What determines the price of emeralds as an investment?

What determines the price of emeralds as an investment?

What determines the price of emeralds as an investment?

  • What is an emerald?
  • Why are emeralds so valuable?
  • How is the emerald price determined?
  • Where can you sell or buy an emerald?


We covered a topic on diamonds and why they are a smart investment with an intrinsic profitability in our article about investing in diamonds. Besides diamonds, other valuable precious stones are also appealing investment option. In this article we are focusing on emeralds and you will find out why emeralds are valuable as an investment and how the price is determined.

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What is an emerald?

Like diamonds, emeralds are precious stones. There are many different types of minerals but they are not all precious stones. Only diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds are classified as precious stones and this is mainly due to their scarcity. For example, some emeralds are up to twenty times rarer than diamonds. Emeralds’ crystal structure is formed by the mineral beryl and also contains chromium which is the of the typical green colour. Emeralds are usually clear but they are often characterised by their inclusions which makes them look matter. Emeralds have a hardness of 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness and therefore they are inclined more easily to break or scratch. By comparison, diamonds score 10 on the same scale as they are the hardest known natural substances.

Why are emeralds so valuable?

The limited availability of emeralds makes this precious stone extra valuable and therefore an attractive investment. With an ever-increasing demand there is a possibility that you will eventually sell your emerald with a good profit. Another important factor which influences the price of emeralds is the colour. In recent years, the precious stones market has been moving more and more towards coloured precious stones. This trend ensures that naturally coloured diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds are increasingly attractive as an investment.

How is the emerald price determined?

Regardless if we look at diamonds or emeralds, the price in both cases depends on the game of supply and demand as well as the economic context and the prices set by the jeweller/dealer who is selling the precious stone. The emerald price per carat depends on the value of the emerald. Emeralds, like diamonds, are also judged by the 4 C's:

1. Carat weight

Emeralds come in different sizes and the weight is measured in carats. Emeralds from 1 to 5 carats are also often set in jewellery. An emerald with a greater carat weight will logically be more expensive but the value of an emerald is mainly determined by the quality of the precious stone. An emerald with too many inclusions is less clear and therefore, subjected to a partial loss in value. An emerald with a smaller carat weight but with greater clarity will be more valuable and hence more expensive.

2. Clarity

A clear emerald is very popular with collectors and is considered as a good choice to invest in. The clarity of an emerald decreases depending on the number of inclusions.These inclusions – in jargon referred to as the French jardin – are common in emeralds and are tolerated. However, too many inclusions can make the precious stone appear matte and dull. Another factor that affects the clarity of an emerald is the colour. A dark green emerald absorbs less light and can therefore appear duller than a light green emerald.

3. Colour

Emeralds exist in various shades of colour ranging from teal to yellow-green depending on where they were mined. The green colour tint can also vary from very light to extremely dark. A medium green to dark emerald is considered the most valuable, although be aware that if the colour is darker green this might be due to a clarity issue as described above.  

4. Quality of the cut

Cutting an emerald is quite a challenge, even for experienced cutters. Emeralds naturally have small fractures or cracks, and this not only increases the risk of damage during cutting, but the cutter should also consider the final shape of the emerald. The cut quality is also inextricably linked to the colour which has a big influence on the value and the price per carat. By adjusting the proportions and facets of the emerald during the cutting process, the cutter can influence the colour of the precious stone to some extent.

Where can you sell or buy an emerald?

reputable jeweller such as BNT Diamonds who can provide an emerald certificate. Just as the authenticity of diamonds is recorded in a certificate of GIA, IGI or HRD, coloured stones are given a Coloured Stone Report that contains all the characteristics for the valuation. We recommend buying an emerald that has a certificate from a reliable laboratory.

Are you considering investing in emeralds? Let the experts at BNT Diamonds assist you professionally. Make an appointment in one of our showrooms.

Author: Gerd Van de Vel
Source: BAUNAT

With this article, BAUNAT strives to inform you thoroughly about investing in diamonds. No investment can be guaranteed to be without risk or fully according to your expectations. That is why we recommend to research the risks and aspects of investing in diamond properly to ensure that you make the right choice for your portfolio.


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