Posts Tagged ‘emerald facts’

How to clean your emerald jewelry.

In one of my previous blogs, Durability of Emeralds, I said that quality natural emeralds that are set properly are not all that fragile.  Even so, one of the reasons that emeralds get the reputation of being fragile is how people are told never to clean their jewelry by ultrasonic cleaning or steam tools that are standard equipment in most jewelry stores.  You may be led to believe that these methods of cleaning will change its appearance.  In some cases it will.

Ultrasonic cleaner

Before many emeralds reach the retail market they are subjected to specific chemical treatments.  These treatments are just like makeup.  It is applied to hide blemishes, to enhance natural color, and to give a luster that does not appear naturally.  Again like makeup, the treatment is not permanent and can be washed off or can wear off over time.  Ultrasonic and steam cleaning do a really good job at washing off this treatment but do not harm the stones in any way.  If a stone has been treated, its appearance will change and the change will not be for the better.

Not to keep you in any more suspense, you can never go wrong by cleaning your emerald jewelry with warm soapy water and a soft bristle brush like a child’s toothbrush.  Make sure to rinse the piece in the same temperature water as you used to clean it so you don’t alter any of the inclusions in the stone.  Dry the piece with a soft towel.  This method of cleaning is the most gentle and the best way to clean a treated stone.

Steamer jewelry cleaner

Steamer jewelry cleaner

At Queen Emerald we always purchase our stones from the most trusted resources in the emerald market.  I subject our stones to the harshest cleaning methods before I ever put them in the jewelry case or put them for sale on our website.  Queen Emerald tries its best not to buy treated stones but even if one is bought by mistake (nobody is perfect), the cleaning I give it brings it back to its natural state.

If you did not purchase your emerald from Queen Emerald I will give you the same advice that everyone else will give you about how to clean your emerald.  Do not use ultrasound or steam cleaning techniques, use soapy water.

At Queen Emerald every emerald is hand selected and is guaranteed not to change over time no matter what cleaning method you use.   You can wear your emeralds daily, clean them often without worry, and enjoy them for a lifetime.


Which Emerald is a good Emerald? CARAT WEIGHT

Carat Weight

In the last three blogs we discussed grade color, clarity, and brilliance.  This blog is dedicated to the last of the four characteristics of emeralds that you can judge for yourself, size and carat weight, and how it affects the value of these beautiful gems.

Most of the time when we indicate the size of an emerald we do it in carats. A carat is a unit of weight equivalent to 0.20 grams.  In the jewelry trade we use this as “synonym” of size. Both are directly related and most of the time that we talk about size we talk about carat weight more than millimeters or inches.

For people that is not familiar with jewelry and precious gems the term carat can be confused with “karats”. These are two totally different things.  The term karat is used as a measurement of gold purity (24 Kt gold, 18 Kt gold, 14Kt gold…) and it doesn’t have anything to do with a gem’s size and weight. In the same way when we talk about carats in emeralds or any other gems it won’t be related to its quality or purity.

As the carat weight increases so does the price of the gem and more importantly, the price per carat.  This can be calculated by dividing stone price by its carat weight. Larger emeralds are rarer than smaller ones and very difficult to find in mines. On average, they have to remove 5 tons of dirt to find an emerald over 1 carat in gem quality. That is why a 3 carat emerald will cost more than three emeralds of 1 carat each of the same quality.

I know the jewelry and gem market is obsessed with size, and nearly everyone thinks “bigger is better”.  But when we talk about emeralds, size without quality is not always better. For the fans of size, the quality in emeralds is something that will speak loudly, but the bigger the emerald the louder its quality will speak. With diamonds, you have to be familiar with them and will need to examine them with a loupe to tell if a 3 carat diamond is a good one or not. But a three carat emerald will tell you everything about itself even if you are not an expert.

When you work with colored stones the really important part is the COLOR more than the size.  Put two emeralds together, one in 1 carat and other in 2 carats.  If the smaller one has better tone and saturation than the larger one, I can guarantee, your eyes will go directly to that one.  Your attention and your admiration will be focused on the smaller one.

Please don’t get me wrong.  There is nothing more beautiful than a 3, 4 or 5 carat emerald, no matter what the quality. If is a natural one I know I’ll enjoy it. But its beauty is also because it will show its real color, clarity and brilliancy and if you are not familiar with these features it maybe not a good choice for you.

The magic happens when you have a big emerald of a great quality. Believe me, this doesn’t happen really often, and that is why the price doesn’t change in a Linear Scale of increments.

In the end is up to you and what you like. If you have a big emerald enjoy it, they are really one of a kind.  Don’t be too concerned about its quality.  Please note your stone is very special and difficult to find. So just have fun with it.