emerald engagement ring
emerald engagement ring

Appraising Emeralds


Appraising emeralds is a key skill for all jewelers and gemologists. Learn how to evaluate the quality of these rare green gemstones.

4 Minute Read

Emerald Origins

An emerald's origin can play an important role in its appraisal. While every mine can produce both fine and low-quality stones, some origins command premium pricing. The exact premium depends on the emerald's quality. Fine stones will always have the highest premiums, but lower quality emeralds will still receive a modest boost in price if they're from a notable source.

For the last several centuries, Colombia has been the premier source of fine emeralds. Stones from this country may be priced up to 30% higher than similar stones from other sources. There are several emerald mines in Colombia, and each produces stones with slightly different qualities. Muzo and Chivor are the most famous. Both can yield fine colors, but Chivor emeralds tend towards blue, while Muzo emeralds are somewhat more yellow.

Emeralds from Zambia and Ethiopia may also command slight premiums in pricing. Emeralds from other sources, including Brazil, a major player in the emerald market, are available at lower prices. Learn to identify emeralds from different origins.

Of course, some emeralds originate in laboratories. Make sure you can tell the difference between lab-made gems and mined gems. There is a significant price difference between...


Addison Rice

A geologist, environmental engineer and Caltech graduate, Addison’s interest in the mesmerizing and beautiful results of earth’s geological processes began in her elementary school’s environmental club. When she isn’t writing about gems and minerals, Addison spends winters studying ancient climates in Iceland and summers hiking the Colorado Rockies.

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