Choosing Emeralds ~ A Walk Through the Garden
Emerald (English), émeraude (French), emerallt (Welsh), esmeralda (Spanish), whatever language you use, the birthstone for May symbolizes rebirth and is believed to grant the owner foresight, good fortune and eternal youth. A type of beryl, like its cousin the Aquamarine, emeralds range in color from very pale to a rich deep green. The most desirable color is a deep blue-green also being the most valuable (like the famed Columbian Emeralds). Buying an emerald can be tricky business because of the countless treated emeralds that are sold. It is important to ask for the origin of the gemstone as well as any certification. The ideal standard is an emerald that is a rich deep color but not so dark that it looks murky. Emeralds are prized for their vitreous qualities which means that they can appear glass-like. A clean emerald is always desirable, however, be aware that a natural, clear, rich green-blue emerald is highly desired and priced higher than diamonds. If an emerald is glass-like and priced quite low then you can almost guarantee that it is a lab-created emerald.
This being said, the color is what should captivate you. It is ideal to purchase a gemstone based on the emotion that it evokes within you. The inclusions are of less importance and are romantically referred to as jardin, the French word for garden. Professionals in the industry coined this term because, when looking at the inclusions, they may look like branches or plant roots. They are a natural part of the character of emeralds and add to the uniqueness of each stone.
Emeralds make an excellent alternative to diamonds and are used in engagement rings, usually set in yellow gold and flanked by bright colorless diamonds which enhance the deep green. If a matched pair are found, they make stunning earrings or cufflinks. They can also be beautifully set into custom pieces for mother’s gifts as a May baby celebration.