Such a beautiful stone with such a distinctive colour.. They are the most valuable gemstone from the Beryl Group, which also includes Aquamarine and Morganite.
They are coloured by the presence of Chromium, which is very stable against light and heat.
A lot of people are a bit unsure about using emeralds as a stone in their engagement ring.
They are a 7.5 on the MOH hardness scale so not particularly resistant to abrasion when compared with diamonds, sapphires or rubies. The stone is typically brittle and senstive to high heat pressure so must be worn with care!
The preferred cut is the 'step cut' (aka emerald cut) which is where all sharp edges and corners are cut off which not only increases the stones resistance to knocks and chips, but enhances the warm satiny hue of the stone. They are often also bezel set which is added protection for the stone
image via Vogue Magazine UK
Virtually all emeralds have small surface fissures, internal inclusion and fractures.. it is the nature of their formation and a sign that they are naturally occuring, rather than synthetic. So almost all are oiled as part of the lapidary process to improve their clarity and soften their internal flaws. These are generally considered acceptable treatments, whereas the use of tinted oils or polymers is not, and should be disclosed as it will effect the value of the stone.
The most well known source of Emeralds is Columbia but Brazil is another important producer.
I think they look beautiful against the white of diamonds and are one of the most eye-catching coloured gemstones around.
sources: Secrets of the Gem Trade by Richard E Wise, Gemstones of the World by walter Schumann and Wikipedia
They are from Calleija, who seem to stock lots of fine coloured diamonds and gemstones.
The pink diamonds are from Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia and the attractive colour is actually caused by defects in the crystal lattice structure, affecting the way certain light wavelenths are absorbed and transmitted through the stone.
The first one is a pair on onyx and diamond and coral earrings. Onyx and diamond jewellery has really been on my radar lately.. like the gorgeous Canturi and Chanel rings and some of the more affordable cubic zirconia versions from Georgini. But I think its the addition of bright coral really makes these art deco earrings special and take the onyx and diamond combo to the next level!
And how eye-catching is the second piece..? those bold colours side by side work so well! This gorgeous ring laughs in the face of the saying "Blue and green should never be seen" hohoho!
The third is my favourite and it is a Georgian Rose Cut diamond ring and I love that it is chunkier and bolder than what you would ever see from modern diamond designs. Rose Cut diamonds are style popular from the 1500s up until the 1900s and will be hard to find in contemporary jewellery. They are domed shape and don't have the sparkle caused by internal reflection of light we associate with the modern brilliant cut, instead the Rose Cut will enhance the stones clarity as the focus is on the surface of the stone.
I have admired other pieces from this antiques dealer here and here
The word "Bohemian" gets bandied around a lot (by people like me!) and is usually used to refer to a style that is 'characterised by unconvential and artistic detail'.
If you delve into the history books (or Wikipedia) you'll find Bohemia was a historical kingdom in Central Europe, occuping mostly what is now the Czech Republic.
During Victorian times it was fahionable for people of means to adorn their clothes with gemstones, and garnets were at the height of popularity, particularly the Pyrope Garnets found in Bohemia; with their deep red colour (due to their Mg content) and light refraction, they were favoured by kings and queens.
The typical design for that time was for close-set gemstones dominating the setting, with minimal metal showing through. Ref Antique Gold & Jewels
So it is these characteristic clusters of Pyrope Garnets which are indicative of authentic Bohmeian Jewellery.
Which means.. if you want some genuine boho action you should get yourself something like these!
Spinel, the Gem Traders gemstone. Tough, durable, colourful, beautiful. Under-valued by most.
It forms under the same geological conditions as Ruby and the two stones are often found together.. infact the two have often been confused (eg the Black Princes Rudie in the English Crown is actually a Spinel, as is the 'Timur Ruby' in the English crown jewels).
Spinel comes in a wide spectrum of colours but it is the redish and pink tones for which the gem is best known..
images 1 & 4 from Secrets of the Gem Tradeby Richard Wise, all other images from Wildfish Gems (thanks Audra), where you can purchase many of these stones are more, with the guarantee of all being untreated, non-enhanced natural gemstones.