Emerald Color


I mine Oregon Sunstone and sell it, but recently was tempted into purchasing some Swat Emerald rough from a dealer in Pakistan who had worked with some people I know.

Trying to find what the retail value might be once faceted. I know a lot depends on the color and that’s what I’m looking for help with here.

To my untrained eye, these look very blue green and high or very high quality color.

I’m wondering what you all might think.

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Hi Brian,

last time I bought/sold was a number of years ago and the stone was £1000 ($1250) for a 95% flawless 1ct baguette stone to a jeweller. (had some inclusions on one corner that the jeweller did not want me to cut off for him which would have emerald cut the baguette)

These look like good clarity, they should cut what I personally would call a “perfect forest green” that is wonderful to see, but can get very dark as it gets to 1ct and above, … so watch out for your cut!

I would call the colour very slightly blue green, does not contain much blue (to my eye) when compared with Col/brazil, but does not look so green as to look like a chrome tourmaline for example, so all in all GOOD Colour… I don’t think they are favoured as much as the SthAmerican stones TBH in the UK anyway (example, I had to ask for a Swat stone as the dealer I was visiting did not carry any stock)




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Thank you Paul, good information

Hello Brian,
These are decent color emeralds…it’s always hard to judge color, esp. when the stones are not in your hands. I’m guessing that these are grade 5 to 7 color and clarity and if your scale is showing carats, then the stones are about 3 cts each and are going to cut out to 1-2 cts each, some maybe somewhat larger. I’m guessing about $300 to $800/ct on these, but I could be wrong. I think it would be worth your while to contact a couple of cutters and send them pictures of these stones and their respective weights. They can give you an estimate of cutting costs, which shouldn’t be more than $300/stone and tell you which one(s) they’d like to cut first. You can have one or two cut and then try to sell them in the faceted stone groups on Facebook. That would be what I’d do with them…in fact I have a few emeralds here that I ought to dig up and send out for cutting…following my own advice! Best of luck! -royjohn


Hi Royjohn

Thanks for the detailed information. I had anticipated selling the cut stones at about $500-$800 per ct so i think we’re in line. Good to have a second opion confirm what I thought.

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Hi Brian,
I do Agree with Roy John, Also I do suggest faceting the gems first then figuring out a pricing schedule as it can sometimes be rather difficult to determine pice or value on a rough gem of this nature. Well said Roy John! that is exactly what I would have surmised too!

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Hi again, Brian,
I should add that if you go to thegemdoctor.com, he has a directory of gem cutters who you could contact for prices and advice. Prices are variable, so I would contact more than one person and select based on price and what they tell you, how they interact, etc. -royjohn


Taking about the pice and value do not make sence befor facetting the rough!

Good point, I’ll be getting these faceted stones back from the cutter shortly. There are some black inclusions which i belive are common to Swat emerald, but I’m not an expert on this stone just yet. Once I’ve received from the cutter, I’ll post high res photos


Greetings Brian,
Not to concern you, but it is very difficult to judge the color of an emerald until it has been cut and polished. Depending on the shape chosen for the rough and if it is to be oiled or treated to improve color and clarity all must be taken into account before a color quality can be determined. Best of luck.
Brian Hudson GG
Graduate Gemologist GIA.

if and when you can, please post some pictures of the cut stones. Photo micrographs, if you have a microscope with a camera would also help a lot, as they will show cracks and inclusions… the provenance of emeralds can sometimes be determined by the inclusions. Chromium vanadium iron ratios will require an spectrograph… that can be done by a commercial jeweler with the equipment.

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Hi Steven,

Thank you for the response. I’m not really set up with the microscope etc, but i do have some photos with a macro lens of some of the finished stones here. I have these priced at about $400/ct. The color came out good with many inclusions that are black, I’m assuming graphite. All untreated other than cedar oil that the rough was in.

The three pictured here left to right are 2.21ct, 1.83ct and 1.04ct.

