Usually it’s best to get a feel for your client’s personality and let
that guide your choice of words. Some people require very delicate
explanations while others appreciate straightforward, more scientific
A good place to start your discussion is with the history of the
original stone. You’re likely to get critical facts that will help
with estimating both what the stone likely was and how to proceed.
Giving your client the chance to share this shows you
care about them, and about best meeting their needs - it shows they
are important to you. It’s helpful to develop mutual respect any time
an uncomfortable or uncertain scenario arises. It’s just as
beneficial if you have a long history with the client in question,
everyone likes reassurances!
If they’ll tell you where they purchased their emerald - and when -
you’ll have some good clues. If they bought it from a friend or
relative, especially if it was a very long time ago, it may have very
well been natural. Obviously, if it came from a Generic-Gem-Emporium
type store, well-known for mass produced “value” merchandise just a
year ago, it could not have been bright, clear green & natural at
If you’ll be setting the new stone in the original mounting, the
quality of material, design, workmanship & any remaining gems ought
to give you more clues.
It’s not uncommon that customers think a synthetic or lab-grown stone
is natural and it’s never fun telling them it isn’t. Most of the time
I’ve dealt with gem mis-identity, I had the gem to examine & often
found it helpful to let them see it through a microscope while
pointing out indicators & what they meant. Many people really like
the hands-on education and that can buffer disappointment, not to
mention addressing doubt!
Finding out what that lost stone meant to your client will help
ensure their happiness with the replacement. Offering as many options
as reasonably possible might help them feel more comfortable - might
tsavorite garnet or green tourmaline interest them? Tsavorite is such
an under-appreciated gem - largely because it’s rarely presented as a
Hope this helps, feel free to contact me if you have more questions.
I miss retailing!