Choosing the Perfect Colombian Emerald

Buying jewelry can be intimidating.  When it comes to precious gems such as emeralds it is important to look for details to make sure you are getting what you paid for.   

What should you be looking for when buying emeralds?

  1. Color

Did you know the best emeralds come from Colombia?  What makes Colombian emeralds unique compared to those that come from Brazil and Zambia are their warmer and more intense greens - some call it a bluish green.  Color saturation is the most important factor in a high quality emerald.  Unlike diamonds where carat weight plays a much larger role in the pricing of the gem, a small emerald with a deep blue green vivid color can fetch a much higher price than a larger emerald with poor color quality. 

  1. Clarity or purity

Even the most expensive emeralds will have inclusions, it is very rare to find an emerald without inclusions and the ones that have less or they are not invisible to the naked eye are the most prized.  The inclusions or veins in an emerald is known as its garden or jardin.  It is important to see a magnified picture of an emerald or see it through a loupe so you can see its garden. If an emerald has no garden it is likely it is not real. 

  1. Cut

The most popular cut, which refers to the depth, shape and faceting of the stone is the emerald cut.  Not just used for emeralds,  It is a rectangular square step that was initially developed around the 1500’s.  There are many different facet shapes for emeralds, but the bottom line is if you are wanting to buy a faceted stone look for one where the facets are symmetrical and uniform that bring out the color and vibrancy of the stone. 

  1. and finally…Size

On average 5 tons of dirt has to be removed in the mining process to find a “gem-quality” emerald over 1 carat making the price rise dramatically.   An emerald with all the elements above and then finally 1 carat or more can yield a very high price.  When it comes to emeralds, bigger is not necessarily better.  If you are looking to invest in an emerald, experts agree it is better to find a high quality emerald with excellent color as opposed to a larger stone with poor color quality.  

Where can you find emeralds in Puerto Vallarta?  LOD Jewelry, a jewelry and art gallery on Calle Corona in el Centro is considered the go to for emeralds in PV.  The brother team have been passionate about emeralds since they were kids growing up in Bogota Colombia.  In recent years they have been able to visit the mines in their home country and hand select emeralds that they use in their unique and modern designs.  The brothers love sharing information about their favorite subject and showing off the colorful stones in their beautifully decorated gallery in the heart of Puerto Vallarta.