Feature Gems & Gemology, Fall 1985, Vol. 21, No. 3

The Biron Hydrothermal Synthetic Emerald

A new synthetic emerald grown in Western Australia is now commercially available as faceted stones. Infrared spectra revealed the presence of water, thereby confirming that these synthetic emeralds are synthesized by a hydrothermal process. Chemical analysis showed that they contain vanadium as well as lesser amounts of chromium. This new synthetic exhibits some characteristics that are distinctly different from other synthetic emeralds and therefore must now be considered when identifying emeralds. In addition to distinctive inclusions such as gold, the Biron synthetic is inert to ultraviolet radiation, has a specific gravity of 2.68 -2.71, and refractive indices of Σ = 1.569 and ω = 1.573. This article examines in detail the gemological properties of the Biron hydrothermal synthetic emerald and discusses means of identifying this new synthetic.