Emerald

Emerald

Overview
Emerald is a variety of the mineral
Mineral
A mineral is a naturally occurring solid chemical substance formed through biogeochemical processes, having characteristic chemical composition, highly ordered atomic structure, and specific physical properties. By comparison, a rock is an aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids and does not...

 beryl
Beryl
The mineral beryl is a beryllium aluminium cyclosilicate with the chemical formula Be3Al26. The hexagonal crystals of beryl may be very small or range to several meters in size. Terminated crystals are relatively rare...

 (Be3Al2(SiO3)6) colored green
Green
Green is a color, the perception of which is evoked by light having a spectrum dominated by energy with a wavelength of roughly 520–570 nanometres. In the subtractive color system, it is not a primary color, but is created out of a mixture of yellow and blue, or yellow and cyan; it is considered...

 by trace amounts of chromium
Chromium
Chromium is a chemical element which has the symbol Cr and atomic number 24. It is the first element in Group 6. It is a steely-gray, lustrous, hard metal that takes a high polish and has a high melting point. It is also odorless, tasteless, and malleable...

 and sometimes vanadium
Vanadium
Vanadium is a chemical element with the symbol V and atomic number 23. It is a hard, silvery gray, ductile and malleable transition metal. The formation of an oxide layer stabilizes the metal against oxidation. The element is found only in chemically combined form in nature...

. Beryl has a hardness of 7.5–8 on the 10 point Mohs scale of mineral hardness
Mohs scale of mineral hardness
The Mohs scale of mineral hardness characterizes the scratch resistance of various minerals through the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer material. It was created in 1812 by the German geologist and mineralogist Friedrich Mohs and is one of several definitions of hardness in...

. Most emeralds are highly included
Inclusion (mineral)
In mineralogy, an inclusion is any material that is trapped inside a mineral during its formation.In gemology, an inclusion is a characteristic enclosed within a gemstone, or reaching its surface from the interior....

, so their toughness (resistance to breakage) is classified as generally poor.

The word "Emerald" is derived (via Old French
Old French
Old French was the Romance dialect continuum spoken in territories that span roughly the northern half of modern France and parts of modern Belgium and Switzerland from the 9th century to the 14th century...

: Esmeraude and Middle English
Middle English
Middle English is the stage in the history of the English language during the High and Late Middle Ages, or roughly during the four centuries between the late 11th and the late 15th century....

: Emeraude), from Vulgar Latin
Vulgar Latin
Vulgar Latin is any of the nonstandard forms of Latin from which the Romance languages developed. Because of its nonstandard nature, it had no official orthography. All written works used Classical Latin, with very few exceptions...

: Esmaralda/Esmaraldus, a variant of Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 Smaragdus, which originated in Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

: σμάραγδος (smaragdos; "green gem"); its original source being either the Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

 word אזמרגד izmargad meaning "emerald" or "green" or the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 word मरकत marakata meaning "emerald." The name could also be related to the Semitic word baraq (בָּרָק ;البُراق; "lightning" or "shine") (cf.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Emerald'
Start a new discussion about 'Emerald'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Recent Discussions
Encyclopedia
Emerald is a variety of the mineral
Mineral
A mineral is a naturally occurring solid chemical substance formed through biogeochemical processes, having characteristic chemical composition, highly ordered atomic structure, and specific physical properties. By comparison, a rock is an aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids and does not...

 beryl
Beryl
The mineral beryl is a beryllium aluminium cyclosilicate with the chemical formula Be3Al26. The hexagonal crystals of beryl may be very small or range to several meters in size. Terminated crystals are relatively rare...

 (Be3Al2(SiO3)6) colored green
Green
Green is a color, the perception of which is evoked by light having a spectrum dominated by energy with a wavelength of roughly 520–570 nanometres. In the subtractive color system, it is not a primary color, but is created out of a mixture of yellow and blue, or yellow and cyan; it is considered...

 by trace amounts of chromium
Chromium
Chromium is a chemical element which has the symbol Cr and atomic number 24. It is the first element in Group 6. It is a steely-gray, lustrous, hard metal that takes a high polish and has a high melting point. It is also odorless, tasteless, and malleable...

 and sometimes vanadium
Vanadium
Vanadium is a chemical element with the symbol V and atomic number 23. It is a hard, silvery gray, ductile and malleable transition metal. The formation of an oxide layer stabilizes the metal against oxidation. The element is found only in chemically combined form in nature...

