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Emeralds - one of the most prized gemstones

Article from Berganza

J. E. Caldwell emerald and diamond ring berganza hatton garden
J. E. Caldwell emerald and diamond ring, American, circa 1940.
Ref: 24224

Saturday 25th January 2014

Due to unique characteristics and rare qualities, emerald is one of the most prized coloured gemstones on Earth.

The emerald’s romantic power dates back to ancient times. In ancient Rome emerald was dedicated to Venus, the goddess of beauty and love. The green of the emerald has for centuries been the colour of beauty and of constant love. Emerald green has always been thought of as beneficial to the eyes and the human eye is most sensitive to green than to any other colour.

Colombia is the source of the world’s finest emeralds. The mines of Colombia are situated in the eastern range of the Andes. The most famous of these are the Chivor and Muzo mines, known for high quality emeralds with a saturated pure green hue with bluish green overtones and a superior clarity. These mines were an ancient source of emeralds, first mined on an industrial scale by the Spanish in 1538.

Emerald is a variety of the gemstone family beryl and pure beryl is colourless. A colour does not occur until traces of another element are added. Emerald owes its green colour to a trace of the chromium ion, although traces of vanadium and iron can influence the shade of colour. Colombian emeralds are unique in their complete lack of iron. This gives the emeralds their characteristic vivid green, as iron is known to mask the green colour. This bright colour is also enhanced by their natural fluorescence in daylight.

The inclusions in emerald are very distinctive and form a scenery described by the French as a ‘jardin’ or garden. This unique and attractive feature contributes to their appeal. Good quality emeralds of high colour and clarity are extremely rare in sizes above 2-3 carats. The best quality emeralds are usually cut as a square or rectangular shape with the corners truncated, giving an octagonal outline, a style that has become known as the ‘emerald cut’. This style of cutting shows the deep velvety-green of the emerald to its best advantage.

We have a wide variety of rare emerald rings and jewellery in our collection, from ornate and intricate emerald and diamond cluster rings to simple solitaires and three stone rings which show off the beauty and individuality of these spectacular gemstones. All of our emeralds are natural, either of Colombian origin or an extremely high quality and have no colour enhancement.

Colombian emerald and diamond cluster ring berganza hatton garden
Edwardian Colombian emerald and diamond cluster ring, circa 1910.
Ref: 26096
Drop emerald Cabochon and diamond earrings berganza hatton garden
Drop emerald Cabochon and diamond earrings, circa 1970.
Ref: 15854
Tiffany & Co emerald diamond crossover ring hatton garden
Tiffany & Co. Colombian emerald and diamond crossover ring, American, circa 1930.
Ref: 27837
front view Vintage emerald and diamond ring by Oscar Heyman Brothers, circa 1960s.
Oscar Heyman Brothers emerald and diamond ring, American, circa 1960.
Ref: 20724
Colombian emerald three stone ring, circa 1890 hatton garden
Colombian emerald three stone ring, circa 1890.
Ref: 28173
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