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Very Good Quality Handcrafted Nineteenth Century Antique Genuine Natural Siberian One-Half Carat "Old Fashioned" Cut Faceted Emerald.

CLASSIFICATION: "Old Fashioned" Cut Faceted Emerald.

ORIGIN: The Ural Mountains (Siberia), Russia. 19th Century.

SIZE: Length: 6mm. Width: 4mm. Depth: 2 1/2mm. All measurements approximate

WEIGHT: 0.51 carats.

NOTES: Upon request we can set your gemstone as a ring, pendant, or into earrings (click here for more information).

DETAIL: A very nice, near eye clean, beautifully colored natural emerald precious gemstone from the Southern Urals of (Siberia) Russia. The gemstone was hand crafted and faceted by a 19th century Russian artisan, part of an heritage renown for the production of the elaborate gemstones and jewelry of the Czars of Medieval, Renaissance, and Victorian Russia. Emeralds are nearly 100 times rarer than diamonds, and there are few opportunities to acquire good quality natural emeralds at reasonable prices. The best specimens can bring over $40,000 a carat. This particular precious gemstone possesses the crystal clear mint green color possessed by good quality emeralds. Though it is possible to make out a few blemishes (hair-thin strands known as "rutile") upon very close scrutiny, to the cursory inspection of the causal admirer it is without immediately discernible blemish to the naked eye, though with intent inspection (as in hold it right up to your eye) these small, rutile blemishes can be discerned.

As you can see in these photo enlargements, even at 500% magnification the blemishes are not, keeping in mind that this is an emerald, especially pronounced. Most commonly emeralds are blemished with various bits and pieces known as "jardin", French for "garden". Most emeralds literally have a garden of blemishes, and most emeralds consequentially are not absolutely transparent, rather they tend to be merely translucent. To the casual admirer this specimen is, in fact, transparent and reasonably close to eye clean. It is not absolutely without blemish of course, as there are these faint rutile blemishes discernible. Unfortunately most transparent "emeralds" sold even by the largest and most reputable retailers in the United States are synthetic (read the fine print; and the same is true of rubies and sapphires). However Russia has produced good quality emerald for centuries from the region of Siberia. Why would you buy synthetic emeralds at the mall when you can have the real thing?

Under magnification the gemstone shows the unmistakable characteristics of having been hand crafted. The cut is a rectangular with rounded corners, and is known within the industry as "old fashioned". The coarseness of the 19th century finish is considered appealing to most gemstone collectors, and is not considered a detriment, or to detract from the value of a gemstone. These characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, most serious collectors consider such gemstones more desirable, possessed of greater character and uniqueness when compared to today's cookie-cutter mass-produced machine-faceted gemstones. Unlike today's computer controlled machine produced gemstones, the cut and finish of a gemstone such as this is the legacy of an artisan who lived two centuries ago.

This gemstone has possesses wonderful luster and is transparent, but it is not entirely flawless. True, the blemishes it possesses are nearly indiscernible to the naked eye. So the gemstone can be characterized, to use trade jargon, as "near eye clean". However magnified five-fold as it is here in these photo enlargements, you can see several of the rutile blemishes described hereinabove. Of course the same may said about almost any natural gemstone, especially emeralds. An absolutely flawless gemstone simply is not the rule in nature. Most absolutely flawless gemstones will upon close examination be revealed to be synthetic. You might also notice under magnification occasional irregularities in the cut and finish. Naturally these characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, you must also consider that two centuries ago the mining techniques prevalent did not allow the ultra deep mining operations which are so common today.

Keep in mind two centuries ago mankind was more or less limited to surface deposits or near surface deposits of gemstones. Higher quality gemstones which today are routinely mined from beneath hundreds of meters, even kilometers beneath the earth's surface, were simply inaccessible then. For these reasons antique gemstones must be appreciated as antiques first, gemstones second. The relatively superlative quality of contemporary gemstones routinely mined from deep beneath the earth's surface today were simply not accessible two centuries ago, or at least, only rarely so. However for most, the unique nature and character of antique gemstones such as this more than makes up for blemishes which by and large, are only visible under high magnification.

HISTORY: Emeralds were amongst the earliest gemstones traded by mankind, since the 5th millennium B.C. Prominent in ancient Babylon’s gemstone markets, one of the earliest source for these precious gemstones were Egyptian emerald mines near the Red Sea, first worked in the 3rd millennium B.C. The Greeks worked the same mines from the time Alexander the Great conquered Egypt. The last ruler of the Greek Ptolemaic Dynasty in Egypt, Cleopatra VII, Queen of Egypt, was often depicted and described wearing fabulous emeralds. The remains of "Cleopatra's Mines" were discovered in 1817 near Aswan on the Red Sea coastline. Emeralds were also quite favored in the Roman Empire, especially by Roman Emperors. Emerald mines in upper Egypt provided medieval and Renaissance Europe with emeralds up through the 16th century. Emeralds were the most prized of the Russian Crown Jewels during the centuries long-rule of successive Russian Czars. Though the world’s best emeralds are generally regarded as being Colombian, emeralds are also produced in Brazil, Pakistan, Russia, India, throughout Africa, and in North Carolina. Russian Siberian emerald production is notable for the very large specimens unearthed, albeit of lower quality.

SHIPPING OPTIONS: All purchases are backed by an unlimited guarantee of satisfaction and authenticity. If for any reason you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it for a complete and immediate refund of your entire purchase price. Most of these antique gemstones were originally part of two collections, one originating in India principally composed of gemstones originally mined in India, Burma, Ceylon, and Siam, and then hand faceted in India. The addition of a second accumulation of antique gemstones originally mined in the Urals in the mid to late 19th century (including alexandrite) completed the collection. These gemstones as well were hand finished. The Urals have been one of the world's major sources of precious and semi-precious gemstones for many centuries. As well, additional specimens are occasionally acquired from other institutions and dealers in Eastern Europe and Asia. These antique gemstones are now in the United States and are available for immediate delivery.

We ship inventory from the USA order fulfillment center near Seattle, Washington. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipping within 48 hours of payment. A certificate of authenticity is available upon request. We prefer your personal check or money order over any other form of payment - and we will ship immediately upon receipt of your check (no "holds"). We will accept PayPal payments. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE".