The birthstone of May, the enchanting Emerald is a unique symbol of hope, faith, and loyalty. Long prized for its beauty and rarity, the symbol of love, rebirth, and renewal comes in an array of green hues. But apart from the lush-green hues of emeralds, they have way more than meets the eye.
The history and lore of emeralds have no limits. For instance, the Spanish traded emeralds for precious metals, which ignited the interests of the Asian and European royalties for the grandeur of emeralds. If legends were to be believed, this gemstone could also reveal the genuineness of a lover’s oath. As I said, the history of this gemstone is unending and fascinating.
Like sapphires and rubies, emeralds are said to be very durable as they have a hardness score of 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale. Emeralds are used frequently on a day-to-day basis. With each passing year, jewelry designers have found new ways to showcase emeralds in a modern way.
Since there are so many reasons for anyone to fall in love with this gemstone, it might have tickled your fancy as well. If you are looking to add emeralds to your own collection, here are some things you should know.
Beauty in Imperfections
You may have noticed during an emerald search that it can be very difficult to find an eye-clean emerald, free of inclusions. Inclusions are any fractures, fissures, or feathering marks within the gemstone or on its surface.
Emeralds are naturally much more included than other gemstones, and many have to be treated in order to remove imperfections. However, for those that want a unique look for their gemstone, the natural inclusions of an emerald can actually be ideal. In some cases, inclusions can unintentionally form patterns in the gemstone. To some, inclusions actually enhance the look of the emerald! It all depends on personal preference. But you shouldn’t choose emeralds with inclusions that have a drastic impact on the gemstone’s transparency and clarity.
How to take care of your Emerald
Emeralds are very easy to care of due to their hardness and durability. To keep your emerald jewelry sparkling you may want to clean it to remove the unwanted dirt and residue build-up. Here are a few care tips to keep your emerald jewelry clean and shiny.
- Avoid contact with make-up, harsh chemicals (i.e. chlorine and bleach), moisturizers and abrasives. It is advised to take jewelry off when in contact with these items. Never swim or bathe with your jewelry on. It is also best to avoid hard-impact activities such as exercising and gardening which may scratch or chip the emerald.
- Clean your emerald by pouring lukewarm water in a bowl and mixing it with mild cleaning detergent. Submerge your jewelry until the dirt and residue are moistened, then use a soft toothbrush to clean the underside of the emerald. Once clean, rinse and dry with a soft cloth. For extremely dirty jewelry, you may need to repeat the process.
- Store your emerald jewelry individually and avoid contact with other jewelry to prevent scratching.
- We highly recommend annual maintenance on your emerald jewelry to have the gems tightened and jewelry cleaned professionally. This will ensure that your jewelry lasts a lifetime.
- Do not use commercial jewelry cleaners or ultrasonic cleaners for your Emerald jewelry. It’s because, as per the GIA, the majority of customized natural emeralds are fracture-filled. Therefore, it’s risky to clean your emerald ultrasonically or with steam.