Last updated: April 27, 2022
Sell emeralds

They are the color of money and one of the earth’s most valuable gems. If you are selling emeralds, you need to do all you can to make sure you are getting their full fair market value.

Worthy helps consumers sell their diamonds and other valuable jewelry for the highest possible price. What we’ve learned about selling diamonds can help you when you are selling emeralds too. Here is what you need to know about selling emeralds for the highest possible price.


An emerald is a highly prized gemstone and is a variety of the mineral 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.


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 even 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. 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, with huge emeralds being 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.


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.


When selling emeralds, there are a number of factors that can greatly affect the value of the gem and final sale price of the item. Each of these factors should be looked at all together by professionals to get the best possible estimated value of your stone. This will help you know what to expect when you sell your piece.


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 so if you have a large, very green emerald, chances are it is worth quite a bit of money.


Emeralds have another thing in common with gardens: because of the way they form in the earth, emeralds usually contain foliage-like inclusions inside the gemstone that are called “jardin,” the French word 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. But in general, emerald clarity can affect the price of the gem nearly as much as color can.


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.


When selling an emerald, its value will also depend on the location of its mine of origin. The most important countries for producing emeralds are Colombia, Afghanistan, Brazil, and Zambia. Although Colombian emeralds are generally thought to be the best, country of origin doesn’t necessarily guarantee quality.


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 gemstone appraiser.


If you are selling a beautiful large green gem without visible inclusions, 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 Macy's 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.


If you are selling emeralds online, you need to clean them before taking photographs that show off 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 a resin that may be removed with harsh cleaning, leaving the inclusions more visible. Never clean emeralds in ultrasonic cleaners. Instead, wipe your emeralds clean with a soft cloth and use a soft brush to remove any dust behind the gem. If needed, soak your piece briefly in lukewarm water to loosen grime.


Why sell an 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 either for spending or investing. 
  • The market for emerald gemstones and emerald jewelry is strong. 
  • Worthy makes selling an emerald simple!

Some emerald gemstones and jewelry fetch thousands of dollars, and a few pieces have recently sold for well over $100,000. If you’d like to sell an emerald, you’ll most likely be very pleased with the offers you receive.

At Worthy, our expert evaluations, descriptions, and photography set the standard for reselling diamonds, jewelry, and gemstones like sapphires, rubies, and, of course, emeralds. On our innovative live online auction platform, our network of thousands of professional buyers around the world competes to buy your diamonds and jewelry at the highest price.

Because our fees are a percentage of the final bid, the more money you make, the more Worthy makes as well. Therefore, we are always on your side trying to get you as much money as possible because we only profit when you do! If you have a piece of jewelry you’re ready to part with, start selling your emerald with Worthy today by clicking below.

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