Emerald stone is many people’s go-to option instead of a diamond on an engagement ring. And that doesn’t surprise us because a good emerald can be significantly more valuable than diamonds, thanks to their comparative rarity. But, given the range of available gemstones on the market, there’s a huge price span when it comes to this brilliant stone, which not many can understand.
Whether you’re looking to buy emeralds for jewelry, decoration or some spiritually-related purposes know that you can spend anywhere from a few dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The same thing applies if you’re looking to sell emeralds. Perhaps, it’s valuable and perhaps it’s not.
Whatever may be the case, evaluating emeralds can take time whether you’re working with real emeralds or synthetically-made emeralds. Whatever may be the case, this brilliant stone has been in use since ancient times.
It is believed that it was used in different religious rituals among Incas, as well as that Cleopatra worshipped them, and it doesn’t come as a surprise that Queen Elizabeth II wore them on her crown. That being said, it’s safe to say that emerald is a royal gemstone that looks amazing on jewelry and another garment. With over 4,000 years of history in human jewelry and architecture, it quite has a rich value even today.
Quick Summary: Since emerald is one of the rarest gemstones, the prices per carat can go as little as $1 per carat to over $10,000 and more.
If you’re looking to learn more about the value of emeralds and how much you can get for them per carat, continue reading this article. We’ll also guide you on evaluating emeralds without the help of an appraiser. Still, having an appraiser by your side is always more than welcome to have.
Emerald is one of the most beloved gemstones to find in the global marketplace. Even though it’s considered quite rare, it has a huge price span based on the quality and some other factors, but we’ll discuss that more below.
As mentioned earlier, the emerald has been worn since ancient times, with royal queens and kings putting them on crowns, thrones, architecture, clothing, and more.
The royal appearance and brilliant green color made many priests, and merchants quite impressed, creating spiritual stories where emeralds marked the symbol of power, wealth, immortality, and youth. Given their rare nature, humanity was always interested in acquiring emeralds, given that it’d give them an entirely new social status.
Being rarer compared to diamonds which we often see in flattering engagement rings and other jewelry, a good quality emerald will have a huge value. Although there are not many locations in the world, where it’s extracted, it’s worth noting it can be found in many countries like Brazil and Colombia, where Colombian Andes emeralds have the most beautiful color.
It can also be found in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia. The name emerald was derived from the Greek word “smaragdus” which means green. The first emeralds were believed to be traded back in 3000 BC at the Babylonian market. Even Aristotle talked about emeralds on many occasions highlighting their power.
Cleopatra was believed to have a large collection of emeralds with her, which she often carried with her. Even the Spanish explorers from the 16th century that were exploring the New World extracted emeralds and traded them with other valuable items. Besides diamonds, they’re also popular as engagement rings. Given they are becoming rarer and rarer, their price is going up, especially for the gorgeous, deep green emerald color.
Emeralds can form only under special conditions. What’s more, it can take more than 100,000 years for an emerald to form, which just contributes to its vast and brilliant value. This is also what makes them so rare.
To form, there should be four important elements that harness its formation including aluminum, silicon, beryllium, and oxygen. Emeralds can be found deep in Earth’s crust, which means that they are expensive to mine which only adds up to their value.
Other conditions include that the veins that contain the emerald stone, need to be surrounded by flowing hot water. For the emerald to be mined correctly, the veins must cool in certain conditions where the emerald begins to form given the special patterns and conditions it forms within. This is why an emerald takes more than 100,000 years to form, and that’s exactly what allures people to them, besides the beauty and value, as well the spiritual meaning.
Besides the original emeralds which are pretty rare, there are also lab-made synthetic emeralds. Surprisingly, their value is also exceedingly high, with synthetic emeralds being one of the most valuable synthetic gems and crystals.
Just like the original emeralds are incredibly difficult to extract and deliver to a state that is suitable for selling, synthetic emeralds are also quite expensive to make. More importantly, it takes a lot of time to make emeralds which also makes them rare among synthetic gemstones.
Both natural and synthetic emeralds have the same chemical properties and composition. However, if you take a look at a synthetic emerald it will be seen with more clarity compared to a natural emerald. The best way to tell a difference between natural and synthetic emeralds besides the clarity is the lack of inclusion in synthetic emeralds.
Is Emerald Any Worth?
Both natural and synthetic emeralds have incredible value. They are unique-looking and have special inclusions and clarity that many other gemstones don’t have.
Not only is emerald a valuable gemstone for jewelry, symbolism, and spirituality, but it was also worshipped by different civilizations throughout history, and worn by many royals and rulers, which just adds up to its value.
Queen Cleopatra had them etched in many artifacts from ancient Egypt and it represented an important element of her reign. The value of emerald expands that of diamond and because of its gorgeous green color, many want it to make an appearance on already expensive jewelry.
Further in the article, we’re going to present the general values for emeralds, so you can learn about the value per carat and other important properties that make emeralds so valuable.
What Is the Value of Emerald?
