Emerald, the rich green color of spring.



Treasured for at least 4,000 years by different cultures, emerald is said to quicken the intelligence as well as the heart.


Emerald is a beryl, a mineral that is normally colorless.

Emerald’s rich green color is caused by minute traces of chromium. Crystals of emerald grew long before human history in metamorphic rocks, which usually restricts the size of emerald crystals, making them even rarer in large sizes.


Emeralds are durable gemstones with a hardness of 7.5 to 8. However, emeralds with many inclusions should be treated with some care and be protected from blows.


With a little care, your emerald will no doubt be treasured by your descendants thousands of years in the future.


Emerald is the birthstone for May, and the anniversary gemstone for the twentieth year.

Scientists tell us that the human eye is more sensitive to the color green than to any other. Perhaps that is why green is so soothing to the eye, and why the color green seems to complement every other color.



Cleopatra prized her emeralds more than any other gem.

Mummies in ancient Egypt were often buried with an emerald on their necks carved with the symbol for verdure, flourishing greenness, to symbolize eternal youth.



The Romans also loved emeralds.

Pliny said that emerald was the only gem which delighted the eye without fatiguing it. He said his eyes were restored when gazing at emerald. Emperor Nero wore emerald sunglasses to watch the gladiators.

Choosing An Emerald

When choosing an emerald, the most important value factor to consider is color. The more vivid the green, the more valuable the emerald. There are also attractive bright stones with a lighter green color that often make a spectacular piece of jewelry. Darker green emeralds may also make up in rich color what they lose in brightness.



Because it is very rare to find emeralds without inclusions, this is expected and does not detract from the value of the stone as much as with other gemstones. When judging clarity in emeralds, be sure that fissures and inclusions do not go too deep into the stone so that it might be weakened enough to break if it were hit accidentally.


The fissures and fractures that are characteristic of emerald are traditionally filled with oil to minimize their impact. You should avoid cleaning emerald with hot soapy water or steam and never clean an emerald in an ultrasonic cleaner because this oil could be removed or damaged, making the fissures more visible.


Although many people consider Colombia to be the source of the best emeralds, country of origin is never a guarantee of quality. Even the best mine produces mostly low quality gemstones because good qualities are very rare! Fine emeralds also come from Zambia, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Russia and other countries, so don’t be afraid to choose the emerald that looks better to you.




Emerald Varieties


Colombian Emeralds

Columbian emeralds are almost synonymous with the name “emerald.” They are easy to obtain and are as close as the nearest jewelry store. They are prized for a vivid saturated green. This color is so prized that visible inclusions are accepted in these emeralds in return for the incomparable color.

Price Ranges:

0.50cts to 0.85cts = $650 to $1,800
One to two carats = $1,550 to $8,000
Two carats and above = $8,000 to $20,000


Zambian Emeralds

Zambian emerald lovers are lucky because these emeralds are highly available on the market today. Zambian emeralds are popular because they have a rich deep color and sometimes have very few inclusions. Zambian emeralds tend to be a slightly darker green than emeralds from Colombia and some have a bluish tone. Fine specimens have a clear true green color that are in the top range of quality on the market.

Price Ranges:

0.50cts to 0.85cts = $650 to $1,800
One to two carats = $1,550 to $8,000
Two carats and above = $8,000 to $20,000


Brazilian Emeralds

Long thought of as a producer of lower quality emerald, Brazil today now produces fine emeralds that rival those of its famous neighbor. A mine called Nova Era has produced some top gem quality emeralds that are changing Brazil’s reputation. Brazil now produces more emeralds than any other country.

Price Ranges:

0.50cts to 0.85cts = $650 to $1,800
One to two carats = $1,550 to $8,000
Two carats and above = $8,000 to $20,000


Zimbabwe’s Emeralds

Zimbabwe’s famous Sandawana mine is known for producing top quality emeralds in small sizes. Other potentially important producers of emerald are Pakistan, Afghanistan, Madagascar, Nigeria, and Russia.

Price Ranges:

0.50cts to 0.85cts = $650 to $1,800
One to two carats = $1,550 to $8,000
Two carats and above = $8,000 to $20,000

Emerald is one of the most difficult gemstones to cut because of the high value of the rough stone and the many inclusions found in crystals.

Emeralds are cut in Jaipur, India and Tel-Aviv, Israel as well as in the mining countries. Small changes in orientation can make a large difference in the final appearance of the gem. Skilled craftsmen who specialize in cutting emerald can be found in cities around the world for jewelers who insist on having stones perfected for the optimum brilliance and vibrancy.


Emeralds are often cut in a rectangular step-cut, which is now popularly known as the “emerald cut”.

Smaller sizes are also found in rounds, ovals, triangular, pear shapes and marquise cuts. You may have to look a while for an unusual shape in a larger size.


Due to their rich color, emeralds are also spectacular when cut in a smooth-domed cabochon cut.