What’s It Worth? Emeralds Past And Present

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Today I will write about emeralds past and present. I will talk about a current emerald in our store from a local dealer and offer an update on an emerald I wrote about last year.

First, I will talk about an emerald brought to us by a local resident. It’s very large, and very green, but heavily included (people say “flaws” or “carbon,” but these terms are incorrect. Imperfections in emeralds are often referred to as “Jardin”... French for garden). It is over 15 carats, but the degree of imperfections worried Katrina. As suspected, it came back from GIA as heavily treated.

Enhancing of emeralds is not unusual. Only the finest and rarest of emeralds are untreated. Minor treatment – which GIA calls F1 – is just oiling. Oiling enhances the color of this comparatively soft stone. F2 is more serious, and means that the stone has likely been infused with a substance to enhance its color and clarity. F3 is heavily clarity enhanced and such a stone is of much less value. Our seller agreed to let us send it to GIA, and sure enough, it was deemed a genuine Colombian emerald – but F2, or clarity enhanced. Even though it had been clarity enhanced, it STILL had very visible imperfections, so in spite of its terrific green color we only paid the client $5,000 for it. It is currently for sale in our store for $7,500. (Retail appraisal is likely $12,000 or more.)

Last year, I wrote about a Delaware jeweler who sent us their trophy piece – a magnificent Art Deco pin (pictured). In this pin, a huge natural emerald is finely engraved with the face of Medusa, and is flanked by two ultra-white diamonds. One with a GIA report of G VS1 – 3.72 carats! And the other, an almost exact match, a European-cut, 3.59-carat GIA G-color VS1 stone. Obviously artisan made, it is unsigned. We paid $125,000 for this pin and sold it for $135,000 to a jeweler in California, who (sadly) removed the emerald and reset it into a ring.

Whether you are a jeweler, dealer, collector or a private citizen, we want to bid on your item.

Comments, questions or suggestions for this column, please send to jeffreyphess@aol.com. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Always buying rare and expensive items. Get our offer before you sell. All Rights Reserved. Comments, questions or suggestions for this column, please send to jeffreyphess@aol.com.


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GIA, Gemological Institute of America Inc IWJG, International Watch and Jewelry Guild NAWCC, National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors Inc DDC, Diamond Dealers Club New York ISG Global Network