There are just some words that you don't imagine seeing being paired together, such as “yellow” and “emeralds,” and yet we will never really know of all the remarkable gifts the world has to offer. Green emerald fans and enthusiast who were somehow under the impression that emeralds are only found in one hue, green, will be disappointed (or delighted) to learn that emeralds actually exist in a number of colors including yellow. The following will provide you with a bit of information regarding this unusual gem and what is important to know before purchasing yellow emeralds.
Yellow emeralds, like all emeralds, and all gemstones for that matter, are assessed based on the 4 Cs (color, cut, clarity, and carat). While diamonds are widely known for being graded in this manner, it is a lesser-known fact that colored gemstones are also classified by these categories, though it does work a bit differently.
Let us begin with the color of an emerald. Similar to fancy color diamonds, an emerald's color is assessed based on its hue, saturation, and tone. The saturation of the emerald, what one might call the color intensity of a fancy colored diamond, is especially important because it can determine whether or not it is considered an emerald. Only stones that are medium to dark are classified as emeralds. Light stones are simply known as green beryl, or in this case, yellow beryl. Emeralds range in color from yellow-green to blue-green thereby making yellow and blue the most common secondary colors found in emeralds. Like fancy color diamonds, color is the most important factor, unlike colorless diamonds for example where all 4 Cs are of equal importance. The purer the color the better and the more expensive it is, which is why a pure yellow emerald would cost quite the pretty penny.
As far as clarity, emeralds, including yellow emeralds, are much softer stones than diamonds and therefore will generally have some kind of inclusion. That is why they are inspected by eye instead of with a loupe, which is standard for grading a diamond's clarity. Therefore, emeralds that appear clean according to a professional eye are considered flawless, which is the highest clarity grade and the reason they demand the highest value.
The cut and carat size of a yellow emerald are significant as well, but they depend greatly on the other 2 Cs. This is because the rarer the color, i.e. a pure yellow emerald, the harder it is to come across a large stone, thereby making smaller carat sizes worth large sums. The same goes for the cut. Certain cuts are sometimes used to abolish the flaws, which may take away from a stone's carat size and ideal cut, but at the same time, will provide a better quality stone. If this gem also happens to have superb color, it can end up being a valuable emerald. That is why aside from color as the main element, the other Cs are very much dependent on one another and the stone as a whole.
Yellow Emerald Sources
As far as we know, emeralds have been mined for centuries upon centuries. We know about emerald mining in Egypt as far back as 1500 BCE. Other notable emerald sources in antiquity include India, and Austria since the 14th century CE. In modern times, Colombia is the primary producer of emeralds, with the past decade seeing a serious increase in production numbers. Zambia is another major contributor, but emeralds are found worldwide from Afghanistan to Brazil to Russia, Zimbabwe, and many other countries.
Famous Yellow Emeralds
While there are several famous green emeralds, yellow emeralds are far rarer and have therefore surfaced less. There are no especially famous yellow emeralds to date.
Many emerald consumers are after the gemstone because of its unique color. Though green emeralds have an undeniable beauty, yellow emeralds have something completely different to offer. They differ from their yellow gemstone counterparts such as yellow diamonds and citrine, and they have their own individual beauty that too cannot be denied.