Everything you need to know about Emerald Gemstone

The exact shade of green that distinguishes an emerald from green beryl is a subject of debate among those who specialize in studying precious stones.

Emerald gemstone

Most gemologists, gemological labs, and coloured stone sellers will refer to a stone as green beryl when the colour of the stone is "too light" to be categorized as an emerald. However, even among members of that group, there is a diversity of opinion over what constitutes "too light."


Beryl is a mineral species that also comprises aquamarine in addition to beryls of various hues, including the green-to-blue-green variant known as emerald. Emerald's colour ranges from green to bluish-green.

Professional gemologists have different opinions on how much green is required to classify a stone as an emerald or a less costly green beryl. As a result, green beryls tinted by chromium are often incorrectly labelled emeralds by those in the trade.

Emerald gemstone


When a stone's hue is "too light" to be categorized as an emerald, most gemologists, gemological labs, and coloured stone traders will refer to it as green beryl instead. However, there is disagreement even within that subset over what constitutes "too light."

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) employs lab-graded reference stones of a similar hue to establish if a stone qualifies as an emerald.


Absorption Spectrum Birefringence Birthstone
Very diagnostic. See "Identifying Characteristics" below. Varies by sources of crystals. 0.004-0.010. See "Identifying Characteristics" below. May
Cleavage Colours Formula
Indistinct Deep to medium green, bluish green. Be3Al2Si6O18 + Cr (+V)
Crystallography Dispersion Hardness
Hexagonal 0.014 (low) 7.5-8
Enhancements Etymology Inclusions
Oiling common. (Oils and epoxies are used to fill fractures, which reduces their visibility). From the Greek smaragados for "green" through the Latin smaragdus to the Middle English Esmeralda. Long, hollow tubes; negative crystals; chrysanthemums. Inclusions also vary by source of crystals. See "Identifying Characteristics" below.
Fracture Luminescence Present Luminescence Type
Conchoidal, uneven Yes Fluorescent, UV-Long, UV-Short
Heat Sensitivity Lustre Optic Sign
Yes Vitreous Uniaxial -
Luminescence Occurrence Optics
Sometimes green in SW; very seldom weak red, orange in LW. The colour is visible in the Chelsea filter if red fluorescence is seen. Fluorescence is quenched by Fe, as in the South African and Indian emeralds. See "Identifying Characteristics" below. Granitic rocks, especially granite pegmatites. Also, schists, metamorphic limestones, and hydrothermal vents. Uniaxial (-). Refractive indices vary by sources of crystals. See "Identifying Characteristics" below.
Phenomena Specific Gravity Pleochroism
Chatoyancy (very rare) 2.68-2.78 Blue-green/yellowish-green. Rarely, blue/yellowish-green.
Refractive Index Typical Treatments Special Care Instructions
Varies by sources of crystals. 1.569-1.602. See "Identifying Characteristics" below Fracture/Cavity Filling, Oiling Emeralds usually have internal fractures, so clean them with warm or room-temperature soap and water. Avoid wearing a gem where it will get rough treatment.
Transparency Variety of Wearability
Transparent to opaque Beryl Poor
Wearability Notes
Good to Poor, depending on the integrity of the gem



The vibrant green of an emerald has calmed minds and inspired creativity for millennia. The ancient Greek word for "green," "smaragdus," is whence its name originates. A Roman historian named Pliny the Elder wrote about emeralds in the first century AD for his book Natural History.

As he put it, "there is no greater means of healing their eyes than by staring at the emerald, its gentle, green tint calming and alleviating their fatigue and lassitude." Green has long been associated with calming emotions and reducing eye fatigue; this tradition continues today.

Even while emerald isn't the only green gem (tourmaline and peridot also exist), it is the one most often linked with images of verdant settings and deep shades of green.

Emerald Isle refers to Ireland. The Emerald City is Seattle, in the state of Washington in the United States of America. Although carved from green jadeite, the name "Emerald Buddha" has been given to Thailand's holiest religious relic.

The first documented emerald mines date back to Egypt, between 330 BC and the early 18th century. Cleopatra loved emeralds and wore them often in her royal jewellery.

When the Spanish conquered the New World in the sixteenth century, one of their spoils was emeralds from the area that is now Colombia. Emeralds were worn as jewellery and used in rituals by the Incas for at least 500 years before Christopher Columbus discovered them.

