Emerald Buying Guide

Emerald is the green variety of the mineral beryl and one of the most highly prized all gems. Emerald is the birthstone for May and the zodiac stone for those born under Cancer's sign. Throughout history emerald has been one of the most desired and coveted of gems. Associated with Venus, the Roman goddess of love, the emerald was believed to bestow upon the wearer faithfulness and unchanging love. Emerald belongs to the gem family beryl. Colombia, Brazil, and Zambia are the major producers, but there is an increasing shortage of fine emerald, and producers are having trouble keeping up with world demands.

Emerald Color: The finest quality emerald has the color of fresh young green grass- an almost pure spectral green, possibly with a very faint tint of blue. The highest quality emeralds have medium tone and are bright green with good color saturation. Color distribution should be uniform.

Emerald Saturation (color purity) is the brightness or vividness (dullness or drabness) of the color. It refers to the degree to which the hue is hidden by brown or gray. Colors with minimum amount of brown or gray are described as vivid or strong. For color purity GIA uses saturation and AGL uses intensity. Saturation can be "highly pure" and "slightly brownish or grayish". Our emeralds are "slightly brownish or grayish."

Emerald Hue: refers to the basic colors of blue, green, yellow, orange, red, purple and violet. All emeralds exhibit some other colors in addition to their basic green color. To determine the hue, look for the dominant color in the face-up view. When you move the stone in different directions you see the different colors.

Emerald Education


Emerald Tone: Refers to the depth of color (light or dark). The lightest possible tone is colorless. The darkest is black. Tone is another word for the degree of lightness or darkness. Judging the tone of a stone is difficult because it does not display a single, uniform tone. To judge the tone of a stone, examine it face-up and look for areas of light and dark. Columbian emerald is a deep green with a very slight blue undertone and is considered the finest. African emerald is also a nice shade of green with a blue undertone with a slight darkening effect which makes it slightly less valuable than Columbian

Emerald can have tones: "light-medium," "medium," "medium-dark," and "dark". We prefer emeralds with medium tones in rings & emerald jewelry.

Emerald Clarity: Clarity refers to the absence of internal flaws or inclusions. Type and placement of flaws are also very important. Flawless emeralds are so rare that inclusions are expected in genuine emerald. When there aren't any inclusions, one wonders if the stone is in fact an emerald. So placement of flaws are important when buying a emerald in rings.

Emerald Cut: A good cut will enhance stones natural beauty to the fullest. A poor cutter make may make the same stone less desirable, because a poor cut will significantly reduce the vividness and alter the depth of the color (saturation), usually producing a stone that is too dark. Flaws are very common in emeralds and that is why cut of an emerald is important in not allowing these flaws to penetrate deep into the gem.

Emerald Value: Emeralds which are well cut, pure deep green and are moderately clean (flaws placement is good) are most valuable in rings.

Important Factors

Emerald Size: The common unit of measurement for stones is weight, expressed in carats and decimal parts thereof. Also, remember again not to confuse weight with size. Some stones weight more than others because stones have different density. Size of stone which can be diameter, or length and width is expressed in millimeters. Our stones are not cut deep to gain weight but are well cut emeralds offering you maximum size.

Taking Care of Emerald Jewelry? When you store jewelry, protection from theft and damage should be a prime consideration. A jewelry box can protect pieces from damage if they are stored individually, but it is one of the first places burglars look. Emerald should never be cleaned with an ultrasonic cleaner but with a soft cloth. Emeralds should be wrapped separately in soft material or placed individually in pouches. Wear jewelry after you are dressed up. Have a professional check your jewelry every couple of years to check the setting as well as the stones.

Important Considerations: Both intensity and tone of color can be significantly affected by the proportioning of the cut. In other words, a good gem cutter working with a fine stone will be able to bring out its inherent beauty to the fullest. A poor cutter make may make the same stone less desirable, because a poor cut will significantly reduce the vividness and alter the depth of the color (saturation), usually producing a stone that is too dark. In emeralds a shallow cut might bring more color saturation than a deeper cut.