Emerald Price Guide

Emeralds have long been among the most sought-after gemstones, dating back to the days of Queen Cleopatra and ancient Colombia. Even though emerald prices may have fluctuated since 2000, jewellery collectors and gift-givers continue to be captivated by these dazzling green gemstones.

Emerald tones range from soft grassy tones with yellow and blue hues to deep, rich evergreens, reflecting the greens we see in late spring and early summer. Additionally, since emeralds are the birthstone for May, they make wonderful presents for any Taurus or Gemini people you know.

Since ancient times, emeralds have been associated with the colour green. The sight of a fine emerald is truly breathtaking, and this beryl relative deserves its place among the traditional "Big Four" gems, including sapphire, diamond, and ruby. The most expensive emeralds are from Colombia; depending on size and colour, they can fetch up to $150,000 AUD per carat. Discoveries of emeralds in Ethiopia and Brazil are also fetching high prices.

Spend some time learning about the most valuable green gemstones in the world before heading to the Emerald Isle to shop. In this guide, we'll go over the average market value of emeralds, how they stack up against diamonds, and all the variables that influence emerald prices.

How Much Does an Emerald Cost?

Emeralds alone can cost anywhere from $300 AUD to more than $13500 AUD per stone. However, this could also alter if the stone is set in jewellery such as bracelets, necklaces, rings, or earrings.

How Much Does an Emerald Cost?

Engagement rings containing emeralds can cost anywhere from $2,250 AUD to over $10,500 AUD. When purchasing individual emeralds, an exact figure is hard to come by. Rather, the key factors are the individual stones' carat size, colour, cut, and clarity.

What Gives Emerald Colour?

Emerald is a beryl gemstone that ranges in colour from medium to darker green to blue-green. Its green hue is caused by chromium (Cr), vanadium (V), or a mix of the two impurities. Before 1963, beryls with chromium impurities were the only beryls classified as emeralds; however, this definition was modified after a significant deposit of vanadium-coloured beryl stones was found in Brazil.

As per the contemporary definition, an emerald is defined by the beryl's green colour's purity and saturation. The colour will also change with different iron (Fe) concentrations. The bluish tones increase with the number of iron atoms.

Is Every Green Beryl an Emerald?

Certain light to medium-light green chromium-coloured stones are occasionally sold as emeralds, even though they could be classified as green beryls. This situation is comparable to the distinction between pink sapphire and ruby. Medium to dark primary green is the ideal colour for emeralds.

According to some gemologists, such as Dr. Joel Arem, emerald is only beryl containing chromium; green beryls due to vanadium are just called green beryls.

Do Local Variations Affect Emerald Colours?

Colombian geological conditions gave rise to the intense saturation and slightly bluish-green hue that distinguish stones from that region as the best species.

In general, emeralds from Colombia's Muzo and Chivor mines can be identified. The material from Chivor is blue-green, while the Muzo material is yellowish-green. A trained eye is sometimes required to distinguish the colour differences.

Because of their high iron content (0.73%), Zambian emeralds may also have an unusual blue tone, with blue-green/yellow-green pleochroism. Crystals from Zambia may have intense colour zones, resembling watermelon tourmaline with nearly colourless cores and dark green rims.

Recently discovered emeralds from Itabira, Minas Gerais, Brazil, are of the same calibre as the best stones from Colombia. They are typically light bluish-green along the c-axis.

Where Are the Main Emerald Sources?

South America is the hub of the world's emerald mining industry, with Brazil and Colombia being the main producers.

Long since exhausted, the Egyptian mines that fed Cleopatra's ardour have been exhausted. However, with mines in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, and Nigeria, Africa is the second-most productive continent after South America.

Each location usually produces a particular colour, size, and clarity. Ethiopia has also been producing high-quality emeralds without needing oil treatments since 2016. These stones range in colour from grass green to blue-green.
China and Afghanistan are two other noteworthy emerald-producing countries.
Regarding buyers, over 75% of the world's cut emeralds are bought by consumers in the United States and Japan combined.

Therapy and Cost

Common treatments are one aspect that is crucial to emergency prices but is rarely discussed. Approximately 99% of emeralds undergo treatment to improve their clarity using resin or oil fillers. This is because they are nearly always heavily included gemstones, classified as Type III. The gem industry does not often see untreated emeralds like that, especially large ones weighing several carats.

