How To Pick an Emerald

Emeralds are one of the most rare and most precious gemstones and have been mined for centuries. During ancient times, emeralds were prized by civilizations like the Aztecs and Egyptians for their deep green color, which was thought to possess powers of life, youth, vitality, rebirth, and even love. Today, aside from being the designated birthstone for those born in May, emeralds are used as precious pieces for engagement rings and other kinds of jewelry. When shopping around for emeralds, you should take great care in picking them out and make sure you’re getting the real thing for what it’s really worth. Here are tips on how to pick an emerald.

Visit a high-quality jewelry store and consult an expert jeweler. When buying precious gemstones including emeralds, you should always go to a reputable, high-quality jewelry store, and one that has very knowledgeable staff ready to assist you and answer your queries. By doing this, you are assured that any piece you buy from them is also of top quality. Also, expert jewelers are able to tell right away if a piece is of good quality or not, whether it has undergone any chemical treatments, or whether its properties are weakened or reduced in value.

Browse through Internet merchant sites. Browse for emerald merchant sites online and go through their merchandise. One recommended site is The Emerald Empire. Their gem list is quite comprehensive since it includes the shape or cut, weight, size, color, clarity, price, item code, and certified appraisal of each piece. Some sites may provide photos of their emerald pieces, but the disadvantage here is that you can’t examine the emerald for yourself. If you want to buy from the Internet instead of a brick-and-mortar jewelry store or dealer, make sure to buy from a reputable online merchant. Don’t forget to go through the site’s return policy as well.

Color is the best indicator of a true emerald. Examine the emerald firsthand and check if it has that deep, vibrant green coloring.

Check the emerald for crystal quality. You would be hard-pressed to find a naturally clear emerald free of inclusions. These types of emeralds are truly rare and precious, not to mention, more expensive. It is more common and quite acceptable for an emerald to have some inclusions, or solid foreign bodies inside the emerald that make up that cloudy appearance. However, if you really want a clear emerald that is inexpensive, you can ask for emeralds that are man-made.

Ask if the gemstone has been treated in any way. One more advantage of buying emeralds from a reputable jeweler is that he can inform you if a particular piece of emerald has been chemically treated and gone through dyeing, heating, coating, irradiation, etc. Sometimes these kinds of treatments can weaken and reduce the value of the gemstone. But if an emerald has been treated with cedar oil, don’t worry. It is a widely accepted treatment since cedar oil enhances the intensity of its color and also improves clarity. This won’t harm the emerald itself nor diminish its value.

Choose the cut. There are a variety of emerald cuts, shapes, and sizes you can choose from. Rectangular step-cuts or emerald-cuts are the most common. But there’s also pear, oval, square, round, and even heart ones. To check if the emerald’s cut is done flawlessly, hold the gemstone facing upwards then look at it from different angles. If light is reflected across the surface evenly, then it is of good quality.

Consider the price range that you’re willing to go for. Natural emeralds go from a hundred to thousands of dollars. Naturally clear ones cost much more. Clear, man-made emeralds are of course, cheaper. Be wary of merchants selling relatively cheaper and clearer emeralds then passing them off as natural ones when in fact, they’re just man-made.

Emeralds are one of the world’s most beautiful precious gemstones that have been around for centuries. Ancient civilizations treasured them for the magical properties they believed them to contain. In modern times they’re still considered as symbols of life, youth, and vitality. When you’re choosing emeralds, remember to consult an expert’s opinion to be a hundred percent sure that you are indeed getting your money’s worth. 


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