Emeralds are a precious gemstone that belong to the beryl mineral family, along with aquamarine and morganite. They are known for their rich green colour, which comes from the presence of chromium, vanadium, and iron within the stone.

Emeralds are rarely free of inclusions, and these are sometimes referred to as the ‘garden’ of the stone. Colour is all-important in emeralds; inclusions within the gem are secondary. A perfect emerald can outrank a diamond in value.


The current sources of emeralds are Colombia, Zambia, Brazil, Russia, Australia, South Africa, India, and Afghanistan, plus a few minor sources. Recently, finds of gem quality have been made in Canada. A rare form of emerald, the Trapiche is only found in Colombia. The name comes from the spoked cogwheel used to grind sugarcane, as the stone displays a spoke-like pattern, which gives a six-pointed star effect. Large emeralds are very rare, particularly those of good colour. One of the biggest found in the early 19th century in Colombia was the ‘Devonshire’, which weighed in at 1383.95 carats uncut.

Colombia is the very best origin. When purchasing a Colombian emerald, before it can be certified of the origin of Colombia, it must be examined by an approved gemmological laboratory. It must have Colombia’s origin stated on the laboratory’s certification.

Zambia is the second-best origins in the world. It also must be certified by a gemmological laboratory. It also must have the origin of Zambia stated on the laboratory’s certification.

emerald ring set with diamonds


Emeralds have been prized for their beauty and rarity for thousands of years. Ancient civilizations such as the Incas, Aztecs, and Egyptians believed that emeralds held special powers and used them in jewellery, religious ceremonies, and even burials. Cleopatra was particularly fond of emeralds and was known to have her own collection of the gemstone.

In addition to their beauty and historical significance, emeralds are also believed to have healing properties. They are said to promote calmness, balance, and rejuvenation, as well as improve eyesight and digestion. Some people also use emeralds as a symbol of love and loyalty, making them a popular choice for engagement rings and other romantic gifts.

Overall, emeralds are a stunning and significant gemstone that have captured the hearts of people for centuries.

Purchasing Emeralds

When treatment is applied to an emerald, it is known as oiling. Most emeralds have undergone some treatment as when they are first mined; they are placed in an epoxy resin. Oils are often used to improve appearance. When oiling has been applied, it will be stated on the gemmological laboratory certificate.

When purchasing emeralds, it’s important to be aware of the stone’s characteristics and potential treatments. Natural emeralds can have inclusions, or imperfections, that can affect their clarity and value. Many emeralds are also treated with oils or resins to enhance their color and clarity, so it’s important to ask about any treatments before making a purchase.

Overall, emeralds are a stunning and significant gemstone that have captured the hearts of people for centuries.

For more information on emeralds, visit the GIA Emerald page.

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