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What Is an Emerald? | Bixler’s Ultimate Guide

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what is emerald-BIXLER

Emeralds are one of the world’s most well known green gemstones that provides a beautiful appearance. It gets its name from a variety of cultures. For starters, it is derived from the Vulgar Latin word Esmeralda or Esmeraldas to mean a green gem. This gemstone is a specimen of the beryl mineral family that features a rich and noticeably green color. It forms in igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks that are found in small regions around the world.

These stones have been around for the last 5000 years and is considered the most desirable colored stones. It was discovered in Africa, South America, and Asia and since then, the stone is held in the highest esteem. Today, it serves as the birthstone for May and is a highly sought after gemstone just like the diamond.

What Color Is an Emerald?

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Emeralds are widely known to be a green-colored gemstone and it also gets its name from being green. For a specimen to fully hold the name emerald, it should possess a conspicuous green color that ranges from blue-green to green with a slight yellow-green color. The colors an emerald possesses should be rich and deep. Stones that have a weaker saturation or slightly green are excluded from being an emerald and are just referred to as green beryl. The color of an emerald is the main source of confusion among many since most gems appear almost in that similar color.

Emerald is part of the beryl family and gets most of its properties from there. Pure beryl features a colorless appearance and when it interacts with chromium or vanadium, the mineral generates the green color. If there are some traces of iron in the mineral, the emerald will achieve a bluish-green or yellow-green color depending on the state of oxidation.

What Does it Look Like?

In their raw form, they have green color or appear in shades of blue-green or pale yellow-green. At first glance, the gemstone features either a transparent or translucent diaphaneity. When putting together, each of the raw emeralds presents four square corners that are uniform across all of them. However, they vary in height depending on how and where they form. Before any treatment is performed to an emerald, it appears to have an unpolished surface with extreme roughness and asymmetrical patterns on the sides. These irregularities are mainly seen on raw and real emeralds and when placed in water, they will emit light. Emeralds have a hardness range of 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale. However, the numerous filled fractures make them less durable compared to other colored gems.

What Is a Lab-Created Emerald?

Lab-created emeralds are those that are chemically induced by the human hand. They look and feel almost like the real emeralds given they have similar chemical composition. However, lab-grown emeralds have fewer inclusions, are lighter and the most inexpensive type. Unlike the real emeralds, lab-created stones are formed in the laboratories and require little time to fully develop. Natural ones, on the hand form in the earth’s crust and require millions of years to fully develop which makes them quite rare. The lab-created gems differ from the natural stones with fewer inclusions since they depend solely on a controlled process. There are fewer fractures in lab-grown emeralds and this makes them more durable than the natural occurring gems. Since the lab-created emeralds are massively available, they are sold at lower prices.

What Are Emeralds Worth?

Emeralds, like most gemstones, are valuable depending on the rarity of each of them. The size, color, cut, and clarity of emeralds are major factors that determine their worth. Color is the most important aspect in determining the worth of an emerald because in color, will you know if the gem is real or not. The slight bluish-green and medium dark green hues of emerald are more desirable and feature dense saturation. Emeralds hold the most inclusions compared to other gemstones and this helps in determining the real and natural emerald to the imitations. These inclusions give the gem a unique structural appearance making them more valuable.

What Is the Spiritual Meaning of Emerald?

Emerald is a precious gemstone with plenty of meanings and symbolism in different cultures. The stone aspires to inspire and lets your heart open to divine love and affection. This clears and strengthens and also sustains one’s way in the spiritual journey. The stone will encourage the wearer to live and act from the heart thus providing unconditional love and care in relationships every day. Since the stone opens up one’s heart, it allows free universal blessings to flow in their life. It enables one to achieve true spiritual abundance for a better life’s experiences. What’s more, it assures the wearer that the universe will never let them lack in reality.

What Are Emeralds Used For?

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The May birthstone is a beautiful gem that is unique and rare and extremely valuable. Emeralds are commonly used to make high-end jewelry that is appreciated by people from different walks of life. Low-quality emeralds can be used to make sculptures or cultured into beads, chips, rondelles or other stones. The emerald crystal also has other uses apart from the physical ones. Some cultures refer to it as a stone of successful love and will attract romantic relations. It is also used to improve one’s self-esteem and regain lost confidence among youngsters. It is also purported to improve perspicacity and enables the wearer to have accurate articulacy in speech.

Are They Rare?

Emeralds are among the rarest gemstones in the world that is why they cost more than diamonds. Being in the beryllium family, the gems are found all around the world. However, they take longer to form and are extremely hard to find and mine. The mining process for this stone is compared to none since it requires a lot of time and energy to get a small portion of this gem. Due to this unavailability, finding high-quality emeralds is rare and they don’t form in large pieces. This makes the emerald a rare gemstone.

Browse Emerald jewelry from America’s First and Oldest Jeweler

READ MORE: What Are the Birthstones for Each Month?

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