Emeralds hold a unique distinction in the world of gemstones as they are one of the four traditionally considered to be precious. Along with diamonds, rubies and sapphires, the emerald has a long history as a sought after gem thanks to its unique green color and relative rarity. Emeralds belong to the gem family beryls – which are crystals of beryllium aluminum silicate that are colored by traces of different elements. What gives emeralds their seductive green color are traces of chromium. Lots of chromium while the gemstone is formed is what sets Colombian emeralds apart and gives them their striking green color.
The Rare Emerald
In order for emeralds to form deep in the mountains of Colombia, a lot has to go right. The forces of geology have to bring together rare elements like beryllium and chromium under conditions of high temperature and pressure and then a slow cooling process which creates the large crystals we all know and love. Colombia has been exceptionally blessed with the unusual geology for their formation and people have been mining brilliantly clear emeralds for hundreds of years. Emeralds of this quality are rare and unlike diamonds or other precious gemstones, a slight flaw in the color or shape is an indicator of authenticity and won’t reduce the value of the stone.
This is not to say that inclusions or imperfections are a positive aspect of an emerald. Very clean stones have a sharp brilliance, a “life” that sets them apart. When this brilliance or “sparkle” is combined with an attractive and intense green color it demands an exceptional price.
The Perfect Green Color
An emerald’s signature green color is unique to the stone, but can vary from emerald to emerald. Too dark and the stone won’t shine when worn, too light and it loses its identity as an emerald. While those who mine, cut and sell gemstones may insist on very intense saturated “grass-green” colors as the most valuable, you may find that you prefer somewhat lighter-colored stones, or those with a more bluish tint. Above all else, the green of your emerald has to be attractive to you!
Though not hard like a diamond, emeralds are a substantial gemstone which stands to the test of time. Some jewelry scratches over time as dirt, sand and other environmental factors come into play. Emeralds resist abrasion due to their hardness and make for a long lasting piece of emerald jewelry from Cartagena.
Comparing emeralds in Cartagena is always easier when you have the expertise and professionalism of a Mister Emerald associate to rely on. Quality is obvious in the 1,200 individual pieces of emerald jewelry on display. Whether you’re coming from a cruise ship or traveling through Colombia, an emerald is the best gift you can find!