Emeralds are one of the most rare and valuable of all gemstones. While commercial grade emeralds are quite plentiful, fine and extra fine quality emeralds are very, very, rare. For purposes of illustration the following table indicates the range of retail prices that could be typical for a 1 carat emerald ( prices are for comparison only, exact prices vary according to market demand).
Quality Grade Low to High Retail Price Range for 1.0 Carat Emerald
Commercial $30.00 to $525.00
Good $525.00 to $1,125.00
Fine $1,125.00 to $2,900.00
Extra Fine $2,900.00 to 9,800.00
Similar to other gemstones, larger emeralds are much more rare than smaller sizes. Accordingly, larger emeralds command much higher prices. For instance, while a one carat (1.0 ct.) good quality emerald may sell for somewhere between $525 and $1,125, a five carat (5.0 ct.) emerald of similar quality could sell for between $7,500 and $15,000 ( prices are for comparison only, exact prices vary according to market demand).
Quality Grade Low to High Retail Price Range for 5.0 Carat Emerald Commercial $300 to $7,500
Good $7,500 to $15,000
Fine $15,000 to $32,500
Extra Fine $32,500 to $95,500
The effect of oiling or the use of Opticon on the price of an emerald depends on its quality. For most qualities of emerald sold in jewelry, the effect on the price is negligible. However, for fine to extra fine emeralds, a non-oiled gemstone could command from 30% to 60% higher.
The rich green emerald holds within it the promise of new life in springtime. How appropriate that it should also be considered the May birthstone.
COLOR, CLARITY AND VALUE:
Between color and clarity, which has the greater impact on the price and value of a gemstone?
Well, color is a major value factor, but it's not always the most important one. For example, if there are two emeralds with an exact same dark, vivid green coloring, and one is transparent, while the other is translucent, the transparent one may
well be worth $10,000 per carat, while the translucent one will be worth several times less. As such, transparency would be the main factor contributing to its lower value. Similarly, a lighter medium green emerald with good clarity can be more desirable even though they are priced lower than the deep greens.
This does not mean that clarity is more important than color. It just indicates that the importance of each grading factor varies from stone to stone. There just isn't a one single factor that will always determine the quality and thus value of a colored gemstone. One should always assess a gemstone according to the appeal that particular stone has to your personal preferences, and on the overall balance and synergy of all factors of color, clarity, transparency and cut of the stone. How does the stone appeal to your eye? That is the most important factor.