We recently sold a beautiful piece of estate jewelry for a client from Johnstown, New York. While visiting our client on a house call in Johnstown, we were presented with this stunning 20.05 carat natural emerald. After coming to an agreement with our client, we sent the emerald to the Gemological Institute of America where it was professionally graded, which is a typical step in selling a large gemstone at auction. The Gemological Institute of American is the professional standard of diamond and gemstone grading. A professional gemological appraisal from the GIA will often help a large, valuable gemstone sell because it guarantees the stone’s authenticity, origin, color, clarity, cut grade, and carat weight (all important factors in gemstone value). Modern technology can determine with a certain degree of confidence where an emerald was mined; this eye-catching stone likely originated in Colombia.
Emeralds have been treasured for over six thousand years by cultures spanning the globe. Ancient records indicate that emeralds were mined, polished, and sold as gems in Babylonian markets as early as 4,000 BCE. The modern term “emerald” is derived from an ancient Persian word meaning “green gem”. The vivid green color of the gemstone has inspired beliefs that the emerald can bring fertility, as well as good fortune, well-being, and love. In the Greco-Roman traditions, the emerald is sacred to the goddess of love Aphrodite/Venus. Cleopatra was known as a passionate fan of emeralds. When the 16th century Spanish Conquistadors invaded South America, they found emerald mines hidden by the Incas, and brought the gemstones back to Europe which immediately fell in love with the luxurious green stones.
Like most gemstones, the value of emerald is determined by its 4 Cs: Color, Clarity, Cut, Carat.
Emerald color is determined by the trace minerals present in the stone. The proportions of chromium, vanadium, and iron determine the color’s hue, saturation, and tone. In general, an emerald with a darker, richer hue of green will be more desirable than lighter green emeralds. The most desirable emeralds have an intense bluish-green or green color. As with most gemstones, a higher grade of clarity is desirable with emeralds. However, due to the way natural emeralds are formed, it is exceedingly rare for an emerald to be entirely free of inclusions. Inclusions (sometimes called “jardins”, or “gardens”) are expected in both natural and synthetic emeralds. The cut of an emerald is expected to be pleasantly symmetrical and proportional that retains a good amount of brilliance.
As with many colored gemstones, the value of the carat weight is directly affected by the color of the gemstone. An emerald with a low carat weight and a rich bluish-green color may be valued higher than an emerald with a high carat weight and a lackluster green color.
We’re always happy to help our clients find the best venue to sell their estate jewelry and antiques. Mark Lawson Antiques has over 20 years of professional experience in evaluating estate jewelry, watches, gold, diamonds, and colored gemstones. With our training from the Gemological Institute of America, we can accurately evaluate the value of your jewelry and gemstones. With our years of experience, we can determine when an item will sell better with additional certifications or appraisals. With our professional contacts in the field, we can help our clients sell their estate jewelry in the best venue for the best price.
In this case, the emerald ring found the best audience at an auction house in New York, NY. At the end of the day, our client in Johnstown received a pleasing sum for her estate jewelry. The emerald sold in October’s Important Jewelry Sale for a hammer price of $9,500.
We make house calls to surrounding towns like Johnstown and Gloversville, in addition to seeing clients in our Saratoga Springs and Colonie. To discuss a house call, or to set up an appointment to bring items in to one of our offices, give us a call at (518) 587-8787 or email us at email@example.com.