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Gemfields marks emerald month with campaign celebrating the story inside each gemstone

Emeralds are prized for their calming green: an embodiment of nature, they symbolise growth, hope and new beginnings. They are also the glorious birthstone of May, and this year’s emerald month campaign pays homage to their natural beauty, depicting emeralds as a rough gemstone as well as the cut-and-polished treasures we know and love, with a focus on the beguiling inclusions that are housed inside each gem.

The campaign is intended to be lightly educational: raising awareness of the individual nature of each emerald and highlighting its rarity. It celebrates inclusions – sometimes called ‘jardin’ (garden) – that can be admired within emeralds, and are captured so beautifully in the magnified campaign images taken by Lotus Gemology. Inclusions are characteristics enclosed within a gemstone, usually during its formation, and each is unique. They are nature’s fingerprint and to be embraced.

Emeralds belong to the mineral family known as beryl. This also includes aquamarine, morganite and heliodor, but it is the green emerald that has long been the most coveted and valuable. Gemfields mines emeralds in Zambia, but they can also be found in Colombia, Brazil and Ethiopia, among other places. Zambian emeralds derive their intense green colour from the presence of chromium, iron and beryllium in their crystal structure; and they’re usually lacking in vanadium, resulting in a bluish-green, sharp and often eye-clean emerald.

Gemfields has collaborated with talented fine jewellery designers from around the world, resulting in a diverse range of collections showcasing Zambian emeralds. The recently launched Shruti Sushma x Gemfields collection channels Indian heritage and artistry: the head-turning Emerald Hexagon Necklace is comprised of strands of large emeralds, perfect for discovering the world within each gem. For everyday wear, the Waterlily Emerald and Diamond Earrings use a soothing floral motif to provide a pop of colour; while the fresh green Emerald Cluster Earrings are irresistible.

The IVY New York x Gemfields collaboration features substantial emerald statement rings, showcasing emeralds flanked by diamonds: the perfect choice for brides seeking an alternative to a solitaire diamond. The Fabergé x Gemfields Colours of Love collection offers further options, such as pear-shaped emerald drop earrings. The MidnightOperaHouse x Gemfields collaboration is hot off the press, with three one-off pieces that celebrate emeralds of different sizes in timeless Oriental, Baroque and Art Deco styles.

When it comes to buying an emerald of your own, there are myriad factors to consider and no hard and fast rules. Most often, the gemstone will choose you – sparkling that little bit brighter, catching your gaze for longer. Gemfields suggests following the 7Cs – colour, cut, carat, clarity, character, certification/reports and confidence – as a guideline.

Colour is deeply subjective. You should choose the shade that your eye favours, though many opt for a gem with an evenness of colour and good saturation. To assess this accurately, ask to see the gem in daylight, bearing in mind there are differing levels of UV in daylight, so the colour seen when purchasing a gemstone abroad may slightly differ when you return home. Emeralds can be cut into all different shapes, but the most common is the aptly named emerald cut, which gives the gem a solid structure and provides a window into its soul. Pear and cushion cuts are also popular.

Carat is the weight of a gem, and this, along with clarity, is a significant factor in its price point. A clear – rather than cloudy – gem is generally more highly prized. Inclusions are a natural feature of emeralds and pivotal to their character. Some are said to resemble leopard spots inside the gemstone, while images taken from deep within emeralds have been described as like miniature scenes from outer space or deep under the ocean.

For a significant purchase, it is advisable to request a certificate/report from a recognised, independent gemmological laboratory to be assured of the gem’s origin and any treatments it has received. Emeralds are likely to have been oiled, which is a common practice, though an un-oiled emerald will command a significantly higher price. Finally, ‘confidence’ refers to the need to buy from a trusted seller, and to be comfortable that a gem has not originated from an illicit source or funded practices that you may not wish to advocate.

Gemfields believes that gemstones should provide a positive impact and works hard to ensure that its operations and local community projects aim to be a force for good.

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