Emerald - the symbol of rebirth and bringer of good fortune and youth - is the birthstone for those born in May.
A variety of green beryl, the name emerald is derived from the Greek word smaragdus (green in Greek). The green colour of emerald is caused by traces of chromium, but vanadium may also be present in some stones.
Emeralds can be found in Colombia. Brazil, India, Pakistan, Siberia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The inclusions contained in almost all natural emeralds are very useful in distinguishing natural emeralds from synthetic emeralds and other green stones. Some inclusions are common for particular localities.
Typical Inclusion and Features
Three-phase inclusions (liquid-filled cavity containing a crystal and a gas bubble)
Two-phase inclusions (liquid-filled cavity containign a gas bubble)
Tremolite (usually fibrous or neddle-like crystals)
Needle-like crystals of actinolite
Mica flakes, pyrite and calcite, and also colour zoning
Combining the typical inclusions found with an assessment of refractive index and specific gravity can give an indication of the country of origin. ■
Guy Lalous ACAM EG investigates the hisotrical account of synthetic emeralds grown by W. Zerfass. Summarising a technical article from The Journal of Gemmology, focus is centred upon the growth technology and geological properities of one of the worlds most beautiful gemstones.
In a recent trip to our London headquarters, Eric Fritz FDGA DGA, Gem-A's North America Manager, stopped by for an industry insider Q&A, offering theoretical and practical guidance on organic materials. Sarah Salmon finds out more...
Every year at International Jewellery London (IJL), Gem-A gives exhibitors in the Design Gallery the chance to win a beautiful, fancy-cut gemstone by John Dyer to use in a very special piece. Don't miss your chance to enter!