It is definitely no surprise that the emerald is one of the most famous gemstone-be it for the evening, a gorgeous pair of earrings, or-an unconventional engagement ring. This lush stone, with its known calming powers, has been coveted for hundreds of years by the likes of Cleopatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie O, and, more recently, Halle Berry, and Olivia Wilde. While exclusive, a colorful center stone has become more mainstream and with all the spectacular options readily available, we cannot help but see why.
The Importance of the Four C’s
We use the same 4 c’s for emeralds, we give higher or lesser weight to each one, regarding its specific significance when assessing emeralds. Let us take a look at each one, in order of importance.
Without a question, color is by far the most significant of the 4 c’s. What captivates you right away when you see an emerald is unquestionably its color – either an attractive, passionate color or a lifeless, limp color – or perhaps somewhere in between.
Hue indicates the type of green color the emerald has, for example, yellowish-green or bluish-green. Most emeralds on the current market these days are Colombian, and most Colombian emeralds are bluish-green.
As with diamonds, emeralds with far better clarity fetch a higher price at the marketplace. But that is where the comparison ends. Although with diamonds there is a very clear clarity grading scale with emeralds there is not. The other major variation is that we expect to find inclusions in about 99% of emeralds. In fact, when you do not see inclusions, you need to be suspicious that the emerald is not natural.
As with diamonds, the cut of the emerald relates to its faceting, shape, width, and depth. Preferably, an emerald should be cut symmetrically with uniform facets that enable for paramount color and brilliance.
- If cut too deeply, the light will getaway on the side and the emerald engagement ring will appear dark.
- If too shallow, the emerald will not seem brilliant since the light will certainly be lost at the bottom of the stone.
- The rectangle-shaped or square step cut called “emerald cut” is thought to maximize the form of the rough. This is the most common cut, and therefore why the name “emerald cut” stuck, even when used to other gemstones.
- Besides emerald cuts, there are round and oval cuts, but these are both more pricey and rare since so much more rough must be wasted to cut them. Right after these, there are pear cuts and cabochons and much less likely are princesses, brilliants and other fancy cuts.
Bigger is better, right? Well not specifically. Carat weight certainly helps figure out the price of the emerald, and a Four carat stone will be even more expensive than a One carat stone, all other aspects being equal. But carat weight plays a much bigger role in the prices of diamonds than it does with emeralds. With the latter, we are mainly serious in the color of the stone, then its clarity and cut, and only finally its carat weight.
Emerald specialists agree that it is better to buy a smaller sized emerald with excellent color quality than a larger one with inadequate color quality. And be careful that there will be a big price jump once you hit one carat since it takes, on average, the removal of five tons of dirt to find a gem-quality emerald over one carat.
Due to the highly included nature of emeralds, it has come to be standard practice today to treat the stones with oils or resins to enhance clarity. Cedar oil is usually used to enhance emeralds’ clarity, as well as other synthetic oils and polymers. Emerald wedding ring vendors normally accept the use of oil but do not look favorably upon green-tinted oil. All emeralds sold should have full disclosure of treatment according to the US Federal Trade Commission.