Thursday, December 10, 2009

A-h-h! It's Emerald We Love

In the rarefied world of emerald---a precious and lively beryl variety, pedigree is everything. Looks are almost everything for these verdant sparklers, but their origin counts big time too.

All gemstone devotion to some degree boils down to personal preference. One collector likes a light stone, while another goes ga-ga for the same gem in its deepest most sultry hue.

With emerald, however, there's a consensus that the straight greens or the slightly bluish-greens are the more valuable. Likewise their origin weighs heavily on worth as well. Deposits abound in places like Zambia, Madagascar, Pakistan, India, Zimbabwe, Brazil and Russia. Yet the Colombian emerald is rated top of the heap for it's famed blue-green saturated hue and other quality components.

Owing to several natural occurrences and the way in which emerald's are recovered from the earth, hardly a one escapes unscathed. Emeralds are in fact so identified with their particular inclusions that they have a name for them, 'jardin' or garden in French, owing to their branchlike configurations--these inclusions resemble plants.

When spectacular emeralds come along, the cognoscenti know it and are likely to track them down. A recent Christie's London auction sold this masterful diamond and emerald Art Deco cuff bracelet for about twice it's highest estimate, roughly $217,000 US.

Photo: Christie's Images Ltd. 2009

4 comments:

Karen said...

What other quality components are you referring to when you state that Columbians emeralds are more valued? Emeralds are not lively, they are sleepy due to their heavy inclusions, overly romantiacized by a French word.

A Fly On The Wall said...

Karen - obviously you have never seen a clean Colombian Emerald - bright lively with a minty freshness!

Check out the Spanish Inquisition Necklace or the Hooker Emeralds in the Smithsonian Collection.

Granted most is fairly opaque and included but when you find a clean emerald - it sings!

Robyn

Nasim said...

Strange that there was no mention of Afghan emerald in the blog. Carat for carat the finest Afghan material is indistinguishable from top Colombian. Afghan (as well as Pakistan) emerald possess a further plus in that they need not be oiled to improve color and clarity. Every mine in the world possesses the best and the worst. Top Afghan has few competitors. I'm never impressed with Zambian or Brazil, even the best of their best. No jazz to their color.

David said...

If you really want to know about emeralds and especially Colombian emeralds, I suggest you purchase the newly published, "Emeralds, a Passionate Guide" by expert emerald connoisseur Ronald Ringsrud. When you finish reading this fascinating book it will be obvious why the Colombian emeralds are the best in the world.