Posted on July 31, 2014 by

What You Don’t Know About Emeralds Will Amaze You

Natural Emerald and Diamond Ring in 18K Two Tone Gold

Incredible Facts About Emeralds

Emeralds Are A Part of The Beryl Family 

Beryl is a mineral species that includes jewels like Aquamarine and Morganite with a 7.5-8 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness.  Emerald is a green (and sometimes greenish blue) variety that gets its color from the presence of chromium.  There is some discussion among gem experts about what makes a stone an emerald versus a green beryl.  In general, green beryl is categorized by green color that is too light to be considered emerald quality.  However, there is even more debate over what is considered “too light.”  Thankfully, the GIA uses various comparison stones to determine the color and saturation of a gem to separate emeralds from the others.


Untreated Emeralds Are EXTREMELY Rare

Inclusions in natural emeralds are tolerated in the world of gems and jewelry because it is nearly impossible to find one without.  According to the GIA, “Some estimates state that 90 percent or more of emeralds are fracture-filled.”  The unique formation of cracks, bubbles and other inclusions give each emerald a one-of-a-kind appearance that is generally embraced by trade members and shoppers alike.  Emeralds can be soaked in oil or filled with resin to enhance their clarity, but these techniques are widely accepted in the industry.  As a consumer, just make sure you see a report that discloses the type of treatment.  If you are concerned about the quality of an emerald while you are shopping, ask to see the GIA report. It will tell you if the stone has minor, moderate or significant enhancement.



The Largest Emerald Has No Name

According to Guinness World Records, the largest emerald specimen is this “Emerald on Matrix.”


emerald on matrix


There are many other famous emeralds worth mentioning for their size as well.  The Devonshire Emerald is an uncut gem weighing 1,383.93 carats (woah!) from Colombia.  It is now on display at the Natural History Museum of London.  The Hooker Emerald is a rare, high-clarity jewel weighing 75.47 carats, set in a diamond encrusted brooch designed by Tiffany & Co.


The Devonshire Emerald

The Devonshire Emerald


The Hooker Emerald

The Hooker Emerald


To learn more about emeralds, read our expert guide to natural emerald and sign up for our newsletter so you can be one of the first to hear about our new articles, infographics and interviews!

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