Emerald Buyer's Guide

Color Is The Most Important Quality Factor For Emerald

Emerald has many special qualities, but colored stone professionals generally agree that emeralds are, most of all, about color. Emerald has been the standard for green among colored stones for thousands of years.

As with other colored stones, it requires a well-trained eye to recognize the sometimes subtle variations that make significant differences in emerald value. This is especially true in the higher qualities.

The most desirable emerald colors are bluish green to pure green, with vivid color saturation and tone that’s not too dark. The most-prized emeralds are highly transparent. Their color is evenly distributed, with no eye-visible color zoning. If the hue is too yellowish or too bluish, the stone is not emerald, but a different variety of beryl, and its value drops accordingly.

The intensity of the green in the finest emeralds might not be equaled by anything else in nature.

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Emerald appearance is sometimes associated with its mine location. Colombian emeralds are said to have a warmer and more intense pure green color. Zambian emeralds are said to have a cooler, more bluish green color. In spite of these theories, the truth is that emerald appearance overlaps between sources.

 A hand-held flashlight reveals the green color of a rough emerald from the Coscuez Emerald mine in Columbia.

A hand-held flashlight reveals the green color of a rough emerald from the Coscuez Emerald mine in Columbia.

Clarity Refers To The Inclusions

Emeralds typically contain inclusions that are visible to the unaided eye. Because of this, trade members and some consumers understand and accept the presence of inclusions in emeralds. Eye-clean emeralds are especially valuable because they’re so rare.

Cut Is One Of The Most Important Factors In Appearance

The most popular cut is the emerald shape due to the original shape of the crystals. Well cut stones maximize the beauty of the color while minimizing the impact of fissures, and creating a bright, lively stone.