Emeralds are one the mostly high prized gems in the world! Very large emeralds which show few inclusions are highly prized and can fetch prices that would make you green with envy!
Emeralds have a good "hardness" which protects the emerald to a large degree from scratches. However, it's a brittle gem and has many fissures, which make setting this gorgeous gem a nightmare for the inexperienced bench man (gem setter).
Emeralds have inclusions and as such, they can be difficult to set and in some cases the can shatter if an inexperienced bench man attempts to place the gem into a setting by using too much downward pressure during the gem setting process.
If you buy a loose emerald with the notion of having the gem set - pick your bench man carefully! Ask them what experience they have in setting emeralds and ask if they are insured for setting gems! If they are not insured - move on....
This is why the Emerald Cut is so popular! Four prong settings are easier to set and the possibility of shattering the gem are less likely to occur when setting an emerald, which has been cut into the classic emerald cut and set into a four prong setting. In addition, the emerald cut brings out the FULL beauty of this gem!
Many of the emeralds on the market today are treated with oils and resins. This is a trade practice which can be dated back to Romans. However, be careful cleaning these beauties, as if you pop them into a ultrasonic cleaner, whatever gorgeous green the gem went into the ultrasonic cleaner displaying - may come out looking pale and matted. Same goes for wearing your emerald rings when washing the dishes! Take these precious beauties off as dishwasher soaps and grease will diminish the beauty and luster of the piece.
Never buy a large emerald (3 Carats and above) without a gemological report from a third party appraiser. This means do NOT buy a large emerald from any jeweler who is selling you the gem and performing the appraisal for you! Insist on an independent third party appraisal.
While someone selling a green gem claiming the gem to be a genuine emerald (may look like an emerald) remember, that synthetic or faux emeralds on the market today abound!
Promotional Emeralds - Declasse Gems...
What is a promotional Declasse gem? You've seen them on the internet for sale! They may be offered as a necklace and are advertised as 60 Carats of Emeralds and Diamonds! They are appraised upwards to $55,000.00 (and more in some cases) and they may contain 10 Carats of Diamonds and 50 Carats of Emeralds! But is this a deal which is too good to pass up?
Here's a buying tip! Look at the emeralds, are they lifeless? Are they translucent? Do you see black marks in the close up pictures? If they come with an appraisal - does the appraisal state that the diamonds are I-1 to 1-2 and the emeralds are Declasse?
If this is the case, you will get what you paid for. In many cases, the appraisal will be based on estimated retail value and no one is saying that in the world market the item could not fetch $50,000.00 however, if you're going to spend $3,000.00 to $4,000.00 on an emerald necklace (which is valued at $50,000.00), you might want to go down in carat weight and purchase a piece, which has quality emeralds and higher grade diamonds.
The buying hook which captures the audience is classic! 60 Carats of Diamonds and Emeralds! Appraised at $50,000.00! Who could pass up such an offer? However, look closely at the description, pictures and appraisal. If what you want is bang for the buck (a big look for a few grand) then go for it! If what you want is quality and an heirloom for the future - keep looking!
Other guides relating to jewelry and gemstone buying which you may find helpful are as follows: