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Purchasing Loose Emeralds


I am considering the purchase of a quality loose emerald some time
in the not too ditant future. I happen to currently be “emerald
ignorant”. Right now i am trying to do my homework on this, and
figured that orchid would be a good place to start. I have read
that it is considered to be acceptable practice to treat emeralds
with clear cedar oil before sale to hide the inherent flaws. Is
this true? I have seen emeralds so far advertised for thousands of
dollars for under 3 carats that have been treated as such. Are
there any stones that look good without treatment and are they
anywhere close to being affordable? I have heard stories about the
oil coming out with intensive cleaning leaving a less green flawed
ugly stone behind. I don’t want to get caught in that mess.

At any rate, thanks very much for the input.
Blaine Buckman

Blaine, I am not a long time jeweler. I do know that quality
emeralds can be purchased at affordable prices. Most but not all,
cutters might use some form of treatment. To date, I have seen it
depreciate the cost of a good emerald. I just purchased Colombian
Emeralds in the 10x5 MQ shape that were absolutely stunning. The
Emeralds I have on hand or can get start at approximately $18.00
p/ct. Some cost less, other more. It depends on the stones
clarity, cut, size, and luster. Any one interested just let me
know. I supply a large company here in Hawaii who supplies to very
large companies in the Continental US. I would be happy to do
research for you if you are serious about purchasing an Emerald.
You must specify the carat weight, or the maximum cost you are
willing to spend per carat weight, the type of cut, size, and
clarity, along with the area you would like your Emerald to come
from. Just let me know what I may do to help you. Aloha Oe, BJ
@myredcar Hawaiian Quizine Collectibles, Ent.

dear blaine, ya its very true that emeralds are being oiled for
better luster. but if you are really looking for good quality
emeralds then you should look for some trader in jaipur(india) which
is famous for emeralds.

best wishes

Hi Blaine, I understand that cedar oil treatment for emeralds is
acceptable and almost always takes place. I have bought several
large good quality emeralds at a reasonable price from an Internet
company selling Columbian emeralds. My emeralds are not oily and
cleaning emeralds should never be INTENSIVE as they almost always
have inclusions and can be damaged by intensive cleaning. A
completely clear emerald of good color would cost you many thousands
of dollars.

Here is the link for the Colombians in Florida selling their lovely

They also give a good explanation of what to expect in an emerald
stone on their web site.

I hope this message will be posted. I have sent several and none
have ever been posted. I don’t know what I am doing wrong.


Virtually all emeralds sold today will either be oiled or fracture
filled with one of a number of possible substances. I can only
recall seeing about a half doaen stones that weren’t treated in the
last twenty years and the only reason they weren’t treated was
because the treatment didn’t take in the goods (they were from a
Russian source)–in other words treatment was attempted but failed.

Today the differences in prices between treated emeralds is now
often being judged by how much treatment is used but it is considered
standard, acceptable trade practice to sell all emeralds with a
treatment as long as it is disclosed.

I doubt very much that you will be able to find untreated stones
anywhere. You just need to excersize the same type of precautions in
wearing the emerald that you would with any delicate gemstone.
Incidentally, most stones can be retreated if for some reason the
treatment leaches out.

Hello Charles, I happen to read your query about emeralds. I have
been associated with the Color stone industry for about a decade now
and I would say the best and the safest way to buy your stones is
from a color stone dealer you can “Trust”.As basically the sourcing
of gemstones ( be it Emeralds or anything else ) is a matter of trust
rather than anything else. As buying from any internet company would
not give you certain privileges ( which you understand ). It is very
true that Emeralds are treated with Cedar wood ( & a host of
other ) oils, as also they are treated with a clear simulant known as
Opticon. Oiling ( as well as dyeing )isanenhancement procedure which
is generally acceptable to the industry. I would say the best way
would be to buy a certified stone (certified by a reputed agency ).
Also it is important to add here that good quality doesnt come at a
cheap price.Specially in the case of Emeralds where clarity and color
are seldom found together the prices rise in geometric rather than
algebric progression for finer stuff. Hope that helps. Nilesh.