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black inclusions can be chromite and black tourmaline in addition to graphite.
Can’t tell without microscope. These ones are pretty heavily included, which detracts from clarity.



https://www.gia.edu › doc › Fall-2020-trace-ele…


by H Guo · 2020 · Cited by 13 — Three-phase inclusions are rare and hexagonal. Trapiche- type emeralds from Swat Valley contain water, gaseous carbon dioxide and nitrogen, and a magnesite …

20 pages

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Good article. Thank you.

I was really looking to understand from the IGS pricing guide which discusses color and clarity, how you might assess these stones. I don’t expect they are top end $10,000/ct stones but i also don’t think they’re absolute trash. Was more looking for a range if you were advising somebody on purchase.

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I can’t give you a number on pricing. This is a very difficult area to be specific. The abundant amount of what appear to be internal cracks and dark inclusions, visible to the naked eye, will detract from the value significantly, despite all emeralds having flaws to some degree. The color is good but the clarity is fair at best. Depending on how long ago you sold your 95% flawless stone for 1,250 USD, a stone of that size and quality would go currently at the upper range of price…good stones bought 20 -30 years ago could go for as much as ten times the value at that time of purchase. The stones that you have cut are not clear, Roy John’s price of 500-800 USD per ct. might be closer to what the market will offer to buy at wholesale… The best bet is to look at comparable quality and size stones on auction websites, such as Ebay, Facebook and Etsy. I don’t trust Etsy… from what I’ve seen of Etsy, I don’t think that some of the sellers even know what they are selling… whether synthetic or natural even, but by cross site comparisons, you should get a rough idea. Since the cut ones are over 1 ct and another is 2 ct, with good color, a selling price of 1- 1.5K USD might be the most that you can get. However, I would suspect less. If your get offered more, then that would be great. Roy John’s expertise is far more than my own in the valuation of stones. You also should contact him. his initial estimate of 0.5 to 0.8 K USD per ct. could be more like it given the lack of clarity. I doubt that they come close to very top end.

So I believe since you’re a pro member if you have full access if you read not only the pricing guide section on emeralds but also read their articles in the buyers guide for emeralds they should detail the types of inclusions what to buy what not to buy in how to get you an ideal of what kind of price you should be looking at also it’s very hard for any of us to look at a picture and give you a realistic price the IGS constantly try to remind all of us that the price guides are not what the price is the price for stone is whatever someone will pay for it I’m going to attempt to upload a picture of an emerald I had bought online I will not use any filters of any sort just a simple picture not messed with hopefully this will help you my point.

See that picture is of an emerald I bought online because the pictures look great better than anything I took they probably use filters and everything else it is an emerald but I don’t know what has been done to it as far as if it’s been glass filled definitely has imperfections the cut is garbage I just figured if I paid $40 for seven and a half carat emerald that look decent I could recut it into something maybe 3 grams that would look Great. So I’m sure your Stones you’re probably nicer than this one but being able to give an accurate price of just a picture a lot of us stay away from now but IGS has all the information as well as the members here will love to give you advice I’m pretty sure because I’ve seen it a lot where we all steer away from giving her actual number because we don’t want to let you down if something is not copesthetic and I’m in no way implying that it would be your fault or you’re doing in any way or that you’re trying to mislead anybody I’m simply saying that there’s a lot of people out there that unfortunately mislead so many people that we’ve probably all dealt with one early in our career and there’s so much that you can’t see in a picture no matter how clear it is anyways good luck and I hope you do get a ton of money for those emeralds one thing I do love about the IGS forms is since we all pay to be here we are all very respectful I’ve never seen anyone say something bad about a question because until you know you don’t know and we’ve all been new to the trade at one time or another. And even when you’re not new you you discoveries happen every day even the best gemologist doesn’t know everything there is to know about gems

I aasune the Pakustan emerald is similiar to ones ive hitten from Afghanistan as far a green color vs thise from Colombia. The only thing i noticed from the pics was the black inclusion or carbon type marks.

That’s not desirable. Jardin is one thing but i dont like the black dots.

The above conversation illustrates the problem with evaluating rough and determining quality before the rough is cut. Emeralds, admittedly are a bad example because they are possibly the only stone where the market forgives inclusions and cracks in a finished stone. and also accepts oiling! Give me a clean eye clear gem any day.