Emerald Gemstone Education
Coveted by Cleopatra, collected by Montezuma, and worshipped by the Incas, the emerald glows intensely green. In Roman times, the stone was associated with Venus, the goddess of love, while in the Middle Ages, it was said to protect its carriers against evil. Hindu scriptures allude to the mental and physical healing properties of emeralds, and because green is the color of spring, the emerald also symbolizes rebirth and fertility.
Choosing a stone
- Color: It is the most important characteristic to consider when choosing an emerald. The richer the green, the more valuable the stone.
- Clarity: All emeralds have flaws, or inclusions, which give them a soft appearance termed jardin. Jardin does not necessarily detract from a stone’s value—but all else equal, the fewer the inclusions the more valuable the emerald. Inclusions do introduce weaknesses, but Angara only offers fine emeralds that are not brittle in nature.
- Angara lets you choose the quality that suits your needs:
- Good (A): Dark green and opaque
- Better (AA): Medium green and heavily included
- Best (AAA): Rich, medium green; only moderately included and highly brilliant
- Heirloom (AAAA): Exceptionally rich green, only moderately included, and highly brilliant; the top 1% of emeralds in terms of quality
- Cut: The traditional “emerald cut” is a rectangular step-cut. Round and oval are also popular styles. Natural fissures and inclusions make the stones difficult to cut, so large, well-cut emeralds are extremely valuable. At Angara, we cut stones to maximize color and brilliance, rather than carat weight.
- Enhancements: Emeralds are usually “oiled” to enhance their color and remove any surface flaws. Standard practice consists of immersing the stones in a colorless oil or resin, which fills fissures and produces a better finish. Non-standard treatments include the use of colored oils and epoxy-like resins. However, Angara only uses gemstones that have received the standard treatments and are approved by the AGTA.
- The Egyptians mined emeralds near the Red Sea
- The Incas and the Aztecs found rich deposits in the Andes
- Russian rulers mined emeralds in the Ural Mountains
- Today, significant emerald deposits are found in Colombia, Zambia, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and Pakistan
- Colombian emeralds—from Coscuez, Chivor and Muzo—are prized for their vivid green color
- Zambian emeralds are prized for their transparency, and they tend to be darker and bluer than Colombian emeralds
- Angara’s ‘Best’ and ‘Heirloom’ quality emeralds typically come from Zambia and Colombia
- Angara’s ‘Good’ and ‘Better’ quality emeralds typically come from Brazil and Zimbabwe
- Elizabeth Taylor’s famous emerald and diamond necklace was sold at christie's auction for over $6 million dollars
- Emerald is the birthstone for the month of May
- Emerald is associated with the zodiac sign Taurus
- Emerald is the suggested gift for twentieth and thirty-fifth anniversaries