Jewellery Learning

10 Facts – How to Check Emerald Jewellery Quality Online

How Do You Know if an Emerald Sold Online is Good Quality?

How to check emerald jewellery quality online? If you don’t know much about emeralds, buying them on the web can feel daunting because you won’t see the gem until it’s delivered to you. This article helps you buy emeralds online with confidence, including:

  1. Background check the jeweller
  2. Look for even, vivid green colour
  3. Expect imperfections
  4. Understand how cut affects light play
  5. Understand how size affects price 
  6. The best mining locations
  7. How to find helpful images and videos online
  8. Read independent reviews
  9. Check guarantee and refund policies
  10. Check overall presentation


Jeweller inspecting small, round emeralds

1. Check your jeweller is reputable

Always buy gemstones from a reputable jeweller, whether online or on the high street. In the UK, the best way to do this is to check that your jeweller is a National Jewellers’ Association (NJA) member.

2. Look for even, vivid green colour

Emeralds occur naturally. Each one is a unique product of Mother Nature and, therefore, the hue and shade of their green colour can vary. A good rule of thumb is to remember that the best emerald colour is vivid and evenly green, and should not look too dark nor too yellowish.

3. Expect imperfections

It is normal for emeralds to contain marks and imperfections, which in the gem industry are referred to as inclusions. GIA, the world’s most trusted independent gemmological authority on gemstone quality, says “Emeralds typically contain inclusions that are visible to the unaided eye.” In fact, glass-transparent emeralds are so rare that when found, only rich collectors can afford them.

5.30-carat emerald | Image credit

3. Understand cut VS light play

Emeralds are most famous for their so-called “inner glow”. Many people feel that the emerald cut – a rectangular shape developed especially for emeralds, hence the name – is the most desirable shape to bring out this magical interior light play. However, the fact is that emeralds can be round, oval, square, rectangular or even have fancy shapes like hearts. Experienced gem cutters know how to carve an emerald into a gem that looks as beautiful as possible. The main things to look for, therefore, is that magical inner glow, which is the mark of a good cut.

4. Understand price VS size

Emeralds are weighed in carats, the same as diamonds. Because big, clear emeralds are hard to find, their per-carat price is exponentially higher than that of smaller stones. If you’re looking for a big emerald piece but have a small budget, look for a jewellery item that combines several smaller emeralds rather than one big stone.

2. Location, location, location

Not all emeralds are created equal. Many people are of the opinion that the world’s most desirable emeralds come from Colombia. The country’s natural emerald deposits are the richest in the world and because of a long trade tradition, Colombian emerald cutters are highly experienced so you’re likely to get a beautiful gem. Do check your jeweller abides by the NAJ code of ethics to ensure your gemstone is conflict-free.


A rough emerald from Colombia

4. Check customer reviews

Customer feedback left by other shoppers will give you peace of mind if you’re in doubt about an emerald jewellery item sold online. Online, look for jewellery websites that are not afraid to publish customer ratings on independent review sites like Trustpilot or Feefo.

5. Research videos and images

Before buying online, watch videos of real emeralds. We an independent expert resource, like GIA, for your research. When it comes to shopping for gemstones online, high-resolution images are vital. Only quality images can bring you close to a “real shop” experience. Better yet, if your jeweller offers videos, you can get an idea of what the piece looks like in real life.

6. Check the guarantee and refund policy

Check your online jeweller’s guarantee and refund policies. Always read the product details and check the measurements thoroughly to make sure the item is what you want, to avoid disappointment. Some custom made emerald rings might not be returnable and some rings are tricky to resize, so always double check your ring size before ordering.

7. Verify the quality of the presentation

A nice jewellery box won’t make your emerald more valuable. However, emerald jewellery is not cheap and you’re probably buying the item for a special occasion. There is nothing worse than having your beautiful anniversary gift arrive stuffed inside a plastic jiffy bag. A jewellery box should add style and luxury to you gift-giving moment and offer protective storage for the item when you’re not using it.

To learn more, visit our comprehensive EMERALD GEM GUIDE.

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