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Article: Types of Emeralds


Types of Emeralds

Emeralds are highly prized gems known for their intense green color and rarity. Depending on their cut and form, emeralds are classified into various types that affect their use and value.

In this article, we will explore the different types of emeralds, including faceted emeralds, morralla, cabochon, and canutillo, their characteristics, and where they can be found.

Emeralds are a variety of the mineral beryl, colored by traces of chromium and vanadium. These gems have been valued since ancient times and are particularly known for their beauty and rarity. The different types of emeralds are used in various applications, from fine jewelry to mineral collections.

Types of Emeralds

  1. Faceted Emerald

    • Characteristics: Faceted emeralds are cut with multiple faces (facets) to maximize their brilliance and color. This type of cut highlights the transparency and light play within the gem.
    • Use: Mainly in fine jewelry, such as rings, necklaces, and earrings.
    • Value: High, due to the work and precision required to create the facets, as well as the quality of the stone in terms of color and clarity.
  2. Morralla Emerald

    • Characteristics: Morralla emeralds refer to small fragments of emeralds that are not large enough to be faceted. They often have more inclusions and less clarity.
    • Use: Generally used in the making of small jewelry pieces, costume jewelry, or as collection material and in gemstone therapies.
    • Value: Lower compared to faceted emeralds due to their size and quality.
  3. Cabochon Emerald

    • Characteristics: Cabochon emeralds are polished into a convex shape without facets, with a smooth, rounded surface. This cut highlights the color and internal inclusions, creating an attractive effect.
    • Use: Frequently used in rings and pendants, especially in designs that seek to showcase the natural beauty of the stone.
    • Value: Variable, depending on the quality of the color and clarity. Inclusions can be seen as attractive in this type of cut.
  4. Canutillo Emerald

    • Characteristics: Canutillo refers to emerald crystals in the form of small natural hexagonal prisms, often uncut and unpolished.
    • Use: Mineral collectors value canutillos for their natural crystalline form. They are also used in artisanal jewelry.
    • Value: Depends on the quality of the crystal and its size. Well-formed crystals with good color are more valuable.

Where to Find These Types of Emeralds

Emeralds are mined in various parts of the world, with Colombia being the most famous producer due to the quality of its gems. Other producing countries include Zambia, Brazil, and Afghanistan. Here are some of the places where different types of emeralds can be found:

  • Colombia: The Muzo, Chivor, and Coscuez mines in the Boyacá department are known for producing high-quality emeralds, including faceted, cabochon, and canutillo.
  • Zambia: The Kagem mine in the Copperbelt province produces high-quality faceted and cabochon emeralds.
  • Brazil: Regions such as Minas Gerais and Bahia are known for producing a variety of emeralds, including faceted and cabochon.
  • Afghanistan: The Panjshir Valley is famous for its high-quality emeralds, often cut into facets and cabochons.

Paula A. Bonilla

Social communicator and journalist from Sergio Arboleda University in Colombia. She is also a jeweler and is passionate about constantly learning about precious gems and national high jewelry.

Currently, she is working for one of Bogotá's most important jewelry stores, Emerald by Love. This jewelry store has over 40 years of experience and has 2 physical branches in the capital city of Colombia, located in the city center.

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