Welcome to the Blogging A to Z Challenge. The idea behind this challenge is to blog for 30 days with Sundays off and using the letters of the alphabet as the inspiration for your subject. For instance on day one of the challenge you blog about something that starts with the letter “A”. Day two you blog about something that starts with the letter “B”, etc. until you get to the end of April and the letter “Z”.
I am a jewelry designer and maker and I chose the subject of gemstones and related subjects. Hopefully I will be able to come up with 26 related topics from “A” to “Z”. Right now I have a couple of letters that I still need to get a topic for.
It is the May birthstone and the traditional gemstone for Taurus and Gemini astrological signs. Today’s topic is Emeralds. Emeralds are gemstones and a variety of beryl. It gets its green color, ranging from light to dark green, from the presence of chromium and sometimes vanadium. Emeralds usually have lots of inclusion so they are inclined to be very breakable. Very clear stones are very hard to find and are very expensive and can be more expensive than diamonds. They can range in cost from $300 a carat for commerical stones to a high of $90,800 per carat for Extra Fine stones.
They are usually treated in some way to enhance their appearance with cedar oil being the accepted practice. They can be found in South America, Africa Australia, Austria, and the US. Columbia mines and produces the most emeralds accounting for 70-90% of the market.
Emeralds can be purchased in bead form but are rare and not always of a high quality. Emeralds are usually cut into cabochons rather than faceted shapes. Faceted emeralds are using cut into an oval shape or the traditional “Emerald” cut which is a rectangle with facets around the top edge.
|Spanish-made emerald and gold pendant exhibited at Victoria and Albert Museum.|
Emeralds can also be yellow or blue.
Emerald was the Pantone color of the year for 2013.
The Gachala Emerald is one of the largest gem emeralds in the world, at 858 carats (171.6 g). This stone was found in 1967 at La Vega de San Juan mine in Gachalá, Colombia. It is housed at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you again as I continue to blog the alphabet.