Back to gem encyclopedia

Emerald

Emerald is the bluish green to green variety of beryl, a mineral species that includes aquamarine.

Responsive image
Colour

Highly saturated green colour defines high quality emerald.

Responsive image
Bevelled corners

Emerald cuts have concentric parallel rows of facets and bevelled corners.

Responsive image
“jardin,” or garden.

Eye visible inclusions create an internal scene referred to as “jardin,” or garden.

Responsive image
Responsive image
Six-sided

Emerald crystals are commonly six-sided.

Responsive image
Flat-top

The tops of emerald crystals are typically rather flat.

Responsive image
Colour direction

The best colour is usually perpendicular to the top of the crystal.

Responsive image
Tools

Buyer's Guide

Emerald has many special qualities, but coloured stone professionals generally agree that emeralds are, primarily, about colour. Subtle variations make significant differences in value.

FIND A JEWELLER

Use your postcode to find a jeweller near you with GIA reports and GIA-trained staff.

FIND A REPORT

Verify the information on your report matches what is archived in the GIA report database.

What to look for

Emerald
Colour Is The Most Important Quality Factor For Emerald

The most desirable emerald colours are bluish green to pure green, with vivid colour saturation and tone that’s not too dark. The most-prized emeralds are highly transparent. Their colour is evenly distributed, with no eye-visible colour zoning.

Clarity Refers To The Inclusions

Emeralds typically contain inclusions that are visible to the unaided eye. Because of this, trade members and some consumers understand and accept the presence of inclusions in emeralds. Eye-clean emeralds are especially valuable because they’re so rare.

Emerald
Cut Is One Of The Most Important Factors In Appearance

The most popular cut is the emerald shape due to the original shape of the crystals. Well cut stones maximise the beauty of the colour while minimising the impact of fissures, and creating a bright, lively stone.

Carat Weight Allows For Precise Measurements

Fashioned emeralds come in a wide range of sizes. There are emeralds in museums and private collections that weigh hundreds of carats. At the other extreme are tiny emeralds that weigh fractions of a carat. Quality-for-quality, the price of emerald can rise dramatically as the size increases.

Emerald Quality Factors: The Comprehensive Guide