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Gemstone Crystal System Density Hardness Refractive index Treatments
hexagonal 2.72 7.5-8.0 1.746-1.755 dying, fracture filling, oiling



Green with modifying blue or yellow

Clarity: Type III
Optic Character:
DR Uniaxial Negative
Cause of Color: Cr and/ or V
Fluorescence: Usually inert, but may fluorese orangy-red to red with very fine emeralds
Fracture : Concoidal

Luster : Vitreous to resinous
Cleavage :
One direction; very rarely seen
Durability: Poor to good

Characteristics for Identification:
Calcite, pyrite, mica inclusions, 3 phase inclusions (esp. in Colombian stones);
tremolite needles

Colombia has the finest emeralds. Followed by Brazil, Africa, India, Pakistan

Emeralds has been successfully synthesized in the lab, so buyers need to be sure their source is qualified to separate natural from lab grown material.

This gemstone is of a medium hardness and is very heat sensitive. Also the typical inclusions can affect the durability, so emerald is easy to chip. Emeralds are routinely treated with oils and resins to mask inclusions. These treatments can be leached out when the stone is cleaned, causing the gem's appearance to change. Extreme care must be taken by a jeweler when working on emerald jewelry and the wearer needs to treat the carefully as well..


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Emerald is the green variety of the mineral beryl, owing it's vibrant color to a trace amount of chromium. Locals include Colombia, Brazil, India, Pakistan and East Africa. Most emeralds contain numerous inclusions of softer minerals. These inclusions have been termed jardins, or gardens by the French. Emeralds have been cherished since man first discovered them. Emerald was the sacred stone of Venus, Hermes drafted the Words of Creation on an emerald tablet. The Holy Grail is reputedly carved from a large emerald crystal that fell from Satan's crown as he descended from Heaven to Hell! Today it is regarded as a stone of the heart.

Beryl Family
Bixbite or Red Beryl
Green Beryl