One of the rarest gemstones which have been highly sought after for over 4000 years are the internationally desirable emerald stone. Commonly recognised as Queen Cleopatra’s favoured gemstone, who often adorned countless robes, jewellery and crowns with the precious stones, emeralds are the one extravagance which can come with a hefty price tag.
When it comes to ascertaining the value of emeralds, there are a number of elements which need considering before buying one and can affect the overall value of the precious gemstone. We have put together our top four areas which need proper scrutiny before purchase is made:
Identify any inclusions including gas bubbles or tiny crystals, which may have become trapped during formation of the stone. An emerald which has excessive inclusions can diminish the stone’s transparency and clarity, decreasing the overall value and if noticeable near the surface, can cause the stone to fracture.
Examine the cut. Emeralds can be extremely difficult to cut due to the potential threat of inclusions, therefore, it is important to ensure that the cut is rectangular, known as a ‘step cut’ or an ‘emerald cut’, protecting the stone from potential everyday wear and tear damage.
The colour of an emerald is equally attributed to the value of the stone. For example, emeralds are often considered more valuable the darker they are but if an emerald becomes too dark, it decreases value. A true quality cut should enhance the emerald’s hue (the specific type of green colour ranging from bluish-green to a more yellow-green), tone (medium to medium-dark tones are the most valuable emeralds) and saturation (the transparency of the stone) – effectively providing a desirable colour which is vibrant and not dull.
Emeralds are available in a variety of sizes, from 0.02 carat gems to 5 carat centre stones used in rings or necklaces. The key of valuing emeralds is in the quality of the stone itself. A smaller stone of higher quality is more likely to hold greater value than a larger stone with poorer quality.
Remember, when buying a stone, always get it appraised by a trusted and reputable jeweller before purchase. You may be on the yellow brick road, but not all paths lead to the emerald city!