A single value of an emerald is always hard to tell before you see the particular gemstone and examine it. If it has already been professionally graded, it’ll be a lot easier to tell its value and price. Many factors determine the overall value of emeralds such as the size, as well as quality grade which we will discuss later.
That being said, for now, we’ll agree that the value of emeralds varies. Color is another factor that determines the price, so when it comes to the overall value of an emerald it can be found for anywhere from $1 to $100,000 a carat.
In this value chart, we’ll focus mainly on emerald value per carat, as the gemstone is so valuable it almost feels pointless to evaluate it in pounds, ounces, or kilos, so carat is the best measurement unit.
It’s worth noting that pretty much all emeralds are treated for imperfections and to increase their clarity. You’re 99% less likely to find a natural emerald that wasn’t treated by some chemicals like oils or resins. These two cleansers help increase clarity which is important to determine the value.
If you’ve had an emerald stone for decades or even centuries in your family, it’d be good to take it to a professional who can re-oil it to preserve the clarity, especially if you want to sell yours. It’s completely normal to have them treated occasionally just to preserve their majestic look.
If you’re taking size into account when it comes to selling or buying an emerald, more carats also mean higher value. That being said, for a really good quality emerald you may have to cash in millions of dollars.
|Price per carat
|$10,000-100,000 and more
When it comes to lab-made emeralds, it’s important to note that they’re not worthless. They have a good market value if you’re looking to purchase a larger emerald. Some appraisers decide to treat synthetic emeralds like low-quality emeralds and sell them from $1 to $20 per carat. Still, some synthetic emeralds can reach the values of $50 per carat and more.
How to Evaluate the Emerald?
Of course, to sell your emerald gemstone, you will have to evaluate it properly and find the right value for it. Hiring an appraiser is always an option, but it’s hard to find one that is properly experienced with emeralds and won’t try to scam you or tell you it’s not real.
For some people hiring an appraiser can be quite expensive so they’d rather find the value themselves. One such option is to ask online, through different social media groups like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Telegram groups. Additionally, you can share the pictures of your gemstone on Reddit and see what other like-minded people have to say. Additionally, some of them will provide you with info on some skilled and reliable appraisers that you may be able to contact.
Alternatively, you can rely on your skills and instincts to find the right value of the emerald. Even if you don’t have the skills, in this section we’ll show you what to focus on, so you can have a better understanding of the matter and use your findings while evaluating the emerald with a professional.
As mentioned earlier in the article, colors make an important addition to the value of an emerald. Some colors are deep green, while some variants of emerald may even have a bluish hue, or rather a greenish blue. Some variations like green beryl are light green.
Appraisers and collectors alike will always go for the darker green variation of emerald, and you can see that those types are typically more valuable on the market.
Clarity & Inclusions
One important thing to look at within an emerald is what it looks like on the inside. Synthetic emeralds have a higher clarity, but that also means that it doesn’t have inclusions inside as opposed to the natural emerald which is quite included.
The fact that emerald is included from the inside makes them valuable and rare gemstones to find. Still, collectors will prefer emeralds that have moderate or little inclusions. The inclusions feature small intervening bits of glass and shards on the inside. It’s important to note that more than 99% of emeralds in nature are included.
To determine the clarity of your emerald, you can follow the guide provided by GIA which refers to the type grade based on inclusions and clarity:
- Type 1: Doesn’t have inclusion or typically a very small number of them, this trait can be found also on synthetic emeralds
- Type 2: Has a moderate amount of inclusions inside
- Type 3: The emerald has a lot of inclusions which decreases the clarity
All gemstones are given a grade based on a universal grading scale and receive one of the following grades: A, AA, or AAA Natural.
- A: About 50 to 70% of all gemstones receive this grade. Emeralds with the natural A grade are deep green, included, and opaque. Many collectors aim for them, but they are considered lower quality for collectors.
- AA: Gemstones with grade Natural AA make up about 20-30% of all extracted gemstones. If your emerald has this grade, it’s likely medium to dark green with intricate inclusions, but still, fewer of them compared to those with a Natural A grade.
- AAA: Emeralds with this grade are the rarest and most valuable gemstones in the market, making up only 10% of all gemstones. They have a rich green texture and moderate inclusions that make them stand out compared to other gemstones with inclusions. Some of them will even have fewer inclusions, high clarity, and brilliance.
Depending on where the emerald was mined, will also affect its value. This is where it’d be a good idea to hire an appraiser who can help you find the right value for your emerald, as he or she would be able to recognize where your emerald is from.
Mining locations for emeralds include South America like Columbia and Brazil, as well as African countries like Zambia and Zimbabwe. Emerald can also be found in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Although at first, it can be quite hard to tell the difference based on locations, skilled appraisers and gemstone graders can always tell the difference.
Where Can You Buy Emerald?
Buying emeralds is different than buying other gemstones, as it’s incredibly rare and valuable. If you’re trying to sell emerald, you should consider some auctions, antique stores, or consult appraiser where you can buy it. If you have antique jewelry made of emerald, you can consider selling online on Etsy or setting up an auction on eBay.