Have you been searching for the best online store to buy emerald jewelry?
You have come to the best place. In this comprehensive guide we shall give you all the information you need including:
- What exactly to look out for when choosing and buying emerald jewelry online.
- Is emerald the best choice for engagement rings?
- How to know if the deal being offered is good
- Some of the warning signs to look out for when purchasing emeralds online.
4 Best Places to Buy Emerald Online
Here is a quickly pulled-up list of the best online stores from where you can get high-quality emerald jewelry. Keep scrolling to learn more about each of the stores.
In this Guide
1. James Allen’s Emeralds
James Allen is a reputable online jewelry store that will give you the best emerald pieces at a great deal. Make use of their 360-degree technology to zoom into the emerald and inspect the inclusions in the emerald, so that you know what you are buying.
However, you will not be allowed to view the emerald that is in the setting, here you have to work with your imagination.
Compared to other online stores on this list, James Allen boasts of having a vast collection of diamonds. They have thousands of emeralds in various qualities. For a loose emerald, be prepared to spend between $500 and $200,000.
All the emeralds in their collection are treated. This means you have to retreat over time. We shall talk more about gemstone treatment later.
Buying emeralds at James Allen gives you 24/7 access to their team of experienced gemologists. These experts will answer all the questions you have about emeralds and give you all the information you need to know. With their custom settings comes a free lifetime warranty to cater to all repair works such as rhodium plating and prong tightening.
2. Helzberg’s Emeralds
Talk of earrings, pendants, and rings, you will find all these emerald jewelry in the decent collection accumulated by Helzberg diamonds.
I never thought an online store like Helzberg would have such a huge collection. Their emerald jewelry comes in more than 10 cut styles including princess which is my favorite. However, most of their collection is made up of round cut.
As much as their collection is wide and made up of high-quality jewelry, I was not impressed by their shopping experience.
It is a little daunting when you want to use the hover-to-zoom technology available on their website. This difficulty makes it hard for you to see the exact gemstone you are ordering; you only get to see the emerald after it is delivered to you.
Why I prefer James Allen: It is not just the unsatisfying tools on the website, but also how the staff responds to customers. When I tried asking a few questions about things not clear to me, the whole team was nice to me at the beginning. When they realized I was not going to buy, the niceness vanished.
Actually, they were still nice but I just got the feeling that they were not happy doing extra work. The customer service at James Allen is more appealing. The team is available all day every day and always helpful regardless of the information needed.
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3. Blue Nile’s Emeralds
At Blue Nile, there are no loose emeralds. The emeralds are set in different jewelry pieces. Their collection is made of high-quality jewelry. If your budget is less than $500, you will not be lucky to find a lot of choices at Blue Nile.
All the emerald jewelry stocked at Blue Nile is genuine and set in platinum or gold. The emeralds are white or yellow gold, rose gold is rare. Instead of buying a one-carat diamond ring, you could buy an emerald.
If your budget is accommodative enough, you can go for the extraordinary collection at Blue Nile. This collection features the best of the store’s emerald pieces going at very high prices. See this beautiful diamond, sapphire, and diamond ring that costs about $52,000.
The gemstones from this extraordinary collection are natural and not treated while those outside the collection are treated to enhance the appearance.
Blue Nile has been in the jewelry industry for a long time and has managed to gain a good reputation. They boast excellent customer service and high-quality jewelry pieces. When it comes to warranty, Blue Nile offers a manufacturer’s warranty. This warranty takes care of any defects in the manufacturer’s design. Blue Nile repairs the defect or replaces the emerald. For any regular repair works like tightening stones and white gold rhodium plating you will have to incur the cost out of pocket.
Why I prefer James Allen: The emerald pieces at Blue Nile are beautiful but I wish there were loose emeralds to select from. I normally prefer and feel confident buying jewelry that I have seen and voiced my opinion about. Emeralds are popular for having inclusions, it would be better if the jewelry could be inspected under a zoom technology like that of James Allen. This will make it easy to know the emerald’s characteristics and where the inclusions are.
4. Leibish & Co’s Emeralds
Leibish & Co is the go-to place when you want to buy high-quality emerald jewelry online. The emeralds at Leibish & Co are all not treated and are loose all costing between $4,000 and slightly above $50,000. Since the gemstones are untreated, they will retain their color for a long time.
This online store has a couple of loose emeralds to select from. Several shapes can be included in the setting of the ring or a necklace. With this online shop, you also get to know where the emerald originated from.
Leibish & Co lets you view the emerald for all the characteristics it has. You can also watch a video of the settings but you cannot actually see how the jewelry will look like in the setting.
Leibish & Co is the preferred store if you want to invest in highly-priced jewelry. If your budget is a little constrained, I advise you to shop from James Allen, you will get high-quality pieces at affordable prices.
Why I prefer James Allen: While Leibish & Co has pretty emerald pieces, James Allen has far much better emeralds that are suited for regular buyers. James Allen offers a variety of loose diamonds at a price much less than that of Leibish & Co.
FAQs on Buying Emeralds Online
What is an emerald?
If you have an idea about what a birthstone is, then you know what an emerald is. Emerald is the birthstone of May and is more like the green variation of the beryl mineral. Emerald obtains the green traces from vanadium found in beryl.
Emerald belongs to the same family as morganites and aquamarines that are beryl varieties too.
Is Emerald Good for Engagement Rings?
Emeralds are very brittle and most of them get treated because of inclusions, for this reason, they are not exactly the best gemstones for engagement rings.
Emeralds are ranked at 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, the reason most jewelers do not work on any breaks or chips that they may have. With treatments, the emerald jewelry is likely to lose its color when exposed to the sun. This means that an emerald is not the best choice for everyday wear like an engagement ring.
If you really must use an emerald for your engagement ring, then go for a treated emerald although they are very rare and if found carries a very high price tag.
What is the Cost of Buying Emerald Jewelry?
Emeralds are either cheap or expensive depending on where you are buying, their quality, and the setting it is in. for example a 14K yellow gold emerald pendant from Columbia whose quality is AA is going to dent your wallet. An emerald with a lighter green shade that has inclusions everywhere will cost you much less.
Emerald gemstones sold at local jewelry shops like Kay’s or Jared is not natural and neither are they set in 14K. You can only find an exception in the store’s LeVian collection.
The gemstones in this collection cost a lot more than they should. Most times you will be required to order an emerald and have it custom made to a 14Kgold engagement ring. These physical stores charge a hefty amount for the work done on the ring and will take several weeks to do it. The online shops we have mentioned above will not do the same.
What to Look for When Buying Emerald Online
The Gemological Institute of America developed a grading system for all diamonds known as the 4Cs. Gemstones also use the same grading guidelines only that there are no definite grades.
When talking about diamonds, the cut is the most important of all the Cs. This, however, changes when it comes to colored gemstones since there is no standard cut grade for such stones. Most emeralds are faceted but you will find cabochons too.
There are many shapes of faceted emeralds. Also, there are emerald cut emeralds with the best light return and color in the market. Regardless of the shape you choose, ensure it is even shaped and not lopsided.
The value of an emerald is determined by its color, color tone, saturation, and hue.
The color tone of an emerald refers to how light or dark the stone is. A colorless stone gets a 0 grade. The tone of an emerald or beryl can be very dark, dark, medium-dark, medium, light, or very light. An emerald is said to be green beryl if it is too light. High-quality emeralds can be medium or dark-toned.
Hue refers to the color that is seen when light passes through a gemstone. The hue scale developed by GIA has grades like purple, violet, blue, green, yellow, and orange. An emerald is always graded as green but can have yellow or blue hues. When an emerald grading report reads sIbG, it means the gemstone has a slightly bluish-green hue. On the GIA grade, the main color of the emerald is capitalized.
