Emerald, May's birthstone, is a variety of the mineral beryl, colored green by trace amounts of chromium. In the United States, emeralds colored by vanadium are recognized as true emeralds, but in Europe, vanadium emeralds (sometimes called "Columbian Emeralds") are simply called "green beryl". Our beads are more likely to be chromium emeralds, but we are unable to confirm this. Bead-quality emeralds are almost guaranteed to be oiled, with either a natural or synthetic oil with refractive index close to that of an emerald. This improves clarity and stability. When cleaning emeralds of any quality, clean only with a soft cloth. Avoid tumblers, ultrasonic cleaners, and harsh chemicals.
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