. Beryl has a hardness of 7.5–8 on the 10 point Mohs scale of mineral hardness
Mohs scale of mineral hardness
The Mohs scale of mineral hardness characterizes the scratch resistance of various minerals through the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer material. It was created in 1812 by the German geologist and mineralogist Friedrich Mohs and is one of several definitions of hardness in...

. Most emeralds are highly included
Inclusion (mineral)
In mineralogy, an inclusion is any material that is trapped inside a mineral during its formation.In gemology, an inclusion is a characteristic enclosed within a gemstone, or reaching its surface from the interior....

, so their toughness (resistance to breakage) is classified as generally poor.

Etymology


The word "Emerald" is derived (via Old French
Old French
Old French was the Romance dialect continuum spoken in territories that span roughly the northern half of modern France and parts of modern Belgium and Switzerland from the 9th century to the 14th century...

: Esmeraude and Middle English
Middle English
Middle English is the stage in the history of the English language during the High and Late Middle Ages, or roughly during the four centuries between the late 11th and the late 15th century....

: Emeraude), from Vulgar Latin
Vulgar Latin
Vulgar Latin is any of the nonstandard forms of Latin from which the Romance languages developed. Because of its nonstandard nature, it had no official orthography. All written works used Classical Latin, with very few exceptions...

: Esmaralda/Esmaraldus, a variant of Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 Smaragdus, which originated in Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

: σμάραγδος (smaragdos; "green gem"); its original source being either the Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

 word אזמרגד izmargad meaning "emerald" or "green" or the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 word मरकत marakata meaning "emerald." The name could also be related to the Semitic word baraq (בָּרָק ;البُراق; "lightning" or "shine") (cf. Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

: ברקת bareqeth and Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

: برق barq "lightning"). It is the same source for the names Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 (زمرّد zomorrod), Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

 (zümrüt), Sanskrit (मरकत ; marakata), Kannada
Kannada language
Kannada or , is a language spoken in India predominantly in the state of Karnataka. Kannada, whose native speakers are called Kannadigas and number roughly 50 million, is one of the 30 most spoken languages in the world...

 (ಪಚ್ಚೆ ; Pacche), Telugu
Telugu language
Telugu is a Central Dravidian language primarily spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, where it is an official language. It is also spoken in the neighbouring states of Chattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa and Tamil Nadu...

 (Paccha), Georgian
Georgian language
Georgian is the native language of the Georgians and the official language of Georgia, a country in the Caucasus.Georgian is the primary language of about 4 million people in Georgia itself, and of another 500,000 abroad...

 (ზურმუხტი; zurmukhti), Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

 (изумруд; izumrud) and Armenian
Armenian language
The Armenian language is an Indo-European language spoken by the Armenian people. It is the official language of the Republic of Armenia as well as in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The language is also widely spoken by Armenian communities in the Armenian diaspora...

 zmruxt.

Properties determining value


Emeralds, like all colored gemstone
Gemstone
A gemstone or gem is a piece of mineral, which, in cut and polished form, is used to make jewelry or other adornments...

s, are graded using four basic parameters – the four Cs of Connoisseurship: Color, Cut, Clarity and Crystal. The last C, crystal is simply used as a synonym that begins with C for transparency or what gemologists
Gemology
Gemology or gemmology is the science dealing with natural and artificial gems and gemstones. It is considered a geoscience and a branch of mineralogy...

 call diaphaneity. Before the 20th century, jewelers used the term water as in "a gem of the finest water" to express the combination of two qualities, color and crystal. Normally, in the grading of colored gemstones, color is by far the most important criterion. However, in the grading of emerald, crystal is considered a close second. Both are necessary conditions. A fine emerald must possess not only a pure verdant green hue
Hue
Hue is one of the main properties of a color, defined technically , as "the degree to which a stimulus can be describedas similar to or different from stimuli that are described as red, green, blue, and yellow,"...

 as described below, but also a high degree of transparency
Transparency and translucency
In the field of optics, transparency is the physical property of allowing light to pass through a material; translucency only allows light to pass through diffusely. The opposite property is opacity...

 to be considered a top gem.

In the 1960s the American jewelry industry changed the definition of 'emerald' to include the green vanadium-bearing beryl as emerald. As a result, vanadium emeralds purchased as emeralds in the United States are not recognized as such in the UK and Europe. In America, the distinction between traditional emeralds and the new vanadium kind is often reflected in the use of terms such as 'Colombian Emerald.'

Color


Scientifically speaking, color is divided into three components: hue
Hue
Hue is one of the main properties of a color, defined technically , as "the degree to which a stimulus can be describedas similar to or different from stimuli that are described as red, green, blue, and yellow,"...

, saturation
Saturation (color theory)
In colorimetry and color theory, colorfulness, chroma, and saturation are related but distinct concepts referring to the perceived intensity of a specific color. Colorfulness is the degree of difference between a color and gray. Chroma is the colorfulness relative to the brightness of another color...

and tone
Lightness (color)
Lightness is a property of a color, or a dimension of a color space, that is defined in a way to reflect the subjective brightness perception of a color for humans along a lightness–darkness axis. A color's lightness also corresponds to its amplitude.Various color models have an explicit term for...

. Yellow, blue and red the hues found adjacent to green on the spectral color wheel, are the normal secondary hues found in emerald. Emeralds occur in hues ranging from yellow-green to blue-green. The primary hue must, of course, be green. Only gems that are medium to dark in tone are considered emerald. Light-toned gems are known by the species name, green beryl. In addition, the hue must be bright (vivid). Gray is the normal saturation modifier or mask found in emerald. A grayish green hue is a dull green.

Clarity


Emerald tends to have numerous inclusions and surface breaking fissures. Unlike diamond, where the loupe
Loupe
A loupe is a simple, small magnification device used to see small details more closely. Unlike a magnifying glass, a loupe does not have an attached handle, and its focusing lens are contained in an opaque cylinder or cone. Loupes are also called hand lenses .- Optics :Three basic types of loupes...

 standard, i.e. 10X magnification, is used to grade clarity, emerald is graded by eye. Thus, if an emerald has no visible inclusions
Inclusion (mineral)
In mineralogy, an inclusion is any material that is trapped inside a mineral during its formation.In gemology, an inclusion is a characteristic enclosed within a gemstone, or reaching its surface from the interior....

 to the eye (assuming normal visual acuity) it is considered flawless. Stones that lack surface breaking fissures are extremely rare and therefore almost all emeralds are treated, "oiled", to enhance the apparent clarity. Eye-clean stones of a vivid primary green hue (as described above) with no more than 15% of any secondary hue or combination (either blue or yellow) of a medium-dark tone command the highest prices. This relative crystal non-uniformity makes emeralds more likely than other gemstones to be cut into cabochon
Cabochon
A cabochon , from the Middle French caboche , is a gemstone which has been shaped and polished as opposed to faceted. The resulting form is usually a convex top with a flat bottom. Cutting en cabochon is usually applied to opaque gems, while faceting is usually applied to transparent stones...

s, rather than faceted shapes.

Treatments


Most emeralds are oiled as part of the post lapidary
Lapidary
A lapidary is an artist or artisan who forms stone, mineral, gemstones, and other suitably durable materials into decorative items such as engraved gems, including cameos, or cabochons, and faceted designs...

 process, in order to improve their clarity. Cedar oil
Cedar oil
Cedar oil, also known as cedarwood oil, is an essential oil derived from the foliage, and sometimes the wood and roots, of various types of conifers, most in the pine or cypress botanical families...

, having a similar refractive index
Refractive index
In optics the refractive index or index of refraction of a substance or medium is a measure of the speed of light in that medium. It is expressed as a ratio of the speed of light in vacuum relative to that in the considered medium....

