Emerald Buying Guide
We believe you should buy an emerald that speaks to you; the best way is to place it against your skin and see how you feel. Emeralds come in a wide range and you can choose to focus on colour or clarity or both. Visibly eye clean emeralds are extremely rare.
Here are the 5C’s to keep in mind while buying an emerald.
The important factor that decides the price of an emerald is colour and emeralds colour is defined by its hue, tone and saturation. Hue is the strength of the primary colour in comparison to its secondary colour, green is the primary colour of an emerald and blue and yellow are the secondary colours, a high quality emerald will lean towards a pure green colour.
Saturation refers to the intensity of colour, a vivid green emerald is more desirable. Tone is the lightness or the darkness of an emerald.
The most prized emeralds are bluish green to pure green with vivid colour saturation and a tone that’s not too dark.
The most common cut in an emerald is an emerald cut which retains the shape and weight of a natural emerald crystal. A well-cut stone will reflect more light and will accentuate the appearance of the gemstone.
Almost every emerald will contain inclusions; they are natural and form its DNA making every emerald unique. Excess of inclusions will decrease the value of an emerald and make the stone look opaque; emeralds with inclusions on the surface will be less durable. The most desired emeralds will have fewer inclusions.
Often emeralds are treated to enhance their clarity, the most common treatment is baby oil, which enters the fissures of an emerald and makes it appear cleaner. This is a widely accepted method and totally reversible. Some emeralds are treated with resins and polymers and are a more stable treatment. Natural untreated emeralds are the most desired; treatments are totally acceptable as long as it is disclosed.
Emeralds are usually sold in carats, a measure of weight and not size. The specific density of emeralds is lower than diamonds hence a 1 carat emerald will appear much larger than a 1 carat diamond.
Certification from a reputed International laboratory is important for any significant emerald purchase. Some of the reputed International labs for emerald certification are Gubelin, SSEF, GIA, AGL and SGL.