Emeralds are one of the most recognizable gemstones globally because of their brilliantly green hues. People have been captivated by emeralds for thousands of years, and some societies consider them sacred.
From kings and queens to Hollywood Elite, emeralds symbolize youth, power, wealth, and immortality. Emeralds are rare and mystifying, which is what keeps humanity intrigued.
Where Do Emeralds Come From?
Emeralds are one of the rarest gemstones, even rarer than diamonds. These precious stones are primarily found in Brazil, Columbia, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.
Some parts of the world have rarer and more valuable emeralds. Those mined in Columbia typically fetch the highest prices.
Columbia Andes emeralds are prized for their unique deep green color.
How Do Emeralds Form?
Emeralds only form under highly specific conditions. These gemstones require four elements for formation. Beryllium, oxygen, aluminum, and silicon are all found deep within the Earth’s crust.
These elements are located in veins flowing with hot water. Hydrothermal veins must cool down in specific patterns to begin the process of emerald formation.
Many people are astounded to learn an emerald can take up to 100,000 years to form. No wonder they are so valuable!
What Factors Affect the Value of an Emerald?
Multiple factors affect the value of an emerald. When purchasing emeralds, you will find them measured from B to AAA. The following are some of the factors gemologists consider when grading the value of an emerald.
- Color is the most important factor for emerald value. The deeper and purer the green, the higher the value.
- The cut of the emerald also factors into its value.
- Carat weight will also determine the value of an emerald. It is rare to find a very fine grade of emerald over one carat.
It is important to note that, unlike diamonds, inclusions are an intrinsic part of the formation of emeralds. Gemologists use inclusions to verify the authenticity of natural emeralds since synthetic emeralds do not have as many inclusions.
In most cases, inclusions do not significantly detract from the value of an emerald. Major inclusions that are distracting to the brilliance of the emerald can reduce the value of the stone.
How Much Are Emeralds Worth?
The value of emeralds varies widely, depending on the quality of the gemstone. Color is especially a determining factor. The deeper and richer the green of the emerald, the more it is worth.
The value of an emerald can vary from $1 to $100,000 a carat. One factor of emerald price is something we have not yet discussed.
Around 99% of all emeralds are treated with resins or oils for clarity enhancement. Oiled emeralds will need to be re-oiled periodically. Emeralds filled with resins do not dry out as rapidly. Oiling is the most popular choice for filling inclusions and enhancing clarity.
The price per carat also increases according to the size of the emerald. At auctions, high-quality emeralds have been known to bring in millions. But, synthetic or low-quality emeralds can be purchased for around $50.
- Low quality emeralds are valued at $1 to $5 a carat.
- Medium quality emeralds are valued at $5,000 to $9,000 a carat.
- Top quality emeralds can sale for more than $10,000 per carat.
What Is the Difference Between Emeralds and Green Beryl?
Emeralds and green beryl belong to the same family of gemstones which is why many people get them confused. Although green beryl and emerald can be mistaken for one another, there are plenty of ways to distinguish them.
The colors of emeralds range from deep greens to greenish blues. The colors of green beryl range from pale green to very light green. Typically, emeralds are going to be a much richer green color than green beryl.
Emeralds are much more included than green beryl, making them more fragile and more likely to break. Emerald inclusions can be seen with the naked eye, while green beryl’s inclusions generally cannot be seen with your eyes alone.
Emeralds and green beryl get their colors from different trace elements. Emeralds get their green color because of vanadium or chromium. Green beryl gets its color from iron. It is important to note that emeralds that have minor traces of iron will take on a slight yellowish tint.
Emeralds are much rarer than green beryl. Many people do not realize emeralds are twenty times rarer than diamonds.
Country of Origin
Emeralds and green beryl also differ because of their countries of origin. Emeralds are mined from Brazil, Zimbabwe, Columbia, and Zambia. Green beryls are mined from South America, South Africa, the mountains of Russia, and many other areas in the world.
What Is the Most Valuable Emerald?
There are many famous and valuable emeralds in the world. Some of these precious stones have been a part of history.
The most expensive emerald has to be the Rockefeller. The Rockefeller Emerald is not the largest gemstone in the world, but it is the largest flawless emerald.
The value of this exquisite stone is $5.5 million.
The Rockefeller Emerald is 18 carats. This emerald’s country of origin is Columbia. Another factor that makes the Rockefeller emerald so valuable is the rich bluish-green color. This emerald has a medium tone and the perfect saturation level to showcase its exquisite color.
Emeralds Are Unforgettable
There is just something special about emeralds and their rich green colors. Emeralds are used in all types of jewelry making. An emerald can add great value to your jewelry collection.