As gemstones are often a large financial investment, it is important to know how to choose a high-quality emerald before selecting one for purchase. When deciding on an emerald ring, remember “The Four Cs of Gemstones” to help you find the perfect one:
Color: Emeralds are known for their rich green color, and is one of the key characteristics to look for in a stone. In general, the darker the tonal color and the more translucent the stone, the more valuable it is. It should have strong saturation and thus more brilliance, meaning the emerald will reflect light to its best ability.
Clarity: Similar to diamonds and many other stones, emerald are much more valuable when high in clarity. However, while diamonds have a very clear grading scale to determine this, emerald does not. The major difference looked for is the number of inclusions in the stone. If you don’t see inclusions in this type of gem, you can expect that it is not authentic, as about 99% of them have them. Steer clear of any inclusions that appear perfectly arranged, bubble-like or blotchy.
Cut: When it comes to the cut of the emerald, there isn’t one specific shape that out-values another. However, there are some cuts that reflect light more easily. The most common cut for emerald stones is – not surprisingly – the rectangular “emerald cut.” Other common styles are round, oval, pear, teardrop and cabochon.
Carat: The actual carat weight of an emerald should be the least determinant factor in the stone’s value. Carat weight is much more important in gems like diamonds, while in emeralds the more important factors are color, clarity and cut. Many emerald experts agree that it’s better to purchase an emerald that’s smaller in size with excellent tonal quality than a bigger one with poor tonal quality. Additionally, on average, it takes the removal of five tons of dirt to find gem-quality emeralds more than one carat, so the price point for anything of that quality is going to jump significantly.