Ultimately, it depends on the piece (not surprisingly).
An emerald may be worth $0, or it may be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
How Much Are Uncut Emeralds Worth? (EXPLAINED)
An uncut emerald is ‘worth’ what someone is willing to pay for it.
If someone isn’t willing to pay anything for it, it’s ‘worth’ is $0.
You can find raw uncut emeralds on various shapes and sizes on e-commerce sites for a few dollars.
In the end, these rough pieces do not have the promise of a stone that would ultimately be worth so much more (meaning someone would be willing to spend lots of money on it).
Factors: Potential Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat.
Read on, and we’ll explain.
More About Emeralds
Many people think diamonds are appropriate stones for engagement and wedding ring, but it’s really the emerald that would be most appropriate.
In antiquity, emeralds represented unity, truth, loyalty and matters of the heart.
If it’s a matter of money, the emerald can cost just as much if not more than any diamond.
Whether you are a budding petrologist or just an amateur rock hound, you may have been lucky enough to come across some raw emeralds.
For What It’s Worth
Asking how much an emerald is worth is like asking how much a house is worth.
There are so many variables to consider.
The market itself fluctuates wildly.
How big and what condition are things that must be considered.
On average, as of this writing, an emerald can go for $169 per carat.
The quality of the stone, of course, can affect the price.
An emerald that is a rich, saturated green will be the one that brings in the green.
Natural stones, of course, have the most value.
We are talking about uncut emeralds here.
That simply isn’t going to go for as much as a faceted stone.
After all, a professional sculpture is going to cost far more than the rough stone it was made out of.
There is a lot of labor that goes into this.
In fact, don’t try to cut a stone if you don’t know what you’re doing.
A valuable stone can be ruined by clumsy cutting.
Most lapidaries specialize in a variety of stone as they are so different from each other.
Keep in mind, a carat weight of a cut stone is less than a raw one simply because cutting a stone means chipping some parts away.
A cut emerald can have anywhere from fifty to seventy percent less of a carat weight than a raw one.
Even the lapidary has no idea how the stone will look when it’s done.
Quality is Key
Very rarely will you find an emerald that is gemstone quality.
There is a reason why the perfectly formed gem is so very valuable.
The gem can run anywhere from opaque to semi-transparent.
If you don’t take historical value or celebrity ownership into consideration, facet-grade emeralds will be the most valuable.
A big factor in the quality of an emerald is the color.
Emeralds, of course, are associated with being a rich, deep green.
Some may lean more to a yellowish green.
Some may lean more to a bluish green.
True green is the most valuable color for emeralds.
If that is not to be, a bluish stone is of more value than a yellowish stone.
The yellowish ones can easily be mistaken for peridots.
Other Things You Need to Keep In Mind
It may be a good idea if not a requirement to get your emeralds insured.
If your emeralds were found in a foreign country, there are customs fees and international shipping to worry about.
How was this emerald found?
If you found it yourself on a day hike, no problem.
Was the emerald sourced illegally or unethically?
Then you have a problem. Get some certification.
More About The Emerald
The word “emerald” has been through many languages, but ultimately, its roots are in the Greek “smaragdos”, their word for any green gem.
The emerald is a beryl on the Mohs Scale of 7.5 to 8. Pliny the Elder wrote about them in the First Century, praising their deep green color.
As it was believed looking at something green would relax the eyes, many lapidaries would keep an emerald on hand just to relieve eyestrain.
Centuries before Pliny wrote about them, Cleopatra herself wore emeralds.
On the other side of the world, Incas were using emeralds in religious ceremonies.
King Solomon was said to own one.
Some legends claim the emerald can help in foreseeing the future.
They are the birthstone for the month of May, particularly for those born under Taurus.
Where to Find Emeralds
Emeralds can be found all over the world but the biggest deposits are in Columbia, Brazil and Zambia.
Columbia is well known for supplying the finest emerald gemstones.
Brazilian emeralds tend to be a very dark green color due to a high vanadium content.
The emeralds of Zambia tend to have a rather bluish cast to them due to a high iron content.
Chromium is the element responsible for giving emeralds their blood green color.
In the United States, you might have the best luck finding emeralds in the Carolinas.
What Are Emeralds Used For?
Practically speaking, the only real use of an emerald is as a decorative gem in jewelry making.
However, some forms of beryl can be used in the manufacture of electrical equipment and nuclear reactors.
Low quality emeralds can be polished into beads or used for sculpture.
How To Tell a Fake Emerald From A Genuine
Beware the roadside merchant who tries to sell you “genuine emeralds”.
You may be paying top dollar for a broken beer bottle.
Buy emeralds only from a licensed jeweler.
Even then, only if you can speak to them personally.
You should be given a sales receipt that lists all pertinent information about the gem in question.
Take a good look at the gem before you buy.
Use a loupe or magnifying glass in good light.
If it looks a little too perfect under close observation, you are probably being sold a fake.
Real emeralds have irregularities if they occurred naturally.
Along with being too perfect, you should be wary of emeralds that are too cheap for what they claim to be.
You can be sure something shady is going on in this case.
Upkeep of an Emerald
Emeralds are sensitive to heat and chemicals.
They can be cleaned with cold soapy water and a soft cloth.
Remember that oil treatments are not permanent.
Do not store emeralds with other gems as emeralds may scratch them.
Emeralds are beautiful and valuable gems.
Their value rests in their rarity.
You will be very lucky indeed to come across a raw gem quality emerald.