The majority of the emeralds displayed even in auction houses will be treated. The most well-known exception is the Rockefeller Emerald, which has unaltered transparency that is almost flawless. It is remarkable for a large, 18-carat stone and sold for about $8.25 million AUD.

Even in smaller carat weights, untreated emeralds that resemble their oiled counterparts or are slightly more included can fetch amazing prices ranging from ten to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The cracks in every other emerald observably included in the world are filled with resin or oil. Emeralds are commonly oiled with certain types of oil, though they must be reoiled regularly. Emeralds filled with resin take longer to dry out, but the residue left behind is never entirely gone. Because of this, oiling is the most widely used emerald care technique.

Additionally, since emeralds are so commonly treated, they cannot be cleaned with sonic jewellery cleaners. The emerald loses its makeup when the oil is eliminated or harmed. In English, the French specifically referred to the multiple inclusions as a "Jardin," or garden.

How Much Does a One-Carat Emerald Cost?

The price of an emerald can vary from less than $1.5 AUD to $150,000 AUD per carat. A gem can be of any quality; it can be opaque and only fit for carving, or transparent, brilliantly coloured, and sure to make auction houses smile.

Some emeralds are less than $150 AUD in value, but these are not the transparent, exquisitely green emeralds that most people imagine. They won't be as richly coloured as other, higher-quality examples and weigh less than half a carat.

The cost of an individual emerald depends on factors such as colour, clarity, and cut and can range from $300 AUD to $13,500 AUD per carat. These gems can be naturally grown in a lab or extracted like diamonds. Emeralds grown in laboratories typically cost much less, an average of $525 AUD per carat.

How Much Do Emeralds Cost Compared to Diamonds?

Even though there are emerald mines worldwide, gem-quality emeralds are typically more difficult to locate than diamonds. Additionally, although emerald and diamond quality grading systems are comparable, emerald colour is given more weight than diamond colour. This implies, for instance, that a tiny but vividly coloured emerald may be more expensive than a big but hazy diamond.

How Are They Classified?

Colour, clarity, cut, and carat are significant in emeralds. Emeralds, however, are a Type III gem, not a diamond. Small marks, also known as inclusions, are almost always inside this category's stone. However, they can enhance the emerald's character with the appropriate cut.

How the inclusions are exhibited within the stone can affect the price of an emerald. These jardins—"garden" in French—may take the shape of crystals, bubbles, or stripes. To close these pores, emeralds frequently undergo artificial treatment.

The Four Cs' Effect on Emerald Price

Like any other gemstone that isn't a diamond, emeralds rank highest in colour according to the 4Cs. Regarding emeralds, the arrangement of inclusions within the stone is more significant than clarity. This is typical for emeralds because they are highly included in most cases.

Naturally, this implies that the price of any emerald with exceptional clarity will rise sharply. The cutter typically controls the exact clarity and arrangement of inclusions with the cut. The final C, representing the carat weight, indicates how rare each other factor is combined to determine the emerald's size.

Although they are the least expensive, emeralds with lower grades, ranging from C to AAA+, lack the characteristics that make them so sought-after. They frequently weigh significantly less, are poorly cut, cloudier, and have more internal defects.

Emerald Color

Emeralds range in colour from light bluish-green (similar to a traffic light) to deep, distinctive green tones. But darker does not necessarily mean a more valuable emerald. Rich colour saturation impacts an emerald's value more than rich tones, which are still highly prized.

Emerald Color

The Emerald Cut

Part of what distinguishes each emerald from another is its inclusions. Emeralds are difficult to find without them, and each one is unique due to the microscopic markings within them. A valuable emerald will have a cut that appropriately highlights the stone's unique character by showcasing its depth, symmetry, and Jardin inside.

Emerald Clarity

Most emeralds are expected to have inclusions and flaws, but the fewer, the better—it's all about purity. How the stone is cut and handled varies depending on these inclusions. The internal inclusions and the stone's cut can both affect clarity. An emerald's value increases with its internal clarity.


Emeralds are weighed in carats, just like diamonds. Size, though, isn't everything. A smaller emerald with a better cut, richer colour, and excellent clarity may be worth more than its larger counterpart with a dull, hazy interior. Generally speaking, searching for an emerald with the proper cut and colour is preferable rather than picking up the first enormous one you see.

How Emerald Price Is Affected by Origin?

