Everything You Need to Know About Emerald

| 4 min read

It's no secret that Emerald is one of the most sought-after gemstones in the world. It's a precious stone, Earth's most famous green gem, and it has a unique set of characteristics. 

Every Emerald you encounter will undoubtedly be unique; here, we examine this vivid green stone in more detail. 


Emerald is part of the Beryl family, alongside Aquamarine, Morganite, and Heliodor. It is aptly the birthstone for May, with its bright and vibrant colour reflecting new life, regeneration and the arrival of spring. It's also the anniversary stone for the 20th, 35th, and 55th years of marriage.


Emerald gets its colour from impurities in its crystal structure. Generally, the green we are so familiar with comes from a mixture of chromium and vanadium, sometimes including a touch of iron. Depending on where it is found, the colour of an Emerald ranges from a deep, pure green to one with a yellow or blue overtone. 


Emerald Infographic

Crystal System Hexagonal 

Specific Gravity 2.67 - 2.78 

Refractive Index 1.560 - 1.605 

Chemical Formula Be3Al2(SiO3)6 

Composition Beryllium Aluminium Silicate 


The name 'Emerald' is derived from the Greek term 'smaragdos', which once referred to several gemstones that all share the colour green. Over time, the word evolved to the current name we use today. 


Emerald Mining

Emerald deposits can be found worldwide, with our primary sources being Africa and South America. Colombia, Brazil, and Zambia offer a rich supply of Emeralds; however, Pakistan and Zimbabwe are also known for their deposits of this luscious green gem. 


Colombian Emerald

Colombian Emeralds are some of the most desirable. They have an exceptional clarity that rivals other varieties and a strong lustre that captures the hearts of collectors worldwide. 

Cut Emerald

Zambian Emerald 

Zambian Emeralds offer fewer inclusions than other varieties of this gem and are distinguishable from other sources by their deep, rich green colour. Although Zambia has only produced high-scale deposits of this gem since 1976, it has quickly established itself as one of the highest-quality global sources since then.  


There is currently no scientific evidence to support the metaphysical properties and benefits of gemstones. Still, it is an exciting concept worthy of further exploration.

Emerald Crystal 

Emerald has long been considered a stone of compassion and unity, and its green colour is often associated with lush landscapes such as those in Ireland, also known as the 'Emerald Isle'. 

This green stone represents the colour of spring, and with it comes the reflection of hope, growth and eternal life. Emerald has also been thought to revive passion in a person's life, whether it be towards work, a hobby or another person. 


Cleaning Emerald

Because of their brittle crystal structure and mass of inclusions, cutting an Emerald is a real challenge. The stone also receives treatment fairly often; these treatments used to be temporary and had to be reapplied every five to ten years, but this is no longer the case thanks to more modern practices.

However, due to these treatments including polymers with a similar refractive index to Emerald, most gem labs cannot spot them – so always assume that your Emerald has been treated unless it is certified otherwise.  

Emeralds are often oiled to improve their appearance; if you feel yours has lost its shine, speak to a professional about re-oiling it. This requires specialist equipment and should never be done at home, as this could cause irreparable damage to your stone. 


Emeralds can be safely cleaned using warm, soapy water and a soft brush, ensuring they are dried and buffed with a clean, soft cloth. Please don't soak the Emerald for long, and make sure it is never subjected to ultrasonic or steam cleaning. 

When your Emerald is not being cleaned (or being worn if set into jewellery), always store it separately from other gemstones to avoid scratching, and remove it before cleaning, gardening, or exercising. 

Emerald is a vibrant, lustrous gemstone with a popularity that dates back thousands of years, and we are confident this will continue for thousands more.  

Are you looking to add an Emerald to your gemstone collection? You can shop it right here on GemCollector.

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