Emerald Engagement Rings
Emeralds are one of the most sought-after gemstones for their brilliant green hues. These stones can be found most commonly in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks in Colombia, Zambia, Brazil, and Zimbabwe. Smaller amounts of stones are found or produced in Madagascar, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Canada, and Russia.
Emeralds have a Mohs hardness between 7.5 and 8.0 and have a hexagonal crystal structure. The signature vivid, saturated green color is due to the presence of chromium or vanadium in the beryl mineral. Additional small amounts of iron will tint the emerald either a blue-green color or a yellow-green color depending on the amount of other minerals present. To be considered an emerald, the stone must be rich in color; stones with pale tones will be considered to be “green beryls,” “aquamarines,” or “heliodors”; calling a stone a “green beryl” instead of an emerald will greatly reduce its price.
For thousands of years, emeralds have been one of the most desirable gemstones. Each civilization that discovered emeralds created their own interpretations of its meaning. Emeralds were discovered long before diamonds, about 6,000 years ago. Early records show that emeralds were traded in Babylonia as early as 4,000 B.C.; however, they gained greater notoriety around 2,000 B.C. in the Cleopatra mines, who produced large amounts of the stones for hundreds of years. The earliest emeralds discovered in Pakistan and Egypt were also traded and inscribed with mantras to serve as protective talismans. In more modern times, women including Marlene Dietrich, Grace Kelly, and Elizabeth Taylor have worn magnificent bracelets, rings, and brooches adorned with emeralds. Regardless of time and place, emeralds represent eloquence, protection, and love.
Using Emeralds in an Engagement Ring
Emeralds, rubies, and sapphires from the “big three” group of colored gemstones and are purchased more widely than all other colored stones combined. It is important to consider when using an emerald in an engagement ring that the cost per carat is less than the cost per diamond but more expensive than sapphires and rubies.
In addition to the cost, you should consider the durability of emeralds. Often, emeralds contain several inclusions or fractures which can weaken it and make it susceptible to further damage. Unfortunately, it is uncommon to find an emerald that does not have any imperfections invisible to the naked eye. However, the appearance of emeralds can be improved by oil or resin treatments, which enter the fractures and smooth them out.
Considering the emerald’s less durable state, emeralds are ideal for the wearer who is meticulous with jewelry care and will not wear the ring during strenuous activity. Furthermore, the skilled jeweler can decide on a setting that is protective of the stone that also highlights its green hue.
If you appreciate the green color of emeralds, but would like a stone with fewer inclusions, synthetic emeralds can be a great options. These are produced by several brands including Lennix, Seiko, and Regency. Synthetic emeralds have the same chemical composition and structure as naturally-occurring emeralds. The preference for synthetic or natural is entirely up to the purchaser and wearer based on your needs and budget.
When considering emeralds for an engagement ring, it is important to consider all factors: needs, budget, durability, and meaning. Emeralds are an ideal choice for engagement rings as they represent love, loyalty, and eloquence.
Emeralds, while hard and durable stones, still require maintenance and upkeep. If this stone is cut with sharply pointed corners, it is important to choose the appropriate setting that will protect these points. Prongs should also be checked periodically by a professional jeweler to ensure that the stone is held securely without being damaged. It is not recommended to clean your emerald jewelry using an ultrasonic cleaning machine as the heat and vibrations may diminish the treatments used on emerald stones. Cleaning should only be done with a soft cloth with a small amount of water and no detergents. Lastly, emeralds should not be worn during strenuous activity or during activities where you are in contact with chemical agents.
Custom Emerald Rings by Caesar's Designs
If you are shopping for an emerald engagement ring we hope you found this page helpful. You may be interested learning more on the engagement ring settings, the chooing the right metal, or the engagement ring band styles pages.
If you have any questions about designing unique emerald engagement rings or wedding bands please do not hesitate to contact us, at 412.621.0345. Caesar is a certified gemologist and has over 25 years of experience designing one of a kind engagement rings.