Emeralds can be found worldwide, from Australia to North Carolina, Colombia to India. However, how does the source of an emerald affect its cost?
The best emeralds in the world are said to come from Colombia. This South American nation, home to important mines like Chivor and Muzo, produces almost 90% of the world's emeralds. These Colombian mines have unique mineral deposits that typically yield richer, clearer stones with higher market prices.

Emerald Price and Care

With emeralds, artificial treatment is standard procedure. It's uncommon to find an emerald without treatment, as almost all of them have expected inclusions inside of them. Most stones undergo a cedar oil bath to fill in voids and spaces within the stone. However, these untreated stones are far more valuable in the rare instances that an emerald without significant inclusions does reach the market.

Treatment becomes even more crucial after purchase. To ensure the longevity of any emerald jewellery you may have or want to give to someone special, learn how to properly clean emeralds. Use a solution of warm water and mild soap to clean an emerald, particularly if it is part of a piece worn daily.

Never use heat, steam, chemicals, or sonic baths on your emeralds. Even though these stones are hardy, they can still be fragile and break or get damaged if not cleaned properly.

Trade Names for Emerald

Note that emeralds from these particular sources are sometimes referred to by the following names. Regardless of origin, they can also be used as trade names for emeralds that possess specific qualities. Ask vendors to define terms if you're not sure how they're using them.

Regardless of their true geographic origin, medium- to medium-dark green stones with vivid, slightly bluish green hues are commonly referred to as "Colombian emeralds".

Lighter-colored emeralds are occasionally referred to as "Brazilian," even if the mines produced them in Africa.

Emeralds that are more included but less blue and saturated than Colombians are sometimes referred to as "Russian" or "Siberian," regardless of their origins in Russia.

Small, deeply coloured emeralds with a high inclusion rate are sometimes referred to as "Sandawana," even though they are not native to this region of Zimbabwe.

Gray-tinged emeralds are sometimes referred to as "Zambian."

Take Particular care

Protective settings on emerald rings are necessary to keep the gem safe from impact. Emeralds are also a great option for earrings, brooches, and pendants.

For emeralds, mechanical cleaning is not advised. In the worst situation, boiling, steaming, and ultrasonic techniques can break emeralds. Using these techniques will require you to re-oil your emerald at the very least. For cleaning, use just warm water, mild soap, and a soft brush; alternatively, have a professional jeweller handle your emeralds.

FAQs on Emerald Prices

What Is Beryl?

The mineral that makes up emeralds is called beryl. Beryl turns green and becomes what is known as an emerald due to deposits of elements like vanadium (found in Tanzanite) and chromium (found in rubies).

What Is Beryl?

Are Emeralds All Green Beryls?

Not all beryls are emeralds, even though every emerald is a beryl. (Sort of like tortoises and turtles or succulents and cacti). To change a beryl stone into an emerald, chromium and vanadium must be present. Unless the colour is extremely saturated, a green beryl is not regarded as an emerald.

Does Emerald Colour Depend on Where It Originates?

Indeed. Even nations like Colombia, which have several emerald mines, are able to produce stones with different colours. For instance, the colour of diamonds can differ even within the same nation. Rich green emeralds are typically produced by the well-known Muzo mines, whereas emeralds from Chivor, 250 kilometres away, have a blue tint.

It all comes down to the local geology. Although beryl is found all over the world, the amounts of chromium and vanadium in different beryl deposits can vary. Therefore, even at close proximity, emeralds are likely to have colour variations.

Where Are the Most Emeralds Originating?

Columbia is recognised as the primary global provider of emeralds. Chivor and Muzo are the most well-known mines in the nation. However, mineral deposits can be found all over the world, including in the US, Africa, India, and other South American nations.

If you're looking for gemstones with a less detrimental effect on the environment, there are also emeralds grown in laboratories.

What Is The Value Of An Unpolished Emerald?

Unpolished emeralds typically sell for $300 AUD per carat. Because a large portion of the stone is chipped during the process, they typically weigh more than polished emeralds. Price is also affected by the mine where the unpolished emerald was discovered; even unpolished emeralds from Zambia and Colombia are far more expensive than those from other sources.

Final remarks

It is understandable why emeralds have been valued throughout history and around the world—from vibrant springtime hues to rich, deep greens. Emeralds are a great option for unconventional engagement rings and May birthstone gifts because of their deep beauty.

For additional information about these stunning green stones, see our emerald buying guide. https://www.luxurybrandjewellery.com.au