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Selling Emerald

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Ten Things You Need to Know About Selling Emeralds

They are the color of money and one of earth’s most valuable gems. If you are selling emeralds, you need to do all you can to make sure you are getting what they are worth.


At Worthy, we help consumers sell their diamond jewelry for the highest possible price. What we’ve learned about selling diamonds can help you when you are selling emeralds too. Here are ten things you need to know about selling emeralds for the highest possible price.


1. Color is the Most Important Emerald Value Factor

As the ancient Greek philosopher Pliny said “nothing greens greener.” The best emeralds are the vibrant fresh green of newly grown grass in spring. The human eye is more sensitive to green than any other color.  Small differences in the saturation of the green color can have a large influence on the price of emeralds. If you have a large very green emerald, it is worth getting it professionally appraised.


2. Inclusions are Very Common in Emeralds

Emeralds have another thing in common with gardens: because of the way they form in the earth, emeralds usually contain foliage-like inclusions inside that are called “jardin,” French for garden.  If you are used to judging diamond clarity, you may not realize that emeralds that contain eye-visible inclusions can still be quite valuable.


3. Cleaning Can Damage Emeralds

If you are selling emeralds online, you need to clean them to take gorgeous photographs that show their beauty and value. But you need to take care that you don’t damage them when you are cleaning them.  The inclusions in emeralds mean they have to be handled with care: those inclusions usually contain resin that may be removed with harsh cleaning, leaving the inclusions more visible. Never clean emeralds in ultrasonic cleaners.  Wipe your emeralds clean with a soft cloth. Use a soft brush to remove dust behind the gem. If needed soak briefly in lukewarm water to loosen grime.


4. Synthetic Emeralds are Very Common


If you have a beautiful large green gem without visible inclusions and your name isn’t Rockefeller, you may have a synthetic emerald. Synthetic emeralds have been popular for 70 years in jewelry often set in gold with diamonds. Even if you have vintage jewelry, you may have pieces set with synthetic emeralds. Today, retailers like Zales, Kays, and Macys sell many more synthetic emeralds than natural ones.  If your emeralds are grown in a laboratory rather than mined in the earth, they will sell for much less.


5. Emeralds Never Go Out of Style

Many people are astonished to discover that emeralds have been treasured gemstones for more than six thousand years. According to Indian legend the stone’s Sanskrit name “marakata”, meant “the green of growing things.” Sold in Babylonian marketplaces as early as 4000 BCE, emerald is mentioned in the Bible and was worshiped by the Incas. Its first reference in Western literature is credited to Aristotle, who recommended that children wear the stone, stating that “An emerald hung from the neck or worn in a ring will prevent the falling sickness (now known as epilepsy). We, therefore, commend noblemen that it be hanged about the necks of their children that they not fall into this complaint.” Aristotle also believed that emeralds could provide their wearers with victory over adversity, increase their owners’ business success, and make public speaking easier.

Some other legends about emeralds are equally interesting. The Emperor Nero reportedly viewed gladiator battles through emerald sunglasses because he enjoyed the stone’s restful color so much. Egyptians believed it to be an important gemstone for fertility, and emeralds were a favorite with Cleopatra. Some legends concerning King Arthur say that the Holy Grail was carved from a single huge emerald. 


Throughout the ages, emeralds have been worn by royalty and celebrities alike, huge emeralds have been carved into incredible sculptures, and everyday people have enjoyed them too. Many famous emeralds are displayed in museums – one of the largest emeralds discovered to date is the Gachala Emerald, which is on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC. Carat for carat, some of these pieces are considered to be more valuable than fine diamonds.


6. Emerald is the Mineral Beryl

Emerald is a highly prized gemstone, and is a variety of beryl. Trace amounts of chromium and occasional traces of vanadium give the stones their alluring green hues, which vary from deep blue-green to green with a hint of yellow. Only stones that can be truly described as “green” are emeralds; others are more properly described as green beryl. Other beryl gemstones include sky-blue aquamarine, pink morganite, and yellow heliodor.


7. Emerald Quality is Judged by the 4Cs

While color is often the most important of the four when appraising other types of colored gemstones, clarity and color are considered to be of nearly equal importance in the appraisal of emeralds. The finest examples possess not only a gorgeous, pure green hue, but excellent clarity.  

Because emeralds are highly included, clarity is judged not with a loupe, but with the naked eye. Eye-visible inclusions are common and don’t affect value as much as with other gems.


Carat weight is very important, with large, well-cut, perfectly colored, and perfectly clean emeralds fetching the highest prices. The most common shapes for emeralds are emerald cuts, cushion cuts and ovals. Round brilliant, heart, and pear shapes are often seen in modern jewelry.

The most important producing countries for emerald are Colombia, Afghanistan, Brazil, and Zambia. Although Colombian emeralds are generally thought to be the best, country of origin doesn’t guarantee quality.


8. Most Emeralds Are Treated

Most emeralds have surface-reaching fractures filled with resins and polymers to make inclusions less visible and increase emeralds’ stability. Though the practice of “oiling” emeralds is common, unoiled examples exhibiting excellent color and clarity are worth far more than those that have been treated. In addition, lab-created emeralds are common and are sometimes sold as true emeralds. If you are hoping to buy or sell emerald gemstones or emerald jewelry, it is vital that you work with a professional appraiser.


9. Emerald is Found in Many Kinds of Jewelry

Stunning, top quality emeralds are rare, yet they are often used in all types of modern jewelry, and it’s also possible to find exceptional examples in vintage and antique pieces. People who love emeralds enjoy wearing necklaces, pendants, earrings, and bracelets made with the stones, as well as rings. Emerald cufflinks and emerald shirt studs are also available.


10. There are Many Reasons to Sell Emerald

Why sell emerald? The answer varies from one individual to the next, and here are a few examples:


• You can transform unwanted or unused jewelry and gemstones into cash

• It’s not difficult to sell emerald gemstones and jewelry with Worthy

• The market for emerald gemstones and emerald jewelry is strong


Excellent examples of emerald gemstones and emerald jewelry fetch thousands, and a few have recently sold for well over $100,000. If you’d like to sell emerald gems or emerald jewelry, you’ll most likely be astonished at the offers you receive.


At Worthy, our expert appraisals, descriptions, and photography set the standard for reselling diamonds and jewelry. On our innovative live online auction platform, our network of thousands of professional buyers around the world compete to buy your diamonds and jewelry at the highest price. Because we receive a small percentage of the sales price, we are on your side: we profit only when you do too, unlike jewelry buyers who try to acquire your item for the lowest possible price so they can profit more. Although Worthy is not currently selling emeralds, you can subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to know when we begin selling gemstones online.