In June of 2017, Harry Winston purchased an 18.04-carat emerald ring once owned by the Rockefeller family for $5.5 million, setting a record for the most expensive per-carat emerald ever sold.
This sale is representative of the increasingly high prices emeralds are fetching at market and the excitement and fervor behind emerald sales.
Maybe you are in possession of an emerald, looking to sell an emerald, or perhaps are just curious about how much an emerald is worth. This article will answer some of the most common questions regarding emeralds and their value.
History Of The Emerald
Found all over the world, from Colombia and Brazil to Pakistan, Russia, Afghanistan, and Zambia, emeralds are some of the most desirable gemstones on the market.
Stemming from the ancient Greek work 'smaragdus', meaning green, emeralds have a long and illustrious history. Traditionally, emeralds are meant to symbolize growth, reflection, and balance.
As early as 3000 BC, emeralds were traded in Babylonian markets. Aristotle spoke about the great powers emeralds can bestow upon their wearer. During Ancient Egyptian times, Cleopatra was enamored by the Egyptian emerald mines and owned an extensive emerald collection.
Ancient Roman philosopher Pliny the Elder wrote about emeralds in his Natural History tome in the 1st century. In the 16th century, the Spanish explorers plundered emeralds from the New World, trading them for other materials.
In more contemporary times, icons such as Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy, and more have sported emerald engagement gifts. The allure and intrigue of emeralds is only continuing to grow.
How Much Is My Emerald Worth?
So, how much is your emerald worth? When assessing the value of your emerald there are a number of factors to look at.
Color has an incredibly large effect on the value of your emerald. When assessing the color of an emerald, there are three main qualities to look at: hue, saturation, and tone.
- Hue – Hue refers to the actual color of your emerald. Emeralds can often have secondary tones of blue or yellow. The most valuable color of an emerald ranges from a bluish green to pure green. Stones that are too blue or yellow will be lower in price.
- Saturation – Saturation refers to how strong or weak the color of your emerald is. The emeralds with the highest worth have a vivid color saturation.
- Tone – Tone refers to how light or dark an emerald is. The most coveted emeralds are those with a tone that is not too dark. By definition, emeralds must be medium to dark to be considered emeralds.
Emeralds are a gem of the mineral beryl, and their green color is a product of small amounts of vanadium and chromium within the beryl during formation. There can be some confusion, though, between an emerald and a green beryl.
When a beryl gem is a very light shade of green, it is considered a green beryl as opposed to an emerald. Differentiating between a green beryl and an emerald can be a very subjective process, and it can be important to have an expert on hand to assess your emerald accurately.
2. Clarity Grade
Just like diamonds, emeralds are assessed based on their clarity, or number of flaws (inclusions) within the stone. Though most emeralds contain eye-visible inclusions, the placement, number, and size of these inclusions will affect the stone’s value. The more the inclusions negatively affecting the transparency of your emerald, the lower the value of the item.
3. Cut Grade
An emerald’s cut can have a large impact on the visibility of inclusions, the appearance of color, and the stone’s durability. A good cut will maximize the visual appeal of the stone, and thus increase the stone’s worth.
4. Carat Weight
Carat weight is the weight measurement used for diamonds and other precious stones. This tells us how big the stone is.
Emerald are found all over the world, but there are certain regions that produce particularly valuable stones. Buyers will pay a premium for emeralds found in Colombia, Zambia, Brazil, Zimbabwe, and more.
In the gem industry, artificial treatments are a common way to improve the appearance of a stone.
In the case of emeralds, two of the most popular treatments are inserting colored dyes into the stone to improve its color and filling fractures with oils, waxes, and resins to minimize their visibility.
Untreated emeralds are more valuable than those that have been artificially treated.
7. Market Condition
The market conditions at the time of sale can also impact the value of your stone. If emeralds are particularly popular at the time of sale, or the style of item you are selling is in vogue, you may receive a higher price for your gem.
Where Can I Sell My Emerald?
Some of the most popular ways to sell your emerald include:
- Pawnshop – Selling to a pawnshop can be a quick, convenient way to get money in your pocket, but pawnshop owners will likely not be knowledgeable about the particularities of the emerald market and you may unknowingly receive a low price. Additionally, many pawnshop owners will simply resell your item to a gemstone dealer for a quick profit—profit you could have kept for yourself.
- Auction House – Though auction houses will likely be knowledgeable about the emerald market, selling through an auction house can be a lengthy process with high fees and no guarantee of sale. Furthermore, if the reserve is set low, your item may be purchased at a bargain.
- eBay/Craigslist – Though eBay and Craigslist are user-friendly selling platforms, it can be incredibly difficult to accurately price your item and you may receive a lower price than your item is worth.
- Online Specialist Buyer – An online specialist buyer like myGemma has the knowledge and expertise to accurately and competitively price your designer jewelry gemstones. The online process is easy, fast, and secure.
Selling your designer jewelry emeralds through myGemma is a quick, satisfactory process. myGemma is a BBB A+ rated company that offers a simple, safe way to sell your designer jewelry gemstones, diamonds, designer jewelry, and luxury watches online.
myGemma specializes in cut and polished, GIA-certified emeralds of 1ct+. Simply fill out the online form, and one of our in-house gemstone experts will be in touch shortly with an initial price quote.