How To Choose Best Quality Emerald Gemstone | A Comprehensive Guide – Al Joher

Choosing the Perfect Emerald: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Choose the Perfect Emerald

Choosing the perfect emerald is like finding a gem in the rough! While natural stones may have a few quirks, lab-grown ones may just outshine the natural ones, quite literally.

That’s because natural emeralds may have impurities due to their composition of various natural elements, however, lab-grown gems are often coveted for their pristine and transparent look, leaning towards a more synthetic nature. 

But don't worry, you don't need a gemology degree to crack the code! A bit of homework before making your choice will do the trick. Our emerald buying guide will prove to be a valuable resource, providing insights to help you make an informed choice.

The 4C’s Of Emeralds: A Detailed Look


As noted by the Roman philosopher Pliny in the 1st century AD, emeralds are celebrated for their unparalleled green hue, often described as "nothing greens greener."

For those of you who like a pop color, Emeralds are the perfect gem for you! The classic charm of emeralds is given off by their rich green hue, which for many buyers is a factor that contributes to the overall value of the gem.

When it comes to emeralds, there's something truly special about those from places like Muzo in Colombia. They've got this amazing color that people can't stop talking about. They call it "grass green," and it's like you're staring at the most vibrant landscape ever.

But what color is an emerald you ask? 

These gems are more than just pretty rocks; they've got quite the backstory. Two factors make them stand out: their origin and their composition.

Take Brazilian emeralds, for example. They're like a vibrant green dream, thanks to a little something called vanadium. Now, let's talk about Colombian emeralds. They have this mesmerizing green that just grabs your attention, right? Well, it turns out there's a little secret to their charm: chromium. 

When evaluating emeralds, you need to ensure several key factors, each contributing to the stone's value:

  • Hue: Emeralds typically have a green color, sometimes with hints of blue or yellow. 

  • Saturation: When it comes to the intensity of color, we're looking for that vibrant, lively green that really stands out. We want hues that grab your attention and make you take notice. 

  • Tone: Ideally, emeralds should possess a medium to medium-dark tone. Lighter emeralds have their own beauty and can offer be a good bargain if colour is not your top priority. 

  • Color Zoning: When the color isn't evenly spread out throughout the gem, it's called color zoning, and it's not ideal for emeralds. Who wants a gem with inconsistent color, anyway?


When you take a closer look at an emerald, you might spot some tiny imperfections or spots inside the stone. These are called inclusions. They come in all sorts of forms, like feathers, internal graining, crystals, or chips. Think of them as the gem's unique characteristics, kind of like its fingerprint.

It's pretty rare to find emeralds without any inclusions, so those with minimal imperfections are incredibly valuable. Clarity is a big deal in the gem world. It's all about how much light can shine through the stone. 

Emeralds with few or no inclusions are often termed "eye-clean." These gems, incredibly rare and valuable, are clear and transparent to the naked eye. At the same time, some inclusions in emeralds enhance the beauty of the stone and add sparkle to the gem.

When we talk about emeralds, their clarity and color go hand in hand when it comes to value. For instance, an emerald with excellent color but heavy inclusions may be less valuable than a similarly colored stone with minimal clarity characteristics. 

A common practice in the jewelry trade is to treat emeralds with oil to reduce the appearance of inclusions, a process known as "oiling" which is an acceptable form of treatment and most emeralds today are oiled. 


A finely-cut emerald is like a work of art, with its perfectly symmetrical facets and a gleaming, expansive table that highlights its unique charm.

Emeralds rank pretty high on the Mohs scale, around 7.5 to 8, so they're relatively hard. But here's the thing: they're also kind of brittle, which can make cutting them tricky. However, when an emerald is cut just right, it can hide color variations and imperfections well.

The cut of an emerald is equally important. It's all about getting the right proportions, symmetry, and sharp facet edges, with flat faces that reflect light directly into the eye.

The most common cuts for emeralds are their namesake emerald cut which is restangular with step-cut facets. However, emeralds are also available in fancy shapes. Regardless of the shape you choose, it is important to have an emerald set securely in jewelry to ensure the gemstone is not exposed too much to avoid damaging the stone.

We highly recommend the “Emerald Cut”—a simple yet ingenious solution to this problem. With its trimmed corners, this cut not only enhances the stone's beauty but also ensures its resilience—an elegant solution tailored specifically for emeralds.


Actually, when it comes to emeralds, that old saying "bigger is better" doesn't always hold up. Sure, the carat weight matters, but what makes a difference in its value are things like color, clarity, and cut.

Going for a smaller emerald with rich color quality usually packs more punch than splurging on a bigger one with a lackluster tint.

Here's something interesting to keep in mind: once you go beyond the 1-carat mark with emeralds, the price starts to climb. That's because it takes around five tons of dirt just to find a gem-quality emerald that's over 1 carat. It's a clear sign of how rare and valuable these gems truly are.

Bigger emeralds indeed come with a bigger price tag because they're so rare. But here's the fact: smaller emeralds can be just as breathtaking if they're high-quality. 

So, when you're picking out an emerald, think about what matters most to you: your budget and what you personally love.

Final Thoughts

When you're on the hunt for that perfect emerald, it's all about paying attention to the details. Put the 4C’s at the center of it all – they play a big role. And don't you forget about where it comes from and if it's been certified by the experts. 

But most importantly, go with your gut! Whether you're into those deep, intense greens or something a bit lighter, trust your instincts and pick what feels right for you.

Take your time and go through our emerald buying guide before making a decision. At Al Joher, you can find the perfect emerald piece that reflects your individuality and stands the test of time.


  • How do you pick a good quality emerald?
  • Look for a rich, deep green color with good saturation and even distribution throughout the stone.

    Consider the clarity of the emerald; fewer visible inclusions indicate higher quality. Assess the cut of the emerald; well-proportioned cuts to enhance the stone's beauty.

    Higher-quality emeralds will have a high level of transparency, allowing light to pass through.

  • How do you know if an emerald is expensive?
  • Generally, more expensive emeralds have a rich, vivid green color with excellent saturation and minimal inclusions visible to the naked eye. Larger emeralds tend to be more expensive, especially if they exhibit high-quality color and clarity. Emeralds from Colombia and Panjshir often command higher prices on average compared to other sources. Recent finds of emeralds in Ethiopia and Brazil are also gaining popularity. For instance, "The Princess of Carolina," an untreated emerald weighing 3.37 carats, was mined in Hiddenite, North Carolina.

  • What color emerald is most expensive?
  • The most expensive emeralds typically exhibit a vibrant, intense green color with a slight blue undertone. This color is often referred to as "emerald green" and is highly prized for its rarity and beauty.

  • Are lighter emeralds more expensive?
  • Generally, light green emeralds are less expensive than those with deeper or more saturated colours. However, the value of an emerald is determined by various factors, including color intensity, clarity, size, and origin. Some lighter emeralds may still be valuable if they exhibit exceptional clarity and transparency, but in general, dark green emerald are considered more valuable.

  • What is the rarest color of emerald?
  • The rarest color of emerald is a vivid, intense green with a slight blue undertone, often referred to as "emerald green." This color is highly sought after for its rarity and beauty, commanding premium prices in the market.

    Previous post

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published