Emerald gemstone


Since the Spanish valued gold and silver more than jewels, the latter swapped emeralds for the former. Through their commerce, the regal families of Europe and Asia were introduced to the beauty of emeralds.

The beryl family includes the emerald, the most well-known gemstone in that group. It was said that the wearer could see into the future, speak the truth, and ward against bad spells if an emerald was put beneath the tongue.

Some ailments, like cholera and malaria, were originally thought to be cured by emeralds. In addition, wearing an emerald was thought to disclose if a lover's pledge was true or false and improve one's oratory skills.

As one of the four precious stones God bestowed on King Solomon, the emerald is also associated with myth and legend. For example, there was a legend that the monarch had absolute dominion over the cosmos thanks to these four stones.

In May, its hue symbolizes the renewal of life that comes with the arrival of spring. It is also the traditional gift on the 25th anniversary of marriage.

In ancient times, humans were already intrigued by emeralds. So it's little surprise that emeralds would inspire a wealth of legends throughout nations and that tales of fabled stones would fascinate listeners for generations. In addition to being May's traditional birthstone, emerald is also the traditional stone for marriage's 20th and 35th anniversaries.

Stone Size

The emerald tree is famed for its enormous size. The Muzo Mine in Colombia is the source of the world's biggest emerald crystal, which weighs 16,020 carats.

Emerald gemstone


This distinction might be claimed by the "Bahia Emerald," founded in 2001. Fine and big emeralds, raw and faceted gems, and certain carvings and tumble-polished stones may be found in the collections of many museums throughout the globe.

  • Green crystal from Colombia (ct. 117), blue crystal from North Carolina (ct. 10.6), green Catseye crystal from Colombia (ct.
  • The score in Moscow is 136, and it's virtually perfect (very dark blue-green and cut in a step) (in the Diamond Fund).
  • Vase carved in 2681 CE on display at Vienna's Kurnsthistorisches Museum.
  • Three more huge crystals may be seen at Istanbul's Topkapi Museum, including a hexagonal crystal measuring 6 centimetres and a fine crystal measuring 8 centimetres.
  • Several cabochons weighing 100 and 300 carats are displayed at the Banque Markazi in Teheran. Unmounted cabochons weigh 320, 303, 144.4, and two others are over 250 carats; faceted gems are 100 and 110 carats.
  • The "Devonshire Emerald," a 51-millimetre-long crystal weighing 1384 carats, is on display in the British Museum of Natural History in London.
  • Located at New York's American Museum of Natural History are two emeralds: one weighing 1200 carats and known as the "Patricia Emerald," and another weighing 630 carats and known as the "St. Patrick Emerald."
  • Bogota, Colombia's Banco de la Republica, is home to a dazzling array of gems ranging in weight from 220 to 1796 carats.
  • The Crown of the Andes is a stunning gold headpiece with 453 emeralds totalling 1521 carats, including the 45-carat "Atahuallpa Emerald" from a private collection. In addition, a 7025-carat Emilia crystal was discovered in the Las Cruces Mine, not far from Gachalá.

Stone Care

The emerald in an emerald ring should be put in a protected setting. Earrings, necklaces, and bracelets set with emeralds are all attractive options.

Emerald gemstone ring care


Cleaning emeralds using a machine is not advised. Ultrasonic, steam and boiling processes may crack or break emeralds. In addition, these techniques will require you to re-oil your emerald at the absolute least. Instead, take your emeralds to a competent jeweller or clean them with warm water, soap, and a gentle brush.


What is emerald stone good for?

The emerald is known as the "Stone of Wealth" due to its positive associations. It is a symbol of health and expansion.

In addition, a high-quality Panna gemstone worn around one's neck is said to increase one's financial success and open doors to new career chances. Therefore, astrologists advise wearing a Panna if you work in the financial sector (banking, finance, share market trading, bookkeeping, etc.).

Is emerald an expensive stone?

The price of emeralds may vary widely, from a few cents to over a hundred thousand dollars per carat. There is a wide variety in quality for any given stone, from opaque and unsuitable for anything except carving to translucent and vivid colour and making auction houses happy.

Who should not wear emeralds?

It is not advised that those with an ascendant in Sagittarius wear emeralds. It's no secret that Mercury, the ruler of the seventh and tenth houses in a horoscope with a Sagittarius ascendant, is a malefic planet. That being the case, this treasure was not recommended for you by any astrological bible.