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  • Seth William Rozendaal

Twelve Green and Red Emerald Similarities


Some may wonder, "How was the Red Emerald discovered?"

Although the mineral was found over a century ago, it took fifty years for anyone to fashion a stone out of one. Jewelry was not fabricated for many decades after that, and people were not even allowed to see this gem in the form of an Emerald, much less classify it as such.

The following twelve facts illustrate why this red variety is now known to be more similar to Emerald than any other gemstone ever discovered on Earth:

1. Both Emerald and the red variety are Beryl.

All Emeralds are beryl, but not all beryl is Emerald. There are additional qualities which determine an Emerald's status, and they are found in both the green and red.

2. Both contain comparable concentrations of Two-Phase Inclusions.

Many beryl have two-phase inclusions, but the red and green carry a significantly higher load which affects the gemological appraisal methodologies applied and dramatically contributes to Emerald's signature appearance.

3. Both have observable fields of Fingerprint Inclusions.

Formation under comparable conditions results in standard inclusion patterns for similar members of this species.

4. Presence of unique and Identifying Inclusions.

Emerald and Red Emerald have cubic inclusions with a metallic luster in pyrite and bixbyite, respectively. When discovered as identifying mineral inclusions, both parisite and bixbyite were believed to exist nowhere else in the world.

5. Emeralds have Hourglass Zoning.

When viewing Emerald crystals parallel to the C-Axis, a darker "rind" sometimes surrounds a more lightly-saturated hexagonal core. When this color zone is viewed perpendicular to the C-Axis, an hourglass figure appears in pale silhouette. This characteristic is observed only in Green and Red Emeralds.

6. Presence of Chromium.

Dr. Alfred Eppler's original study of the mineral in 1912 and Kennecott's commissioned spectroscopy 84 years later both identified chromium in this rare variety. Red Emerald with chromium present and chromium-colored Ruby both exhibit a strongly-dichroic red-orange/purple-red color unique to these two varieties alone in the entire gem world.

7. Similar Color Characteristics.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) identified Hue, Saturation and Tone as the 3 components of gem color. Each beryl varietal has a different primary hue, but red and green share secondary hues, intense saturations and dark tones.

8. Wide-Ranging Color Scale.

Until the red was discovered, only the Emerald variety produced intensely-saturated beryls. Dark tones allow a selection of gems in a full range of color, covering a wide scale from light to dark in both the primary and secondary hues.

9. Clarity Classification - Type III

The GIA has designated only a handful of varietals the rare clarity classification Type III, though Emeralds are two.

10. Shared Crystallography.

Leading consumer advocate Antoinette Matlins published a gemological basis for the trade/gem name "Red Emerald". A 30-page portfolio comparing crystal structure similarities in red and green beryl was attached as a download.

11. Method of Faceting.

Many highly-skilled lapidaries and competitive gem-cutters have been convinced of a Red Emerald's existence simply by working with the material. The precise steps, precautions and considerations which must be taken specifically when faceting the Emerald must also be regarded with the red variety.

12. Method of Enhancement.

Post-faceting procedures taken with Emerald are taken with the Red Emerald, as well. Type I beryls are thermally enhanced to improve color and/or clarity, but Emerald colors do not change and their inclusions cannot be burned away. Type III beryls use liquid enhancements to diminish the appearance of natural features on the surface, allowing greater visibility into a stone.

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Despite the many challenges an Emerald faces during formation, the end result is truly a breathtaking marvel!

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The Red Emerald

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Grinnell, IA 50112

515-868-7207

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