The Laings Journal

A Guide to Emeralds and Their Care

Emeralds have long been adored for their exquisite green colour and elusive opulence. As a result of their enduring fascination, emeralds have come into the spotlight with celebrities such as Rita Ora, Megan Fox and Halle Berry featuring these gemstones in their engagement rings.

With complex and intricate properties, there are many factors to consider before choosing an emerald for your engagement ring and everyday wear. Laings are on hand to guide you through this fascinating gemstone, exploring why we must treasure them with the greatest care.

Can emeralds be used as engagement rings?

Emerald Jewellery

The Mohs scale ranks gem and mineral hardness in a range from 1 (least hard – talc) to 10 (hardest of all – diamond). Although ranking at 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale of hardness, emeralds are not recommended for engagement rings or everyday wear. The majority of emeralds contain fractures, with some estimates stating that more than 90 percent of emeralds are fracture-filled. So, while these gemstones are relatively resistant to scratching, they are more susceptible to breaking if knocked against a hard surface.

How to clean emeralds

Emerald ring

Considering the nature of emeralds and their susceptibility to fractures, it is not recommended to clean emeralds ultrasonically or with steam. The vibrations of an ultrasonic cleaner can weaken the stone and hot steam can cause oil or unhardened resin to be released from the fractures. It is advised to clean your emeralds with warm soapy water paired with gentle scrubbing with a soft cloth or very soft brush.

Taking care of your emeralds

Along with cleaning, it is also important to maintain the beautiful lustre of your emeralds over time with preventative care and gentle upkeep. Protecting your emeralds from alcohol products is key to preventing damage, so remember to always place your emerald jewellery on after hairspray and perfume.

Yellow gold Emerald necklace

You can apply a small amount of natural oil to your emeralds to help prevent the gem from becoming brittle and enhance the lustre. Dip a cotton bud into baby oil or olive oil and gently wipe over the top table facet of your emerald.

What alternatives are there to emeralds?

What many don’t know is that sapphires come in an array of colours – violet, green, yellow, orange, pink, purple and even grey, black or brown. Beautiful fresh hues of green can be found in sapphires, meaning your dream engagement ring does not have to be compromised. Sitting just below diamonds on the Mohs scale, sapphires are perfect for everyday wear and would make a wonderfully unique gemstone engagement ring.

Multi sapphire braceletFancy colour diamonds also offer a great alternative. Diamonds can occasionally exhibit fanciful colours of yellow, brown and, while rare, beautiful blue, green, pink and red colours.

Laings selection of emerald and gemstone jewellery is curated with unique and timeless pieces, with our experts on hand to ensure you find the one perfect for you. With over 180 years of fine-tuned craftsmanship expertise, you can be assured that Laings is here to help you take care of your precious pieces.


Follow our latest news on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.