Emeralds from Columbia

Columbia has the reputation of being the supplier of the finest quality Emeralds in the world. One thing I have noticed is that the Columbian emerald tends to be a little more bluish colored. A lot of the emerald rough I see is lighter colored.

As a faceter/cabber one of the biggest challenges I face is finding good emerald rough at a reasonable price. Even small pieces of clean rough with good color can be very expensive. Most of the rough I see is moderately to severely included and/or very light. Sometimes I am willing to pay the price just to try my hand at a beautiful piece of precious gem rough. This makes using step cuts and deeper brilliant cuts for faceting the best choice despite the loss of brilliance. However, I tend to go for more interesting cuts.
Click on any of the pictures below to see a close-up shot of each view.

Here are some of the beautiful crystals...
These Columbian Emerald crystals range in weight from 1.85 carats to 4.43 carats!

It is hard enough to find cabbed Trapiche Emeralds, here are several pieces of rough...

This final set of pictures is of the same stone: what looks rather "ho-hum", reveals itself to be a Trapiche Emerald rough! The close-up on the far right has an arrow pointing to the hexagonal core and two of the spokes...

For an excellent article on Trapiche Emeralds, check out this one at JazzanJewels.com

I rough cut this material with a 360-grit plate, followed with a fine cut on a 1200-grit plate, and finished with a 14k polish. Remember to cut slowly and use plenty of water.

Although Emerald has a hardness of about 7.5 it tends to have internal fractures and cleavages making it susceptible to fracturing. Also, most emeralds are treated (usually with oil, resin, or epoxy) so cleaning them can risk removing the treatment. Care should be taken when handling these gemstones.

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