The name emerald, from the old French “esmeralde” meaning “green stone”, is the most precious gem in the beryl family group, which also includes morganite and aquamarine. Admired throughout the ages the Incas and Aztecs regarded the gem as holy and the Egyptians mined them by the Red sea as early as 3000BCE.
Like all gems, it’s the emeralds colour that makes them attractive, their scintillating brilliance making them unique. High-quality emeralds are quite rare as inclusions or fractures often cloud their interior. This is the main reason fine emeralds are valuable and indeed can be more valuable than diamonds. Contrary to diamonds, slight inclusions don’t necessarily diminish their value. An emerald with a deep intense green colour can be worth more than a flawless but paler green emerald.