May Birthstone: All About Emeralds

emerald birthstone

Who doesn't love spring and a royal treatment? We all do, right? But some of us have the extra privilege to own this! 

Spring has fully sprung in May, so the emerald green gem is a perfect symbol of the season. Therefore May babies, you're in for a treat because you're entitled to the "Jewel of Kings". 

Ready to dive in and discover more about your birthright? Let's get started!

All About Emerald:

Imagine a natural gemstone that not only adds vibrance to any outfit and turns heads with its lush green hues but also carries a legacy of healing and elegance. That's the Emerald, or Panna, for you! It's like nature's own remedy, intricately linked with the planet Mercury, offering a sense of serenity and grace to those who wear it. And guess what? Its allure has captured the hearts of royals across generations, adding a touch of timeless sophistication to their regal collections.

Benefits of Emerald:

  • Wearing an emerald boosts Mercury in the horoscope, improving intellectual capacity, reasoning ability, and arithmetic skills.

  • It's great for tackling skin issues, calming down nervous system troubles, and even giving your brain a little extra love.

  • If you've ever felt a bit tongue-tied or shy, blame it on Mercury. But don't worry, emerald comes to the rescue! It's like having a confidence booster in gem form.

  • And hey, if allergies, respiratory troubles, or skin problems bug you, emerald might just be the healing touch you need.

Characteristics:

Mineral: Beryl

Chemistry: Be3Al2Si6O18

Crystal Structure: Hexagonal

Colour: Deep shimmery green, hues ranging from yellow-green to blue-green

Refractive index: 1.564-1.595 (ω) and 1.568-1.602 (ε)

Specific gravity: 2.76

Mohs Hardness: 7.5-8

Places mined: Colombia is the world's largest provider of emeralds

Birthstone: May Birthstone

Zodiac Sign: Cancer. Also auspicious for Taurus, Gemini, Virgo, Libra, Capricorn, and Aquarius zodiac signs.

Planet: Mercury

Symbol: Royalty

Popular shapes: Emerald cut, oval, round, pear, and marquise shapes

Did you know?

Emerald is the only gemstone to have a cut named after it. This stunning gemstone stands out from the crowd in more ways than one!

The 4 C’s

Colour:

Colour is the most important factor in determining the quality of an emerald. The ideal shade is a deep, vivid green with a touch of blue underneath. The richer and more intense the green, the better! But remember, it should still let some light through. If it's too dark and opaque, it might not be as valuable.

Clarity:

Now, emeralds are known to have these little imperfections called inclusions, which are totally natural and actually add to their charm. But if there are too many or they're too big, it can affect the clarity and value. So, we rate them based on how clear they are, with fewer inclusions being better.

Cut:

A good cut means it's got a nice, symmetrical shape with a flat top to let the light bounce off it. Plus, it should make those inclusions less noticeable and really make that colour pop! The most common cut is the "emerald cut," which is a rectangular or square shape with cut corners. 

Carat Weight:

This one's simple—it's all about how much the emerald weighs. But remember, bigger doesn't always mean better. A smaller emerald with top-notch colour, clarity, and cut can actually be worth more than a bigger one with lower quality. Size isn't everything!

Treatments

Temporary Treatment:

1. Oiling: This is the most common treatment for emeralds. Basically, they're filled with a colourless oil, wax, or resin to reduce the visibility of tiny cracks and fractures, making the stone look clearer and brighter. They drill a small hole, inject the oil, and heat it up to help it spread evenly.

2. Epoxy Resin: A clear epoxy resin is used to fill in those cracks and fissures. It's tougher and more long-lasting than oil or wax, plus it can handle heat and chemicals better.

Permanent Treatment:

1. Clarity Enhancement: They drill a small hole in the emerald and insert a substance to improve its clarity. Usually, it's lead glass or other types of glass, resin, or plastic. Once done, it's permanent, so the emerald stays treated for life.

Treatments for Colour Enhancement:

1. Irradiation: They expose the emerald to radiation, like gamma rays or X-rays, to change its colour, making it greener. But be careful, as this can make the stone more fragile and affect its structure.

2. Dyeing: By immersing the emerald in a green dye solution or applying dye to the surface, they change its colour. It's permanent, but it can weaken the emerald and cause stress inside.

3. Coating: They apply a thin layer of wax, oil, or resin to the surface to enhance its colour and appearance.

Remember, some treatments might lower the value of the emerald, so it's important to know what you're getting. Also, the seller should always disclose any treatments done to the stone. And keep in mind, some treatments can affect the durability of the emerald, so handle with care!

Caring for Emerald Jewellery

Here's how to keep your emerald jewellery in top condition:

Do’s:

1. Cleaning: Use a soft cotton or microfiber cloth, mild soap, and tap water. You can also use a gentle glass bowl for cleaning. Consider getting a jewellery cleaner from a local shop for extra care.

2. Storage: After cleaning, store your emerald jewellery in an airtight plastic bag within your jewellery box to prevent exposure to air and moisture.

Don'ts:

1. Avoid Strong Chemicals: Stay away from harsh detergents or cleaning solvents as they can dull or dry out your emerald.

2. No Ultrasonic Cleaners: Avoid using ultrasonic cleaners as they can harm the surface of the emerald.

3. Say No to Abrasives: Don't use abrasive cleaning agents as they can permanently damage the gem's surface.

4. Watch the Water Temperature: Avoid using hot or extremely cold water. Hot water can dry out fracture fillings and remove the oil from the gem's surface, affecting its sparkle and colour.

FAQ

1. What factors determine the value of an emerald?
The value of an emerald is determined by the 4C’s, with intense green colour, high clarity, well-proportioned cut, and larger carat weight contributing to higher value.

2. Can emeralds be treated to enhance their colour?
Yes, emeralds can be treated to enhance their colour through processes like irradiation, dyeing, and coating.

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