Precious Stones -The Big FiveWritten by Sam Serio
The emerald is probably most rare of all precious stones and is considered by some to be even more valuable than diamond. Compared with other precious stones emerald in its occurrence in nature is unique, for it is found in rock in which it was formed. Unlike diamonds, sapphires and rubies, it never occurs in gem gravels. The earliest known locality where emeralds were found was in Upper Egypt near coast of Red Sea. The best stones, however, are found in Columbia, South America. Fine specimens have also been found in United States in North Carolina.
While usual shade of color seen in emeralds is alluded to as emerald green, there are other shades, such as grass green, sea green and green slightly tinged with yellow. The shades most highly valued are those of an intense fresh green sometimes compared with that seen in a meadow in spring.
Beryl is a mineral known to gem lovers under several different names, most valued of which is Emerald. The mineral beryl composing various gems is practically same in composition, hardness, and other properties, and gems may be differentiated only by their color. In composition beryl is a silicate of aluminum and glucinum. On scale of hardness beryl is graded 7 Ĺ to 8, and is thus much softer than diamond, ruby, or sapphire. It is owing to this fact that emerald scratches easily and that care must be taken that when worn it is not subject to chafing by diamonds or other harder gems.
Beryl as a mineral is of quite common occurrence, and crystals of mineral in its cruder form often grow to enormous size. There is one such single crystal preserved in Boston Museum of Natural History, which is three and one half feet long and three feet wide and weighs several tons.
Beryl in this common form occurs in many localities, but mineral in its rarer form of emerald is comparatively of very rare occurrence. The emerald or green beryl, as it should be scientifically known, has long been most highly prized of green gems. In brilliancy it exceeds all other green gems excepting only very rare green sapphire. The most valuable specimens exhibit a vivid grass-green shade, and it is to this color that they owe their great value. Other considerations, such as freedom from imperfections, are quite secondary in determining value of stone. In fact a perfect emerald is almost never found, and this circumstance has passed into an Eastern simile which runs, ďAs scarce as a perfect emerald,Ē this being a symbol for acme of rarity. The emerald is light in weight and an emerald of a given size will be about a third larger than a diamond and forty-five per cent larger than a sapphire of equal weight. The distinctive color of emerald is probably due to a trace of chromium in its composition.
Jewelry and Gemstone Care & Cleaning TipsWritten by Sam Serio
Diamond earrings, emerald rings, ruby bracelets, sapphire pendants; no doubt about it everybody loves beautiful gem stone jewelry. Gemstones are quite literally hard as rock, buy they can be damaged from careless handling and negligence. Here are some tips for keeping your gems and jewelry looking fabulous for years to come.
1.Remember, even hardest gemstone variety can be vulnerable to breakage if it has inclusions that weaken crystal structure. Exercise common sense: if you have a ring set with a softer gem variety or an included stone, take it off before strenuous exercise. Even hardest gem of them all, diamond, can shatter in two with a single well-placed blow. Never remove rings by pulling on stone: that habit may result in a loose, then lost, gem. 2.Most importantly, store each piece of gemstone jewelry separately so that harder stones donít scratch softer ones. Almost every gemstone is much harder than metal it is set in. Gems can scratch finish on your gold, silver or platinum if you throw your jewelry in a heap in a drawer or jewelry box. 3.Rings in particular tend to collect dust and soap behind gem, particularly if you wear them all time. You need to clean them regularly to let light in so your gems can shine. To clean transparent crystalline gemstones, simply soak them in water with a touch of gentle dish soap. Use a bowl of water rather than sink to eliminate risk of anything going down drain. If necessary, use a soft toothbrush to scrub behind stone. Rinse soap off and pat dry with a lint-free cloth (you want to make sure threads wonít catch on prongs) For diamond, ruby or sapphire, a touch of ammonia in rinse water wonít hurt a bit and can add extra sparkle (for platinum and gold only, not silver!). Think twice before putting gems in an ultrasonic cleaner. Diamonds and rubies and sapphires will be fine but many other gems many not be, in particular emerald, opal, pearls, peridot: when in doubt, leave it out.