Gemmologist’s corner - Colombian Emerald

Emeralds from Colombia can be identified by experienced gemmologists by internal characteristics

09/02/2024     General News, Jewellery & Gems

In the gemstone world Colombia has become synonymous with the precious gemstone emerald and they are thought to have been mined there as far back as 1000 BC, the ancients considered them a symbol of fertility and immortality, when the Spanish invaded they took the stones back to Europe where they were jewels of royalty, today anyone can own an emerald and the rich Colombian deposits show no sign of depleting and are still being mined today.

Colombian emeralds are particularly famous for their highly prized bluish green colour and historically have been the most sought after and valuable emeralds on the planet. Emeralds are cherished for their vibrant green colour which results from the presence of Chromium and Vanadium as impurities in the mineral Beryl, the presence of Iron gives the revered bluish tint seen in high quality Colombian emeralds, other examples of gemstones of the Beryl family are Aquamarine and Red Beryl.

As well as colour, other important factors in the value and desirability are tone and saturation; a medium dark tone and a vivid saturation being favourable. Inclusions and internal fractures are common in emeralds, it is these inclusions that help to identify where a gemstone is from. Emeralds from Colombia can be identified by experienced gemmologists by their internal characteristics such as jagged three phase inclusions and / or ‘gota de aceite’ growth patterns, which are the hallmarks of Colombian emeralds.


Emeralds are not as hard as other stones such as diamonds and sapphires and should be worn with care, no gardening or housework!


Included in our forthcoming February auction:

Lot 231: A retro vintage Colombian emerald and diamond ring, emerald: 4.86 ct €4500 - 5000


Lot 274: A vintage Colombian diamond and emerald cluster ring, emerald; 2.04 ct €5500 - 6500


Lot 305: A magnificent certified Emerald and diamond ring, Emerald 6.50 ct €28000- 35000


Lot 233: A very fine quality Edwardian emerald and diamond drop pendant €6500- 7500




Written by Lola Hynes FGA, DGA – gemmologist & jewellery valuer

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