Emeralds are fascinating gemstones. They have the most beautiful, most intense and most radiant green that can possibly be imagine; emerald green. Inclusions are tolerated. In top quality, fine emeralds are even more value than diamonds.
The name emerald comes from the Greek “smaragdos” via the Old French “esmeralde”, and really just means “green gemstone”. Innumerable fantastic stories have grown up around this magnificent gem.
The green of emerald is the colour of life and of the springtime, which comes around again and again. But it has also, for centuries, been the colour of beauty and of constant love. And today, this colour still occupies a special position in many cultures and religions.
The green of life and love
The magnificent green of the emerald is a colour which conveys harmony, love of nature and elemental joie de vivre. The human eye can never see enough of this unique colour. Pliny commented that green gladdened the eye without tiring it. Green is perceived as fresh and vivid, never as monotonous. And in view of the fact that this colour always changes somewhat between the bright light of day and the artificial light of lamp, emerald green retains its lively vigour in all its nuances.
The lively luminosity of its colour makes the emerald a unique gemstone. However, really good quality is fairly rare, which inclusions often marring the evenness of the colour – signs of the turbulent genesis which has characterised this gemstone. Fine inclusions, however, do not by any means diminish the high regard in which it is held. On the contrary: even with inclusions, an emerald in a deep, lively green still has a much higher value than an almost flawless emerald whose colour is paler. Affectionately, and rather poetically, the specialists call the numerous crystal inclusions, cracks or fissures which are typical of this gemstone ‘jardin’. They regard the tender little green plants in the emerald garden as features of the identity of a gem which has grown naturally.
For thousands of years, emeralds have been one of the most desirable and valuable coloured stones. Ancient civilizations in Africa, Asia, and South America independently discovered emeralds and made them a gemstone of highest esteem. Emerald is also the birthstone of May.
What are precious gemstones?
Today emerald, together with ruby and sapphire, form the “big three” of coloured gemstones, in fact opals are also recognised as precious gemstones on a par with diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphire.