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Guide to Buying Emeralds – 10 Facts

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

Do you need a guide to buying emeralds? If you don’t know what to look for, shopping for emerald jewellery can feel daunting. With 10 facts that are easy to understand, this easy guide helps you to buy emeralds with confidence.

Guide to buying emeralds

Guide to Buying Emeralds – 10 Facts

1. Buy only from a reputable jeweller

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, vividly green colour

Emeralds occur naturally. Each one is a unique product of Mother Nature. Therefore, their colour can vary. A good rule of thumb? The best emerald colour is vivid and evenly green. An emerald should not look too obviously dark, nor to obviously blue, nor too obviously yellow.

3. Expect imperfections

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

Guide to Buying Emeralds

5.30-carat emerald | Image credit GIA.com

4. Look for a good cut

Emeralds are famous for their green colour. But how well their colour is displayed depends on the skill of the gem cutter who carved the gem out of a rough stone. A gem cutter can make a difference in an emerald’s colour by giving the gem an optimal shape and the right number of facets. Therefore, as a very general rule of thumb, even green colour tends to be the mark of a good cut in an emerald.

Guide to Buying Emeralds

An emerald gemstone with an attractive cut and “inner glow” showing off the green colour

5. Understand price VS size

Emeralds are weighed in carats, the same as diamonds. Big, clear emeralds are hard to find. Consequently, their per-carat price is exponentially higher than that of smaller emeralds. Looking for a big emerald piece but have a small budget? You’ll save money by buying a jewellery item that combines several smaller emeralds rather than one big stone.

Guide to Buying Emeralds

The Hooker Emerald brooch at the Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC. Image credit

6. Location, location, location

Not all emeralds are created equal. Many experts say the world’s best emeralds come from Colombia. The country’s natural emerald deposits are the richest in the world. 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.

Guide to Buying Emeralds

A rough emerald from Colombia

7. Read customer reviews

If you’re in doubt about a jewellery item, check customer reviews first. Independent online review sites like Trustpilot or Feefo can be very helpful when buying emeralds or any other gemstone jewellery.

8. Research videos and images

Before buying emeralds, watch videos and study photos of real gems. Online research is the easiest. High-resolution images are the best so you can appreciate what real emeralds look like. Especially when shopping online, close-up videos and images of the item are buying are important.

9. Read the small print

We cannot emphasise this enough. Always check every detail:

  • Product details. So you know exactly what you’re buying.
  • Measurements. To make sure the item is the right size.
  • Guarantee. So you’re covered for manufacturing faults.

10. Check the returns policy

When buying emeralds, make sure your item is refundable, so you can return the item if you don’t like it. Especially if you’re shopping online. Some custom made emerald rings may be non-refundable, so always double-check ring size before ordering to avoid disappointment.

In conclusion, how to shop for emeralds:

Research your emerald first – because knowledge is power. Look for an emerald that has even, vivid green colour. Make sure the gem has a good cut and play of light. Only buy jewellery from a trusted retail store that offers a guarantee and a return policy. To learn more about emeralds, visit our comprehensive EMERALD GEM GUIDE.


Shop for emerald jewellery at TheDiamondStore.co.uk.

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