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The emerald

For millennia the emerald is admired, coveted and even venerated by many civilizations. Stone of legend imprint of history, this green jewel has its place in the trio winning colored gems most appreciated in the world, with the sapphire and the ruby.

This stone is associated with the May for its green so distinguishable from the others, it is customary to compare its color to the brightest of landscapes, to the most beautiful of the greenery. Undoubtedly, the emerald is rising to the rank of the largest ... Present in countless ornaments of sovereigns and enjoying a fame without flaw, the emerald is impossible to circumvent in jewelry.

The artisan jeweler Philippe Tournaire likes to integrate this exceptional gem in harmonious creations in various colors or simply to create a water point, a park in one of those dream villas that are the Architecture rings.

Identity card

The emerald comes from the beryl family, as well as the aquamarine. It is a silicate of aluminum and beryllium which has a hardness between 7.5 and 8. Its trademark is its crystallization: its irregularities come from the process of its formation, following the mines and continents of its origin. The emerald is one of the few gems to give us as many elements of answer as to its exact provenance. Its inclusions, so characteristic and omnipresent, give it a special charm, sometimes called "garden" to identify it and define its place of birth. There are few emeralds without visible inclusions. In the raw state, the emerald appears as a hexagonal prism.

The famous "emerald size", rectangular in shape and faceted angles, follows the shape of its crude crystal elongated. When the emerald contains too many inclusions, it is not uncommon to see it cut in a cabochon. Marélie ring in yellow gold by creator Philippe Tournaire.

Treatment and imitations

The majority of natural emeralds present micro-fractures and numerous inclusions which can sometimes make the stone less transparent and therefore less attractive. To mitigate these effects, it is often impregnated with an oil or a colorless resin. The majority of emeralds are thus embellished by this process.

It is a gem that must be cleaned with caution. Emerald being particularly recognized, many laboratories have sought to imitate it, using materials such as glass or by assembling, for example, two synthetic spinels or two colorless beryls on either side of a layer of green glue , Giving the illusion of a single stone (these assemblages are commonly called doublets, triplets). As for the emeralds of synthesis, it is a question of reproducing the stone from crystals of low quality, purifying them and crystallizing them again.

This result can be obtained by artificially recreating the conditions of formation of a natural emerald. The imitations are generally detectable simply because the stone seems too perfect, without visible inclusion, or because it has unrecognized inclusions of natural stones, such as gas bubbles. Syntheses require more experience.

The color, a major asset of the emerald

Color is the determining factor in the overall value of an emerald. A beryl is considered to be an emerald when its color ranges from green-yellow to green-tinged blue, with a rather pronounced tone and intense intensity. This popular color is due to the presence of chemical elements such as chromium, vanadium and iron. The more iron it contains, the more it is blended with blue. Among all the known green stones, the emerald is queen because none has its equal in color and history, although other gems are very appreciated also for their different greens.

As a comparison, we find the peridot and the tsavorite: Just as one can refer to the emerald as being of a green "garden", one associates with the peridot the green of a meadow, a lime or Still of an olive because this stone is dominant green but often tinted with a yellow more or less pronounced. This luminous stone was baptized "gem of the sun" by the Egyptians. Another stone called tsavorite, is a particularly sparkling green garnet, slightly tinged with yellow or blue, which is closer to the emerald than to the peridot. Discovered recently, the tsavorite is the best known garnet green. In large part, peridot and tsavorite are respectively their color with iron and vanadium ... Two elements that one finds also in the emerald, with chromium! These three intense green gems each contribute to the creation of exceptional Tournaire jewelry, full of life. 

The Emerald tells us its origins

Through its clarity and color, the emerald tells us its story. It is by allowing ourselves to be guided in the garden of its secrets that this sublime gem reveals its origins ... Historians believe that the first emeralds appeared in Egypt in 3500 BC. Egypt was the major source of emeralds until the 16th century. Then the Spanish explorers discovered abundant mines in South America ... Where we find the world's largest source of quality emeralds: Colombia. Today, the majority of emeralds originate from deposits in Colombia (Muzo, Coscuez, Chivor ...), Brazil, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Minor sources include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Australia, the United States and Russia.

Unlike many gems, one can easily know the provenance of an emerald.

It is for this reason that these terms are commonly used:

- The "Colombian" emerald: it describes the most sought-after emerald, of a green-blue-green color, of great intensity. It is from the emeralds of Colombia that the others are judged. One of the typical inclusions of Chivor emeralds in Colombia is iron pyrites.

- The "Brazilian": is said to be of a lighter emerald than the others, with inclusions of mica and other minerals.

- The "Zambian": a little darker and blue than the "Colombian", generally with fewer inclusions.

- Sandawana Emerald: of intense green, very bright

- The Afghan Emeralds: they often leave traces of black flakes and white crystals.

In addition to these inclusions revealing their provenance, a reliable and thorough scientific study made it possible to establish a true identity card for each of the main emerald mines. Researchers have indeed succeeded in defining the origin of emeralds by analyzing their surface without altering them. This discovery thus made it possible to trace in a precise way the history of these mythical stones.

Rich in its history, its fractures and its color, the emerald is a gem in its own right and timeless that has never stopped seducing the whole world. The creative artisan Philippe Tournaire loves the sparkling stones of beauty, full of hidden treasures that only need to be unveiled in the open day by highlighting them in an original creation. At once singular because of its peculiarities and common because known by all, the emerald has distinguished itself from the other green stones that nature offers us to contemplate.

A real garden by itself, it deserves to be visited and revisited!

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