Qualities that Determine an Emerald’s Worth

Qualities that Determine an Emerald’s Worth

Emeralds provide a number of different qualities, but some professionals have different aspects that matter a bit more than others.

Color is the most important, as emerald has the green standard that we’ve adored for millennia. However, there are some variants that we definitely want to discuss, and here, we’ll talk about all of the factors that determine the quality of an emerald. 

The color 

This is the one part that’s super desirable, as they usually are a greenish blue, or a pure green, and there is a color saturation that goes there, not being super dark.  Many emeralds are very transparent, with an evenly distributed color, and there is a color zoning that’s not visible to the eye.  If you have too yellowish or bluish hue, then the stone won’t be an emerald, but a beryl variant, which does drop the emerald’s value. 

The intensity is not like anything in nature. 

Vanadium, chromium, and iron also have trace elements that play a part in the color, as this can impact the value of the crystal in there. 

Some also may have a more intense look to them due to the location of where the mine they were from is. Zambian emeralds for example are more bluish and cooler, whereas those that are Colombian, tend to be more greenish in color. 


Next, you want to look at the clarity of the stone, as they do have inclusions that you can see without an additive.  Because of this factor, some members of trades and customers also understand that there are inclusions present within emeralds.  Even eye clean ones are out there though, but they’re super valuable due to the rarity. 

They’re usually mossy, or look like a garden, and the inclusions are usually called Jardin for this reason.

Some also may look at transparency, as that and clarity do get linked together too.  Those that have inclusions that are excessive and not visible to the naked eye tend to be much less due to this. 


There is also the cut that plays a part in this.  this can be determined by the durability from the stone, the color, and the inclusions. These mistakes can cause a loss in weight, which dramatically reduces the value.

There are some characteristics of emeralds that make it hard to cut. The first is that they have a lot of fissures and fractures, so you’ve got to minimize this.

There is also the fact that they’re brittle, so they’ll be damaged more often when cutting, setting and polishing, and even during the wear during the day.

You also want to make sure that the cut does maximize the tone, the hue, and the saturation, with the cutter affecting this color through the adjustment of the proportions and facets.  They may darken stones with deeper cuts, or maybe even lighten a stone with more shallow cuts too. 

Another factor is that those with the bluish or yellowish green tend to orient in a certain way. 

The Weight of the Carat 

Then finally, there is the weight of the carat, which can be affected by the previous factors. 

Some emeralds that are in museums and the like tend to weigh in the hundreds when we look at carat weight.

Some of the more extreme ones can be a fracture of the carat.  Some mines have emeralds that are super small, and they don’t weigh much.

Most jewelry is usually between a quarter carrot to a half a carat. 

Some of the smaller ones are those that can be about a millimeter in length.

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