Durability in Natural Emeralds

Bezel Setting

V-Prong Setting

V-prong set
Bezel Set

Most of the information about durability in emeralds says how delicate and weak this gem is.  But in reality, emeralds are not all that fragile.  The Mohs scale of mineral hardness identifies how easily a gemstone is scratched. Diamonds are at the top of the scale at 10.  After them come rubies and sapphires at 9, topaz at 8, and emeralds are from 7.5 to 8. They are in the same range as aquamarines, most quartz and tourmalines, and above tanzanite (6.5 - 7), turquoise (5 - 6), onyx (6.5 – 7), zircon (6.5 – 7.5), opal (5.5 – 6.5) and pearls (2.5 -4.5). 

Even though emeralds are relatively hard stones, the presence of fractures and inclusions that give each stone its personality and unique beauty can also affect their toughness. The liquids, gases and crystals inside these gems create challenges to those who work with the stones.  The gem cutter must avoid touching any inclusions with his cutting disk or he may break the stone. The setter, the person in charge of putting the stone into a piece of jewelry, can break a stone  just by pushing the stone into the setting if there are fissures near a corner of the stone.

All this talk about breaking stones may sound like bad news, but the good news is that if you see an emerald that has inclusions only in its center far from any surface or corner, durability of the gem will not be a problem. A good cutter will isolate the inclusions in the center of the stone and the setter will design a setting that will protect the stone where it is most likely to be bumped by the wearer under normal circumstances.  Yes, emeralds can be fragile but the cutter and setter have already taken most of the risks, much more than the wearer of a well designed piece of jewelry will ever have. 

Here are some things I always tell my customers who are still concerned about an emerald's durability. You do have a choice where to wear your emerald. Stones worn as pendants, earrings, or brooches are far less likely to be bumped or otherwise abused than stones set in rings and bracelets. But more important than anything else is the setting.

A bezel setting goes all the way around the stone, covering its whole edge.  A V-Prong setting for cuts with corners, e.g. emerald cuts and pear shapes, is also a great option.  It encloses the most fragile parts, the corners, with metal.

Because a setting is so important to the protection of an emerald, some jewelers don't feel comfortable working with them. They will have to be more careful when they work with these gems than when working with diamonds.  Just to make a small repair like resizing a ring or replacing a prong, they will have to take the emerald out of the setting, make the repair, and then put the gem back in the setting. It is a risk that some jewelers prefer not to take.

We at Queen Emerald always try to build all our jewelry pieces with the assumption that you will want to wear them every day and all the time. That is why every single piece is made by hand, every single setting is made for an individual stone, and all the prongs are bigger and wider than traditional prongs.

The best advice I can give is to enjoy your emeralds.  If you have one of our pieces already you can wear it with confidence every day.  It was made with just for that purpose.  Just remember, ANYTHING can be broken and because you are wearing a unique and exclusive jewelry piece it needs to treated with a little care.

 

COLORCLARITYCARAT WEIGHT

Durability in emeralds

Natural colombian emerald jewelry, columbian emerald jewelry, emerald rings, emerald earrings, emerald necklaces, emerald pendants, emerald braceletes, real emeralds, genuine emeralds, high qulity emeralds, emerald engagement rings, white gold, costum emerald jewelry

Natural colombian emerald jewelry, columbian emerald jewelry, emerald rings, emerald earrings, emerald necklaces, emerald pendants, emerald braceletes, real emeralds, genuine emeralds, high qulity emeralds, emerald engagement rings, white gold, costum emerald jewelry

Emerald ring

Natural colombian emerald jewelry, columbian emerald jewelry, emerald rings, emerald earrings, emerald necklaces, emerald pendants, emerald braceletes, real emeralds, genuine emeralds, high qulity emeralds, emerald engagement rings, white gold, costum emerald jewelry

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