, is often used in this generally accepted practice. Other liquids, including synthetic oils and polymers with refractive indexes close to that of emerald such as Opticon are also used. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission
Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1914 by the Federal Trade Commission Act...

 requires the disclosure of this treatment when a treated emerald is sold. The use of oil is traditional and largely accepted by the gem trade. Other treatments, for example the use of green-tinted oil, are not acceptable in the trade. The laboratory community has recently standardized the language for grading the clarity of emeralds. Gems are graded on a four step scale; none, minor, moderate and highly enhanced. Note that these categories reflect levels of enhancement not clarity. A gem graded none on the enhancement scale may still exhibit visible inclusions. Laboratories tend to apply these criteria differently. Some gem labs consider the mere presence of oil or polymers to constitute enhancement. Others may ignore traces of oil if the presence of the material does not materially improve the look of the gemstone.

Given that the vast majority of all emeralds are treated as described above, and the fact that two stones that appear to be similar in quality may actually be quite far apart in treatment level, a consumer considering a purchase of an expensive emerald is well advised to insist upon a treatment report from a reputable gemological laboratory. All other factors being equal, a high quality emerald with an enhancement level graded moderate should cost 40–50% less than an identical stone graded none.

Emerald localities



Emeralds in antiquity were mined by the Egyptians
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

 and in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

.

A rare type of emerald known as a trapiche emerald is occasionally found in the mines of Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

. A trapiche emerald exhibits a "star" pattern; it has raylike spokes of dark carbon impurities that give the emerald a six-pointed radial pattern
Asterism (gemmology)
Asteria, or star stone is a name applied to ornamental stones that exhibit a luminous star when cut en cabochon. The typical asteria is the star-sapphire, generally a bluish-grey corundum, milky or opalescent, with a star of six rays...

. Emeralds come from three main emerald mining areas in Colombia: Muzo
Muzo
Muzo is a town and municipality in Boyacá Department, Colombia, part of the subregion of the Western Boyacá Province. It is widely known for the nearby emerald mines containing arguably the world's highest quality gems of this type. The Muzo mines are situated in the western foothills of the...

, Coscuez, and Chivor
Chivor
Chivor is a town and municipality in the Colombian Department of Boyacá, part of the subregion of the Eastern Boyacá Province.Currently has 2126 inhabitants and has a temperature of 18°C....

. Emeralds are also found in other countries, such as Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, Austria, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

, Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

, Madagascar
Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

, Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

, Namibia
Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

, Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

, Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

 and Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

. In the US, emeralds have been found in Connecticut
Connecticut
Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

, Montana
Montana
Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

, Nevada
Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

, North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

 and South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

. In 1998 emeralds were discovered in the Yukon
Yukon
Yukon is the westernmost and smallest of Canada's three federal territories. It was named after the Yukon River. The word Yukon means "Great River" in Gwich’in....

.

Synthetic emerald


Emerald is a rare and valuable gemstone and, as such, it has provided the incentive
Incentive
In economics and sociology, an incentive is any factor that enables or motivates a particular course of action, or counts as a reason for preferring one choice to the alternatives. It is an expectation that encourages people to behave in a certain way...

 for developing synthetic emeralds. Both hydrothermal and flux-growth synthetics have been produced, and a method has been developed for producing an emerald overgrowth on colorless beryl. The first commercially successful emerald synthesis process was that of Carroll Chatham. Because Chatham's emeralds do not have any water and contain traces of vanadate, molybdenum and vanadium, a lithium vanadate flux process is probably involved. The other large producer of flux emeralds was Pierre Gilson Sr., which has been on the market since 1964. Gilson's emeralds are usually grown on natural colorless beryl seeds which become coated on both sides. Growth occurs at the rate of 1 mm per month, a typical seven-month growth run producing emerald crystals of 7 mm of thickness. Gilson sold his production laboratory to a Japanese firm in the 1980s, but production has ceased since; so did Chatham's, after the San Francisco earthquake in 1989.

Hydrothermal
Hydrothermal synthesis
Hydrothermal synthesis includes the various techniques of crystallizing substances from high-temperature aqueous solutions at high vapor pressures; also termed "hydrothermal method". The term "hydrothermal" is of geologic origin. Geochemists and mineralogists have studied hydrothermal phase...

 synthetic emeralds have been attributed to IG Farben
IG Farben
I.G. Farbenindustrie AG was a German chemical industry conglomerate. Its name is taken from Interessen-Gemeinschaft Farbenindustrie AG . The company was formed in 1925 from a number of major companies that had been working together closely since World War I...

