India is known for its rich culture and heritage, and one of the most celebrated aspects of the country’s heritage is its gemstone and jewelry industry. Amazing collections of jewelry created from precious stones such as emeralds and diamonds are commonly seen in India. Indian emerald is a potent symbol of prosperity and power and is considered as one of the most significant and valuable gemstones in the world. It is known for its brilliant green color, durability, and rarity, which has made it highly sought after by jewelry designers and collectors alike. This article aims to provide a detailed insight into Indian emerald, its properties, and its importance in Indian culture.
History of Emerald Gemstone and Jewelry in India:
Emeralds are stones that are shrouded in myth and mystery. The gemstone has been used over the centuries by royalty across the world. The history of emerald jewelry dates back to more than 4,000 years in ancient Egypt. The stone was also highly prized in ancient India, where it was considered a symbol of luxury and wealth. Indian emerald was believed to have therapeutic properties and was used to cure ailments such as eye diseases and stomach disorders.
One of the most famous emerald pieces in Indian history is the 217-carat Mogul Emerald. This incredible gemstone, which is almost the size of a golf ball, boasts a rich history dating back to the 16th century. The Mogul Emerald was once the property of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, who is remembered for his construction of the Taj Mahal. It is rumored that the ancient emerald had been worn by Shah Jahan on a bracelet before he had to give it up for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal’s tomb.
The Mogul Emerald has passed through the hands of several rulers and nobles over the years. It was eventually sold to the Smithsonian Institute in the United States, where it has been on display since 1931. The Mogul Emerald may be the most famous emerald in Indian history, but there are plenty of other significant emerald pieces to explore.
Types of Indian Emeralds:
Indian emeralds are known for their unique and enchanting green hues. The color, which ranges from light green to dark green, makes the stone highly coveted. The emeralds found in India come from the eastern state of Orissa, where they are mined in the Jajpur district. Indian emeralds are, however, rare and are not found in large quantities like other precious stones such as diamonds.
One of the most significant factors that contribute to the emerald’s beauty is its inclusions. Inclusions are the natural patterns found within the stone that give it texture, depth, character, and uniqueness. Emeralds with few inclusions or blemishes are known as eye-clean, while those with numerous inclusions are described as heavily-included or low quality. Indian emeralds are categorized according to their transparency, color, and clarity.
The best emeralds possess a deep green hue and a high degree of transparency. These stones have an intense and vibrant green color that enhances their value. The clarity of an emerald plays a significant role in determining its worth. Stones with visible flaws are significantly cheaper than those that are free of visible flaws.
Treatments and Enhancement:
Indian emeralds are often treated or enhanced to improve their appearance. The most common treatment for emeralds is oiling. Oiling involves filling the fractures and small cavities in the stone’s surface with oil or a synthetic resin. The aim of oiling is to improve the gemstone’s appearance and make its color richer and more consistent. Oiled emeralds often require re-oiling over time to maintain their appearance.
Another treatment used for emeralds is the filling of fractures with lead glass. Lead-filled emeralds have a smooth and lustrous appearance and the fractures become less visible. The lead glass filling technique has become popular in recent years and has improved the appearance of heavily included or poor-quality emeralds. It is crucial to note that enhanced emeralds are less valuable than their natural counterparts. It is, therefore, necessary to consider the enhancement when purchasing an emerald.
The Importance of Emeralds in Indian Culture:
Emeralds have played a significant role in Indian culture. In ancient times, emerald was considered a symbol of richness and prosperity, and only the wealthiest of the society were privileged to own them. The green shade of the stone was thought to represent new life and growth, making it a valuable talisman for those who wanted to start new ventures or grow their existing wealth. In Hindu mythology, emeralds represent the planet Mercury, which is associated with intelligence and communication.
Emeralds were thought to encourage creativity, mental balance, and improve communication, making them particularly special to intellectuals and artists. Emeralds are also used in traditional Indian jewelry designs. They are often paired with diamonds, ruby, and sapphire to create intricate and unique designs. Emerald Necklaces, pendants, bracelets, and earrings are common in the Indian jewelry market, and emerald pieces are often passed down as heirlooms.
The Indian Emerald Market:
The Indian Emerald market is a flourishing industry, with gemstone traders and dealers making it one of the country’s fastest-growing industries. Indian emeralds are in high demand, and their value has increased in recent years due to their rarity and exquisite beauty. The beauty of Indian emeralds is often celebrated in museums, exhibitions, and jewelry shows across the globe.
India is one of the primary gemstone cutting destinations globally, and it is estimated that around 90% of all the world’s polished emeralds are created in India. Thus, India is a significant player in the global emerald market, displaying its expertise in the art of turning the otherwise crude stone into beauty.
Emeralds are highly sought after for their value and beauty, making them an attractive commodity for jewelry designers across the world. The Indian emerald market is highly competitive, with gem traders and manufacturers seeking to create innovative designs that incorporate the elegance and beauty of the gemstone.
The Indian emerald is a significant symbol of wealth, prosperity, and beauty. Its deep green color, rarity, and durability make it a highly prized gemstone, particularly in the Indian market. Emeralds are used in various pieces of Indian jewelry, adding to the luster of the country's rich heritage and culture. While the emerald market is highly competitive, Indian emeralds remain an essential part of the global gemstone market, with their quality, unique composition, and beauty highly appreciated by collectors and connoisseurs around the globe. Overall, the Indian emerald is a sparkling jewel, rich in both history and culture, symbolizing the true essence of luxury and elegance.