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Article: Step by step to buy an emerald


Step by step to buy an emerald

As we have said in many of our previous posts, emeralds are one of the most coveted and unique gemstones in the world. Perhaps this is the main reason why thousands of buyers and tourists come to Colombia each year with the hope of acquiring the most beautiful emeralds in the world. 

Although this is not an easy gem to sell or buy due to the multiple characteristics that mean that there is no emerald the same as another, you are still looking to trade or acquire a quality gemstone.

For this, it is important to know the elements that contribute to its value and here we will give you all the necessary guidelines so that you can find the perfect emerald. 

Where to go to buy emeralds? 

Each city in the country has a specific area, neighborhood or locality destined for the purchase and sale of 100% Colombian emeralds. If you wish to make a secure purchase in a commercial establishment, you must ensure that it has a registry endorsed by the RUCOM (Unique Registry of Mineral Traders), since this document certifies the authenticity of the emeralds and the legality of their commercialization. 

In the city of Bogotá is the ¨Plazoleta de los esmeralderos¨ a place located in front of the Museo del Oro transmilenio station, near the Universidad del Rosario. There, you will find the famous commission agents, men and women in charge of marketing this precious gem. 

However, if you wish you can also buy or sell emeralds directly in the mines with the assurance that they were taken directly from their deposit. 

In the northwestern area of ​​the department of Boyacá, is where the largest emerald deposits are concentrated, there are the mines of Muzo, Borbur, Coscuez, Chivor, Peñas Blancas, La Pita and Quípama. Gachetá and Gachalá , located to the northeast of Cundinamarca, complete the most important area of ​​emerald exploitation in the country.

Finding the perfect emerald 

Once you have decided on the safe place to buy or sell your emeralds, it is time to observe them in detail, here are some tips to avoid failing in the attempt: 

  1. Shape : define what size or cuts you want to acquire. That is, you want a round, square, emerald cut, trapiche, oval, heart, cabochon, etc. emerald. This will be important to define the value of the gem. 
  1. Size: Like most gemstones, emeralds can come in a wide variety of sizes, from 0.02 to 0.5 carats to 1 to 5 carat gemstone centers. 


While it is true that larger gemstones are more valuable than smaller stones, quality is just as important as size, and larger emeralds are more likely to have large or visible inclusions that can affect their clarity and value. 

  1. Check the Color – Emeralds come in a wide range of colors. Color is one of the most important factors in determining the value of an emerald. The difference in the color of the emeralds is due to the different amounts of chromium, vanadium and iron in the environment in which they were formed, so you must establish if you want a crystalline emerald (clear, transparent tones) or an emerald of good color (bluish green or deep green).
  1. Look for inclusions. Inclusions are any material (such as gas bubbles or tiny crystals) that has become trapped within a gemstone during its formation. An emerald with excessive inclusions that decrease its transparency or clarity is worth less than an emerald with fewer inclusions.

TIP: Be wary of inclusions reaching the surface of the gemstone, as they can cause the gemstone to fracture in the future.

  1. Treatments: Due to the fact that emeralds often have noticeable inclusions, it is well known that some emerald dealers and jewelers choose to treat stones with oil, acids, or other substances to make the emeralds look more pure. 

Therefore, you must take into account that when a stone is treated its value decreases at the same time as its . Likewise, the less treatment you have, the more desirable it will be, therefore, the more expensive. 

  1. Certify your emeralds : In order to properly assess the value of an emerald you are considering buying, you can request a report from a gemological laboratory. This will identify the type, size, cut, clarity, color, and origin of the emerald.

This appraisal will give you a degree of confidence as to the quality and value of the gemstone, even before you get a third-party quote.

Final Tips for Acquiring Emeralds

  • Be sure to find out if the emerald you are going to buy is a natural stone or a synthetic one . Very clear, very vivid green gemstones with almost no inclusions may be "too perfect," indicating a synthetic emerald. 
  • Either before or soon after you buy it, have another jeweler or a commission agent assess whether it is the same value that it was sold to you for. If it was sold to you with false information about quality, return to the jewelry store for a refund or exchange.

Paula A. Bonilla

Social communicator and journalist from Sergio Arboleda University in Colombia. She is also a jeweler and is passionate about constantly learning about precious gems and national high jewelry.

Currently, she is working for one of Bogotá's most important jewelry stores, Emerald by Love. This jewelry store has over 40 years of experience and has 2 physical branches in the capital city of Colombia, located in the city center.

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