I received a beautiful emerald ring for my birthday fifteen years ago. I am very attached to the ring, and wear it quite frequently. The only problem is, I think the emerald’s setting is starting to come loose and I need to get it fixed. I have heard that emeralds are very delicate so I would like some advice before I bring it to a jeweler. I want to fix the setting, not damage the stone!
Paula in Birmingham
Emeralds are indeed delicate stones. They often contain tiny, below the surface fissures, which add to their texture but can cause rifts in the stone should the emerald be handled too roughly. Therefore, when bringing your emerald ring to the jeweler, be sure that the stone is removed before the jeweler begins work on the setting. Otherwise, the heat from the torch can cause the emerald’s hidden fissures to widen.
Extreme heat can also cause the emerald to lose some of its color.
You may want to have your jeweler look at the stone as well as its setting since many emerald’s have had their hairline cracks coated with a special filler which has to be cleaned and retreated every few years. In general, you should wear your emerald with care, avoiding heat and hard objects. If you clean your emerald at home, do it by hand with a lukewarm moist cloth or soft toothbrush (but do not use toothpaste!!!!). Never soak it, even in water, or use ultrasonic cleaners.
With proper care, your emerald will look as good as on the day you bought it!