Emeralds are a highly desired precious gemstone, admired for their vigorous green color, remarkable elegance, lush hues, and exotic appeal.
The Precious Green Gemstone
The green emerald gemstones are a symbol of new life and all that promises. Therefore they are considered as the birthstone for May and also a traditional gift for wedding anniversaries. Due to its high popularity worldwide, this astonishing gem has become a preferred choice for jewelry and is treasured by every generation as a precious asset.
Emeralds are mined almost all over the world, including Colombia, Brazil, Pakistan, India, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Russia, and the United States. Colombia has emerged as the world’s leading source for the best quality emeralds, whereas the most valuable ones come from the Rajasthan region of India.
Evaluating an Emerald Gemstone
The following factors determine the value of this gem:
- Color – The most popular color of a green emerald is bluish-green color in a somewhat dark tone with strong to extreme saturation. Shades of the gemstone change from light to green with shades of yellow, blue, or black. The color shade of a gem is an important characteristic to determine its originality and value.
Buyer’s Note: Choose emeralds of Colombian origin as they yield a vivid green shade of gemstone whereas Zambia provides a bluish-green stone. Bright green gems fetch more price than light green stones.
- Cut – It is a very crucial step as the perfect cut enhances the color of the stone and increases its value. With modern techniques, the emerald stones can be cut into various shapes such as the oval, round, rectangular, pear, cabochon, marquise, and more.
Buyer’s Note: The most preferred cut is the emerald-cut, as the color of the stone is best visible in this shape.
- Clarity – Emeralds are a highly precious stone. However, flaws and blemishes vary from one gem to another. Finding a flawless emerald gemstone without any inclusions is a difficult task and commands a very high price.
Buyer’s Note: Select emeralds with internal inclusions rather than surface or near-surface inclusions.
- Carat – These stones come in a range of dimensions. The larger emeralds have more carats and are more expensive when compared to the smaller ones. The beauty of an emerald stone is enhanced in large sizes as they are considerably harder to mine.
Buyer’s Note: The weight suitable for jewelry is between 0.5 and 4 carats. The gemstones exceeding 5-carats are expensive and rare. It is advisable to buy emerald gemstones by size and not by carat weight.
With these criteria, it gets easier to determine the appropriate emerald stone cost. However, before buying this valuable gem, it is always advisable to ask for a lab certificate if possible.
Different Types of Emerald
Each mining location produces a different color variation of green emerald gemstone. Therefore, it is imperative to understand the features of each variety of emerald before buying them:
- Colombian Emeralds – are found in the Boyaca; province of Columbia. These sought-after stones are among the first gemstones mined in the world. Colombia alone is responsible for 70-90% of the world’s emerald supplies. The vibrant green color, transparency, crystallization, and fire make this gemstone a huge hit among buyers.
- Kagem Zambian Emeralds – are found in Zambia, Southern Africa. These precious and versatile gemstones are also called the “stone of successful love” and symbolize hope and eternal love. The bluish-green color of the Zambian stones tends to be more saturated greener than Colombian emeralds.
- Brazilian Emeralds – were discovered in Brazil around 1920. These gemstones are lighter in the shade compared to Colombian emeralds. They are often found in a yellow-green color with no inclusions. One of the largest jewels ever discovered in the world was Bahia Emerald in Brazil, weighing over 840 lbs.
Every stone is enhanced to improve its overall appearance. The cavities present within the gem are often filled with a hard colorless substance. Later, they are treated with colorless oil or wax over the surface of the stone to cover the breaks or reduce their prominence. This process is repeated after a few years as the effect of colorless oil diminishes with time. Oiling is the oldest technique used for enhancing emerald clarity. These days, modern methods are used to improve clarity. Natural resins or waxes are used to treat the stone to provide permanent protection.
Emerald stones are also subjected to colored treatment by dealers to increase their color quality and price. However, while selling these gemstones, reputable dealers will always provide information outlining any treatments that have been applied to the stone which buyers should look for in determining an emerald’s quality.
Buying Loose Emerald Gemstones
Emerald gemstones are widely used in jewelry items such as cluster rings, brilliant earrings, majestic necklaces, and elegant bracelets. Due to the unexpected rise in the demand for emerald jewelry, their prices have skyrocketed over the years.
People who want to buy emerald gemstones as jewelry, but are bound within a budget, can opt for loose emerald gemstones. These stones are subjected to different heat and color treatments to enhance the overall quality of the gem. They can be used in creating jewelry pieces – ring, necklace, pendants, and so on. Loose emerald gemstones are relatively affordable compared to natural ones which aid an average earning person to afford this gem. These stones can be cut in different shapes and sizes without any concern for the quality of the gem.
Cleaning Emerald Gemstone Jewelry
Emerald is a rugged gem, measuring 7.5 – 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness. In spite of its listed durability, this gemstone requires special care and precautions. Below are a few tips to keep your precious gemstone jewelry just like new.
- Clean the stone using a soft dry cloth.
- Store them in a separate jewelry box lined with soft material.
- Wash them with soapy water as water can seep into the fractures and dissolve the oiling.
- Use ultrasonic cleaner else the oiling would be removed from the stone and inclusions would be visible through the naked eyes.
- Expose the gem to excessive heat and sudden temperature change.
With this guide in hand, buyers can make an informed purchase of emerald gemstones that are not only valuable but also beautiful. So wait no further! Express your personal style by wearing emerald jewelry that continues to grow in popularity with each passing day.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website's content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra's expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.