gem to symbolize and celebrate this month. Prized for its brilliant and beautiful green color, the emerald is often favored by the rich and famous to wear as statement pieces for big events.
But this beautiful gem is just at home in an unassuming pendant as it is in an ornate tiara.
HOW TO BUY EMERALD
Most geologists agree that it all comes down to color when purchasing an emerald. Color should be evenly distributed and not too dark. Rare Emeralds will appear as a deep green-blue, while lighter colored gems are more common (and therefore, often more reasonably priced).Like the diamond and other gemstones, emeralds can be judged according to the 4Cs: color, cut, clarity and karat weight. These gems are highly prized and intensely colored ones can be quite rare, so make sure that you visit a trusted AGS jeweler who can help you make an informed investment.
Like other beryls, emeralds often have inclusions that are visible without a microscope. Most gemologists readily accept this about these gemstones and don’t detract too much from the overall value of the stone when inclusions are present. Again, it’s all about the hue and saturation of the gem!
Unlike some gemstones, which can maintain a relatively standard price range no matter the size, you will see a wide price range between smaller emeralds and larger ones. Some of the most famous emeralds in private collections or museums today are literally hundreds of karats and are considered to be priceless. Angelina Jolie, Elizabeth Taylor, and the British monarchy all have worn famously large and beautiful emerald jewelry.The cut is very important on an emerald because it helps to maximize that desirable green color. Many emeralds are cut into an emerald shape, which helps to make a bright stone with sparkle while minimizing inclusions or fissures.
You may choose to opt for a smaller, more intensely colored stone over a larger, lighter one, though, of course, it all comes down to preference in the end.
Like aquamarine, emerald is a variety of beryl, a mineral that grows with six sides and up to a foot in length. Emerald color can range from light green (though there is some argument whether these very light beryls are truly emeralds) to a deep, rich green. Emeralds are also like aquamarine in that the way the color presents itself in jewelry depends on a good cut by a skilled gemologist.As the birthstone for May, the emerald, a symbol of rebirth, is believed to grant the owner foresight, good fortune, and youth. Emerald, derived from the word “smaragdus,” means, quite literally, “green” in Greek.
Most emeralds end up being heat treated to deepen or enhance the color. The deeper or more green an emerald, the more valuable it is. The rarest emeralds will appear to be an intense green-blue.
Emeralds are found all over the world, including Colombia, Brazil, Afghanistan, and Zambia. The availability of high-quality emerald is limited; consequently, treatments to improve clarity are performed regularly.