, Nacken, Tairus
Tairus
Tairus and Русский ) is a synthetic gemstone manufacturer. The company is a joint venture between the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences located in Akademgorodok and Tairus Co., Ltd. of Bangkok, Thailand...

, and others, but the first satisfactory commercial product was that of Johann Lechleitner of Innsbruck
Innsbruck
- Main sights :- Buildings :*Golden Roof*Kaiserliche Hofburg *Hofkirche with the cenotaph of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor*Altes Landhaus...

, Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, which appeared on the market in the 1960s. These stones were initially sold under the names "Emerita" and "Symeralds", and they were grown as a thin layer of emerald on top of natural colorless beryl stones. Although not much is known about the original process, it is assumed that Leichleitner emeralds were grown in acid conditions. Later, from 1965 to 1970, the Linde
The Linde Group
The Linde Group, registered as Linde AG is an international industrial gases and engineering company founded in Germany in 1879. Linde shares are traded on all the German stock exchanges and also in Zürich, and the Linde share price is included in the DAX 30 index...

 Division of Union Carbide
Union Carbide
Union Carbide Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company. It currently employs more than 2,400 people. Union Carbide primarily produces chemicals and polymers that undergo one or more further conversions by customers before reaching consumers. Some are high-volume...

 produced completely synthetic emeralds by hydrothermal synthesis. According to their patents, acidic conditions are essential to prevent the chromium (which is used as the colorant) from precipitating. Also, it is important that the silicon-containing nutrient be kept away from the other ingredients to prevent nucleation and confine growth to the seed crystals. Growth occurs by a diffusion-reaction process, assisted by convection. The largest producer of hydrothermal emeralds today is Tairus in Russia. They have succeeded to synthesize emeralds that have similar chemical composition as emeralds in alkaline deposits in Colombia, hence they are called “Colombian Created Emeralds” or “Tairus Created Emeralds”. Luminescence in ultraviolet light is considered a supplementary test when making a natural vs. synthetic determination, as many, but not all, natural emeralds are inert to ultraviolet light. Many synthetics are also UV inert.

Synthetic emeralds are often referred to as "created", as their chemical and gemological composition is the same as their natural counterparts. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission
Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1914 by the Federal Trade Commission Act...

 (FTC) has very strict regulations as to what can and what cannot be called "synthetic" stone. The FTC says: "§ 23.23(c) It is unfair or deceptive to use the word "laboratory-grown," "laboratory-created," "[manufacturer name]-created," or "synthetic" with the name of any natural stone to describe any industry product unless such industry product has essentially the same optical, physical, and chemical properties as the stone named."

Emerald in different cultures, and emerald lore


Emerald is regarded as the traditional birthstone for May, as well as the traditional gemstone for the astrological sign
Astrological sign
Astrological signs represent twelve equal segments or divisions of the zodiac. According to astrology, celestial phenomena reflect or govern human activity on the principle of "as above, so below", so that the twelve signs are held to represent twelve basic personality types or characteristic modes...

s of Taurus
Taurus (astrology)
Taurus is the second astrological sign in the Zodiac, which spans the zodiac between the 30th and 59th degree of celestial longitude. Generally, the Sun transits this area of the zodiac between April 21 to May 21 each year...

, Cancer
Cancer (astrology)
Cancer is the fourth astrological sign in the Zodiac. It is considered a water sign and one of four cardinal signs. Cancer is ruled by the Moon. Individuals born when the Sun is in this sign are considered Cancerian individuals...

 and sometimes Gemini
Gemini (astrology)
Gemini is the third astrological sign in the Zodiac, which spans the Zodiac between the 60th and 89th degree of celestial longitude. Generally, the Sun transits this area of the zodiac between May 21 to June 20 each year...

. One of the quainter anecdotes on emeralds was by the 16th-century historian Brantôme
Pierre de Bourdeille, seigneur de Brantôme
Pierre de Bourdeille, seigneur de Brantôme was a French historian, soldier and biographer.-Life:Brantôme was born in Périgord, Aquitaine, the third son of the baron de Bourdeille...

