Gem experts differ on the degree of green that makes one stone an emerald and another stone a less-expensive green beryl. Most gemmologists, gemmological laboratories and coloured stone dealers call a stone green beryl when its colour is “too light” for it to be classified as emerald. Even among that group, however, there’s a difference of opinion about what’s considered “too light”.
Birthstones & Anniversaries
As the gem of spring, emerald is the perfect choice as the birthstone for the month of May. It’s also the gem of the twentieth and thirty-fifth wedding anniversaries.
2.97 Billion Years
Age of the oldest emeralds, from South Africa.
Pharaoh known for her passion for emeralds.
2011 sales price for Elizabeth Taylor’s emerald pendant - that's $280,000 (£215,000) per carat.
1.577 to 1.583
0.005 to 0.009
- Mohs Hardness: 7.5 to 8
There are a number of processes used to alter the colour or apparent clarity, or to improve the durability of gems.Learn More
Some gemstones have synthetic counterparts that have essentially the same chemical, physical and optical properties, but are grown by man in a laboratory.Learn More
Any gem can be imitated – sometimes by man-made materials or by natural materials chosen by man to impersonate a particular gem.Learn More
Why We Love This Gemstone
Three-phase inclusions in Colombian emeralds contain tiny crystals of rock salt, liquid and a bubble of gas.
The best emerald crystals are gorgeous flat-topped green hexagonal columns that are as beautiful as faceted stones.
The first known emerald mines were in Egypt. It is believed that these mines were worked as early as 3500BC.
Emerald has been the standard for green coloured stones for millennia.
The most desirable emerald colours are bluish green to pure green, with vivid colour saturation.
In Emerald expect to see inclusions that dealers like to call an internal “jardin”, or garden.
Due to the crystal shape emeralds are commonly cut as rectangular step cuts called emerald cuts.
Because its density is lower, a one-carat emerald will appear larger in size than a one-carat diamond.
Emerald Quality Factors: The Comprehensive Guide
Explore sources, gemmological research and the role of gems in history.
A New Discovery of Emeralds from EthiopiaNathan Renfro, Ziyin Sun, Michael Nemeth, Wim Vertriest, Victoria Raynaud, and Vararut Weeramonkhonlert , May 8, 2017 Read more in English
In Rainier’s Footsteps: Journey to the Chivor Emerald MineRobert Weldon, Jose Guillermo Ortiz, and Terri Ottaway , Aug 3, 2016 Read more in English
New Production of Brazilian Emerald from Minas GeraisDuncan Pay , Apr 30, 2015 Read more in English