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Emeralds from Colombia are always expensive because of their concentrated bluish-green hues. Emeralds from Zambia also have bluish hues, but they are very blue and of a lower value.
Saturation on the other hand refers to the intensity of the hue. The gemstone is often graded based on its tone, hue, and saturation.
The clarity of emerald is totally different from that of other gemstones. It is very difficult to find emeralds that are clean when viewed with the naked eye, if you are lucky to find one; the price is on the real high side. It is considered normal to find emeralds with inclusions.
While it is common for emeralds to have inclusions, it is wise to go for one that does not have too many inclusions because it compromises the stone. Too many stains also make the emerald look cloudy and nothing far from a faceted stone.
GIA has 3 classes of clarity for colored gemstones. Like emeralds, other stones have their classes too. There is Type I, Type II, and Type III. Type I is at the top with the gemstone completely free of inclusions. Type II gemstones are mostly included white Type III always has inclusions.
Emeralds fall in the Type III category, meaning that they always have inclusions if the ones are rated as high quality. Each type has subcategories similar to those of grading diamond clarity. These are i3, I2, I1, SI2, SI1, VS, VVS, and IF. Diamonds do not have sub clarity grades and also have diamonds that are graded as VVS2 and VS2.
The carat of an emerald is similar to that of other gemstones. The price of an emerald stone will go up with an increase in color and size. It is difficult to get a high-quality 2 gemstone than it is to get a high quality 1 carat stone. In some cases, you will find emerald rings or loose emeralds being referred to in millimeters or carat weight.
Red Flags When Buying Emeralds Online
If all you have ever wanted is to buy natural emeralds, be on the lookout for terms such as “simulate” or “synthetic.” Synthetic emeralds are manufactured in the lab, unlike natural emeralds that grow in the ground. The lab-grown emeralds normally have better clarity and color grades. You can say they are real gemstones just that they do not have a biological history behind them.
Some online stores also advertise their emeralds as simulated but state that the stone is green zircon or cubic zirconia. The stone below is from Kohl’s but it is not an emerald.
Treating the clarity and color of emeralds is common in the jewelry industry. It is rare to find a high-quality emerald that is not treated. If you are lucky enough to find one, be ready to spend a lot.
Different emeralds get different kinds of treatment. A few of the treatment types are worth noting. Before buying any emerald jewelry, ask the store’s staff about treatment. A store like Kay’s for example will not tell you about the emerald treatment, instead, they will give you a disclaimer.
It is always good to know the type of treatment that was used for the emerald you want to buy. This is because most treatments fade off after some time. Most times the continuous exposure to light is what brings the difference in color.
With color alteration, you will have to pay a jeweler to retreat the emerald. For this reason, it will save you a lot if you buy an untreated emerald, although it is hard to get and not many people can meet the cost.
Get the Best Deal When Buying Emeralds Online
Below are three great tips that you need to remember when you go to buy emeralds on the internet.
Inspect the stone beforehand
One of the most important things to do before buying an emerald stone is to look at it carefully to know what exactly you are buying. Where possible, use a 360 viewing technique to see where the inclusions are, any chips, and the color zoning of the stone.
Where there is no 360 viewing technology, ask to view the stone in high magnification. Alternatively, you can walk into the showroom and see the emerald in person. You need to be able to observe the Jardin present in the emerald.
Buy from a trusted online store
There are a plethora of private gemstone dealers on social media and auctions. Most of these dealers sell treated emeralds or simulated ones that are otherwise advertised.
When it comes to colored gemstones, there is no official grading system used. You can only get a GIA certificate that says whether the diamond has been treated and if it is legitimate.
Protect the emerald in a setting
If the emerald is going to be your center stone, you are better off protecting it in a ring setting. If you leave the edges exposed, you put the stone at a greater risk. Settings like bezel, halo, flush, and tension are good. I wouldn’t advise a high-profile cathedral solitaire.