Gems by Name













Lapis Lazuli
















First, let's be honest. The finest emeralds come from Colombia. That said, it is an unfortunate fact that Colombia is awash in drug money and that the emerald trade has been tainted by this set of circumstances. Hopefully, America (which is the largest consumer of the drugs that Colombia produces) will one day wake up and realize that they no longer need this type of stimulant. Until then, be aware that buying gems from Colombia may benefit the wrong people. I'm not saying that all Colombian emerald dealers are somehow involved in the drug business. The ones I know here in the U.S. are honest and reputable dealers. That is why it is so important to know who you do business with. Select an emerald supplier who will stand behind their product and who has high ethical and professional standards. This is your assurance that the beautiful emerald you purchase has come from a legitimate source.

There are other locations worldwide that produce beautiful emeralds. The color green in emerald is available in many variations and all are very pleasing. This is an area where the customer decides the color that is most pleasing to them. Some like a darker, forest green. Others like the green like green grass in the Spring, slightly yellowish green. Emerald varies from bluish green to green to slightly yellowish green.

It is a fact that Nature gave emerald many inclusions, brought about from the unique circumstances that produced it in its wonderful green color. Other members of the beryl family do not suffer from this extensive geologic trauma and therefore are relatively free of inclusions.

The finest emeralds will have a medium, saturated pure green color; not too dark and not too light. Secondary colors, such as black or gray, that act to mask the true body color will be absent. Be especially careful of inclusions and note their location within the gem. If possible select an emerald that has its heart or center relatively free of eye visible inclusions. An emerald that is lively and has some crispness to its color will be more valuable than one that seems dull. As is true of all gems, not just emerald, it is easier to find these desirable characteristics in smaller sizes. Large sizes command a premium and rightly so because it is very rare to find beautiful color, clarity, and liveliness in a single gem, much less one of a significant size. In emeralds, anything over one carat in size with the above qualities would be considered rare.

Since emeralds are expensive, there has been a keen interest in developing materials that mimic its wonderful color. Synthetic emerald has been produced for at least seventy years and there have been many imitations developed to fool the emerald loving public. Owning a fine emerald is very special because it is rare to find one with the color, clarity and life that characterizes this category. The difference between a fine natural emerald and an emerald synthetic is the difference between fine wine and grape juice. There are times when grape juice will do quite well but there are occasions when fine wine is the only choice.


Colombia, Brazil, Africa, Pakistan, North Carolina, Russia
Al2Be3 (Si6O18) aluminum beryllium silicate
Transparent to opaque; R.I. 1.57-1.58: Hardness 7 1/2-8
Widely available in small to large sizes of varying quality
Emerald green, light green; yellow-green; dark green
Oiled or treated with resins to harden material
Avoid temperature changes including steaming and ultrasonic; avoid chemicals
Cleopatra loved emeralds; supposedly they soothed the eyes when placed on them. Birthstone for May
Faceted emerald cut (usually rectangular shape) and cabochons
Fine quality - over 1.0ct.= $17,100 to $20,100/ct




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