, who referred to the many impressive emeralds the Spanish under Cortez
Cortez
-People:* Antawn Cortez Jamison , Professional NBA power forward* Dave "Baby" Cortez , American pop music and R&B musician* Gregorio Cortez , Mexican folk hero* Hernán Cortés , Spanish conquistador...

 had brought back to Europe from Latin America. On one of Cortez's most notable emeralds he had the text engraved Inter Natos Mulierum non sur-rexit mayor ("Among those born of woman there hath not arisen a greater," Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. It tells of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth...

 11:11) which referred to John the Baptist
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

. Brantôme considered engraving such a beautiful and simple product of nature sacrilegious and considered this act the cause for Cortez's loss of an extremely precious pearl (to which he dedicated a work, A beautiful and incomparable pearl), and even for the death of King Charles IX of France
Charles IX of France
Charles IX was King of France, ruling from 1560 until his death. His reign was dominated by the Wars of Religion. He is best known as king at the time of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre.-Childhood:...

, who died soon after.
"The Attenbury Emeralds
The Attenbury Emeralds
The Attenbury Emeralds is the third Lord Peter Wimsey detective novel to be written by Jill Paton Walsh. It was published by Hodder & Stoughton in September 2010.Closely following Lord Peter creator Dorothy L...

" is a detective story in which Lord Peter Wimsey
Lord Peter Wimsey
Lord Peter Death Bredon Wimsey is a bon vivant amateur sleuth in a series of detective novels and short stories by Dorothy L. Sayers, in which he solves mysteries; usually, but not always, murders...

 must solve several emerald-related mysteries.
In The Wizard of Oz, the Wizard lives in a city made entirely of emerald, known as the Emerald City.

Notable emeralds

Emerald Origin
Chalk Emerald
Chalk Emerald
The Chalk Emerald is a Colombian emerald.The royal rulers of Baroda State, a princely state in India, once owned the emerald. It was the centerpiece of an emerald and diamond necklace worn by the Maharani Saheba, who passed it down to her son, the Maharajah Cooch Behar.In the 20th century, the...

Colombia
Duke of Devonshire Emerald
Duke of Devonshire Emerald
The Duke of Devonshire Emerald is one of the world's largest and most famous uncut emeralds, weighing 1,383.93 carats. Originating in the mine at Muzo, Colombia, it was either given or sold by Emperor Pedro I of Brazil to William Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire in 1831. It was displayed at the...

Gachala Emerald
Gachala Emerald
The Gachala Emerald is an uncut 5-cm emerald crystal weighing 858 carats . The stone was found in 1967 at Vega de San Juan mine in Colombia and is named after the mining district where it was discovered. Now in the United States, it was donated to the Smithsonian Institution by the New York...

Mogul Mughal Emerald
Mogul Mughal Emerald
The Mogul Mughal Emerald is one of the largest emeralds known. Auction house Christie's described it as:The rectangular-cut emerald known as 'The Mogul Mughal' weighing 217.80 carats, the obverse engraved with Shi'a invocations in elegant naskh script, dated 1107 A.H., the reverse carved all over...

Bahia Emerald
Bahia Emerald
The Bahia Emerald is one of the largest emeralds and contains the largest single shard ever found. The approximately Brazilian stone narrowly escaped flooding during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 during a period of storage in a warehouse in New Orleans...

Brazil

Further reading

  • Cooper, J.C. (Ed.) (1992). Brewer's Myth and Legend. New York: Cassell Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-304-34084-7.
  • Sinkankas, John (1994). Emerald & Other Beryls. Geoscience Press. ISBN 0-8019-7114-4
  • Hurlbut, Cornelius S.; Klein, Cornelis (1985). Manual of Mineralogy (20th ed.). New York: John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 0-471-80580-7
  • Weinstein, Michael (1958). The World of Jewel Stones. Sheriden House.
  • Ali, Saleem H. (2006). The Emerald City: Emerald mining in Brazil (+Gemstone mining in other countries) http://www.uvm.edu/envnr/gemecology/brazil.html
  • Ball, V., & Crooke, W., Travels In India by Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, Oriental Reprint Corporation, New Delhi, India. Online version Tavernier's travels in India

External links