When you hear "Think Green", what comes to mind? A beautiful tropical forest? Your lush garden? Maybe the teensy tomato sprouts you decided to grow during lockdown? Or maybe those emerald earrings you have not worn in oh, so long! After a year of being locked away have we really begun to think differently? Are we ready to come out and enjoy and take care of Mother Earth? Have we learned a better way to use resources?
Muzo mines in Colombia strictly prohibit the use of aggressive mining with dynamite in the vicinity of emerald veins and they endeavor to protect the local environment through reforestation, hydroseeding, and erosion control programs. This is why we are featuring their emeralds this week. At Covett, we love thinking green, whether it is our beautiful emerald jewellery or watches or a new way to participate in a circular economy that resonates with our sharing ethos.
When you think of the colour green, you think of nature, beauty, and of course, emeralds. Emeralds have been viewed as a sign of wealth and royalty for centuries, sometimes even rivalling the rarity and value of a diamond if you can believe it. Being one of the four recognized “King of Gemstones” along with rubies, sapphires, and diamonds, emeralds have quite a rich and vibrant history. Here are some interesting facts you may not know about emeralds:
- Emeralds are quite expensive to set into jewellery. The reason behind this is that they are very susceptible to chipping.
- Naturally internally flawless emeralds are incredibly rare and can be worth quite a bit of money, sometimes even more than a diamond.
- A one-carat emerald will appear larger than a one carat diamond. This is because emeralds have a much lower density then diamonds do.
- Cleopatra was said to love emeralds so much that one of the most prominent mines in Egypt is named after her.
Emerald is the birthstone for May and is seen as the traditional gift for the 20th, 35th and 55th wedding anniversary in the US.
Emeralds are made from Beryl, just like aquamarine and they get their green colour from chromium and vanadium.
The most important factor that determines an emeralds value is its colour. The most desirable colour of emerald is a vivid green, or a blueish green with even saturation throughout and no colour zoning. A very high-quality emerald is quite clear and isn’t too dark or too light. If an emerald is too light of a shade of green, some gemologists might not even consider it to be an emerald!
Emeralds are quite expensive to set into jewellery. The reason behind this is that they are very susceptible to chipping. Emeralds are set at around a 7.5 to an 8 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, where as a diamond is graded at a 10, the highest level.
Most emeralds will have some type of internal inclusion, usually quite visible to the naked eye. Naturally internally flawless emeralds are incredibly rare and can be worth quite a bit of money, sometimes even more than a diamond!
Typically, emeralds will be treated with an oil to help fill in any cracks and to help prevent any unintentional chipping or cracking.
Columbia yields some of the finest emeralds in the world and is responsible for mining over 50% of all emerald production worldwide! The other two top countries they come from are Brazil and Zambia.
Synthetic emeralds were first created in 1935 by an American chemist by the name of Carroll Chatham. She successfully grew a one carat emerald that is now on display in the Smithsonian museum.
The first known emerald mines were in Egypt, dating back as early as 330BC. Cleopatra was said to love emeralds so much that one of the most prominent mines in Egypt is named after her.
Elizabeth Taylor’s famous Bulgari emerald and diamond pendant necklace sold in auction for 6.5 million dollars in 2011. That equals out to about $280,000 per carat!
Muzo Emerald Colombia a responsible mining company has unveiled a new collaboration with a “powerhouse roster” of female jewellery designers. Giving designers access to exceptional gemstones and then asking them to create what their heart’s desire is akin to giving a child unlimited access to a candy store.
The 10 designers (or female-led designer brands) chosen include Colette, Harwell Godfrey, Katherine Jetter, Jenna Blake, Loren Nicole, Michelle Fantaci, Nina Runsdorf, Robinson Pelham, Silvia Furmanovich and Sorellina.
Their creativity flourished and gave us the most exotic and wonderful combination of materials and cuts: cabochon and tumbled emeralds; a collision of unusual materials like bamboo, turquoise beaded tassels, rock crystal and Akoya pearls; and cool colour clashes thanks to onyx inlay, malachite and lavender enamel.
Be sure to take a look at these powerhouse female designers and choose your favourite.
If you are looking to add some gorgeous emeralds to your collection? Take a look at our exquisite emerald pieces including a gorgeous emerald watch. It will turn your friends green with envy, unless, of course, you share the secret of Covett with them.
Emeralds by the Numbers
- $5,511.500 USD - The value of the Rockefeller Emerald.
- 1.1 kg - Weight of the largest uncut emerald found in Zambia in 2018.
- $6,130,500 USD - The price realised at auction of Elizabeth Taylor's emerald brooch.
- 2,860-ct (20.18 oz) - The Emerald Unguentarium, an emerald vase carved in 1641, is on display in the Imperial Treasury, Vienna, Austria.
- £3,433,597 GBP - The value of the Imperial Emerald of Grand Duchess Vladimir of Russia.
- 1492 -The Thomas Richard McPhee’s statue, “1492,” consists of a 1,550-ct carved emerald (10.94 oz) and 50 ctw of diamonds.