All, In toays gemstone market the purchasing of a finished stone must
be approached very analytically. My best advice is to become
educated in gemstone identification, gemstone identification
reports, and gemstone appraisals. Educated means understand the
different variables in each, not do the work yourself. Gemstones
have value and inexpensive gemstones are inexpensive because they
lack variables in the stone which can be identified by the three
processes mentioned above. A gemstone that is properly identified
and properly appraised will retain its value. Buyers of these
gemstones will eagerly pay 10% of the purchase price of the stone
for the proper reports which stabilize the value of the stone.
Remember the price you pay for a gemstone is entirely up to what you
want to pay. You control your money. There are good values
available right now in all A knowledgeable buyer can
benefit, an uneducated buyer will not. As a final note right now most
Jewelry Store Owners are coming off a good year, most Gemstone
Dealers are coming off one of the worst years on record. Store
owners are purchasing directly from overseas suppliers, being
provided memo’s from overseas suppliers, and stocking their stores
with memo jewelry from overseas. Jewelry Store Owners have
effectively eliminated the Gemstone Dealer. You will find more
Gemstone Dealers willing to sell at very reasonable prices directly
to the public. The wholesale to retail relationship between Jewelry
Store Owners and Gemstone Dealers is just about destroyed. I look
for major changes in gemstone marketing and values identification of
colored gemstones in the very near future.

Gerry Galarneau

Laura - why don’t you look at some of the labratory created
emeralds. They are extremely fine quality, reasonably priced and
absolutely beautiful. They are readily available in all kinds of
cuts and sizes, and wonderful to work with.

You can buy them at nearly any gem show, most any stone supplier,
from Rio Grande, Stuller, etc.

I’ve lost patience with the emerald market, the stuff costs the
earth for something pretty, and moderate expense gets you “jardin” -
the fancy french name for garden - weeds in the green stuff.

If you want to make something pretty with an emerald - and these are
real emeralds, just made in a lab, use the good hydrothermal grown
ones. And you can tell your customer that no one died to get the
nice stone.

Judy Hoch, G.G. @Judy_Hoch

BJ, With all due respect… Decent emerald at $18/c in 10x5 MQ? I
have been involved with colored stones for well over 35 years, and,
uh, something’s not right, if those stones are at all decent
looking. You mentioned that you have been in the jewelry business a
short time. You’d better have those ston= es checked by someone
competent, like Professional Gem Services in Chicago or GIA. I have
no dog in this race, but those prices are not possible and I’d guess
you are being fleeced…

Wayne Emery

Oiling a emerald has been a standard practice in jaipur, arguably
the biggest emerald cutting center in the world. The so called
"treatment" is not some thing which alters the fundamental
characteristic of the stone. The stone can be re oiled any time and
would not enhance the quality of the stone to a level which is un
representative for the stone… i can help you get some specific
about the process…also help you source these stones
regards Rahul

Aloha Nilesh, In today’s age, trust is an issue. Knowing and
trusting the source of any gem, colored or diamonds is important.
There are gemstone suppliers who are willing to put their name on
the line by supplying a certificate of authenticity, in an appraisal
form. This ensures the buyer what they are purchasing and the
associated treatments for the particular stone that is being

I have found such a treasure of a Gemstone Wholesaler who does this
for every stone sold, in addition, sells at prices at are
unbelievably low. The make their money in bulk purchases, guarantee
their gems, and have a wonderful return policy. Suppliers like
these are hard to come by, but none the less, there are still many
honorable companies out there. In purchasing any gemstone, be it an
Emerald, or other type, it is the supplier’s responsibility to
disclose what type of treatment, if any, was done to that particular
stone and the long term effect it will have on it. Saying all of
this, I still know of reputable dealers who do sell quality gems and
at affordable prices. Of course, as with any type of gem purchase,
weight, color, clarity, cut, and especially knowing the origin will
affect the end price. Nevertheless, buying an Emerald can still be
done at an affordable price, accompanied with an appraisal, and a 30
day money back guarantee if the buyer chooses not to accept the
parcel, the buyer may return it; no questions asked. These types
of suppliers are rare in deed, but they are out there.

What it takes is stamina at the computer to search the world over,
purchase a small lot from a supplier, test their claims, review
their gems, and then realize that the true gem is not the Emerald
but the dealer that backs their every word and claim. Natural Jade
for less than .15 per carat, Emeralds (eye clean) for less than
$13.00 per carat depending on size, weight, cut, and origin are
available, along with those one of a kind Emeralds that start at
about $155.00 per carat that can be traced to its origin and comes
with a certificate are out there. Even Imperial Chrysoprase in the
new Trillion cut 11mm cab style, bright apple green from Australia,
can be purchased for less than $19.00 per piece and not per carat.

One just needs to know the right supplier who knows their source,
trust the supplier’s reputation, know that the company always
discloses any material facts about the gems being purchased, and
offers a money back guarantee, that states much about one’s

I personally have tested the gemstones from my source and have found
that what they say is true, that they back their word, and with
every gemstone, an appraisal is attached. All of this is still done
for less money than most dealers I have dealt with in the past.

Good luck in finding the right source and the right Emerald. Make
certain the supplier knows the source of their gems and can
guarantee it if you don’t like it, send it back for a refund. What
a deal. What a supplier.

Happy New to all Orchid List Members, BJ in Hawaii

Dear Gerry, I completely agree and appreciate the posting. You have
a very concise argument. Being a Jewelry designer/gem nut in Tucson,
I’m constantly being given stones purchased “at the show” by retail
customers to “create” something with. Jeff Graham has been telling me
for months, and I see the evidence all over, that the gem trade is
changing very rapidly. Look at DeBeers for the top down evidence.
They are cutting out many levels between them and consumers. QVC and
the internet are doing it to the colored gem trade. Synthetics from
Russia in the quartzes and man made tanzanite & diamond should be
causing more of a stir than they are presently. Know your stuff when
you come to Tucson. Sam Patania, Tucson

   most Gemstone Dealers are coming off one of the worst years on
record. ..Jewelry Store Owners have effectively eliminated the
Gemstone Dealer .The wholesale to retail relationship between
Jewelry Store Owners >and Gemstone Dealers is just about

I sincerely hope that Gerry is exaggerating here, to make a point,
but fear that he may be hitting near the mark. This year’s Tucson
Shows may be a determining factor for many dealers to define how
(and if) they will be dealing with the Colored Stone business in the

There definitely should be many “buys” to be had at the February
Tucson Shows in Loose Colored Stones and especially in the ‘Loose
Emerald’ area - as Emerald Sales have been way down for several
years after several USA television shows reported the “scandal” of
almost all Emeralds being treated (oiled). A fact that had been
widely known in the Jewelry Industry for hundreds of years and
probably was not being adequately disclosed to the end buyers by the
retail jewelers.

   I have read that it is considered to be acceptable practice to
treat emeralds with clear cedar (wood) oil before sale to hide the
inherent flaws. 

You should probably consider that by “definition” all emeralds are
’oiled’ with some product. The product used will depend upon the
origin of the stones. Some ‘oilings’ are ‘permanent’ and some need
to be renewed periodically. All ‘oilings’ should be disclosed at the
time of purchase of the stone. You should, by “definition,” never
use flame, ultrasonic, or chemicals on Emeralds. Your customers
should remove Emerald jewelry before washing their hands or washing
dishes etc.

 I have seen emeralds so far advertised for thousands of dollars
for under 3 carats that have been treated as such... 

Price points on Emeralds, like many other stones, vary according to
quality and also according to size. Under 1 carat is a price point. 1
to 2 carats is another. 2 to 3 carats is another. A 2 to 3 carat not
so nice looking Emerald may be more expensive than a pretty nice one
under 1 carat - due to the relative rarity of getting Emerald rough
to produce the larger stones.

 Are there any stones that look good without treatment and are
they anywhere close to being affordable? 

There are Emeralds which don’t have surface breaking flaws or
fissures and which will not accept treatment. If they happen to be
clean internally and have a nice color, they will be much more
costly than one which has been treated.

Last year, at our booth at the Tucson Show, we had several hundreds
of carats on Emeralds up to 3 carats and only three were in the
untreated category - and all three were under 1 carat each, and were
much more pricey than the others.

Why not look at Tourmalines. You can get them totally clean. They
are a lovely green (there are many tonalities available), and much
more inexpensive than Emeralds and probably much more wearable, as
they are much less internally stressed - thus much less prone to
fracturing if struck inadvertently.

Best regards Robert Lowe, Lowe Associates - Brasil, - Gemstones,
Rough, Specimens Tucson - February 7 - 12, 2002 - GJX # 205 e-mail