How Much Do Emeralds Cost? True Value Reveal

Last Updated on December 30, 2023

On average, a carat of natural emeralds will cost from $200 up to $18,000, while a carat of high-quality lab-created emeralds will cost about $350. The most valuable emeralds are those having the richest green and have fewer blemishes.

Emerald’s price is based on several factors, including the stone’s quality, size, and rarity. Mined emeralds tend to be more expensive than those created in a lab, and emeralds with fewer blemishes are pricier than those with more flaws.

If you are a lover of emeralds and their glistening green color, keep reading to know more about this exquisite gemstone and what you can expect to pay for it.

  • Are emeralds expensive?
  • How are emeralds priced and graded?
  • How much is unpolished emerald worth?
  • Is an emerald worth more than a diamond?


How Much Do Emeralds Cost?

Emeralds can either be naturally mined or created in a lab. Naturally mined emeralds are more expensive than lab-created ones, and they usually cost around $200 per carat for a low-grade stone. The price of a rare and high quality emerald can go as much as $18,000 per carat.

Most naturally mined emeralds come from Zambia, Colombia, and Brazil, where the finest quality is found. Emeralds from these countries usually have a rich green color and have unique transparency and clarity that are in demand to jewelers and collectors.

On the other hand, lab-created or synthetic emeralds are not as expensive as naturally mined ones, with even the highest quality costing only $350 per carat. These stones are created in a controlled environment where the perfect conditions are replicated to produce identical gems. Although they are not as valuable as natural emeralds, synthetic emeralds are pricier among other lab-created diamonds, sapphires, and other gemstones.

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Are Emeralds Expensive?

With an average of $169 per carat, naturally mined emeralds are far more expensive than other gemstones like rubies and diamonds. The most expensive emeralds have rare color, perfect clarity, and size.

Emeralds are actually 20 times less frequent than diamonds, making them one of the most sought-after gemstones in the world. Thus, it commands a high price tag for its rarity and beauty.

However, when it comes to value per weight, an emerald is not as valuable as the Sunset Ruby, with a record high price of $1,200,000 per carat.

How are Emeralds Priced and Graded?

Emeralds are priced and graded according to the four Cs: Color, Carat, Cut, and Clarity. Here’s a closer look at each:

Color – The most important factor in determining the price of an emerald is its color. The green of emeralds can vary from light to dark, and from bluish-green to yellowish-green. The richer the green, the more valuable the stone will be.

A saturated emerald can price higher than larger emeralds with dull and light colors. Stones with bluish-green hues are the perfect color and are the most valuable.

Carat – The size of the emerald is also a key factor in pricing. The weight of an emerald is measured in carats. However, note that color still plays a critical role in pricing as smaller emeralds with high saturation can be more expensive than larger emeralds with a light green hue.

Cut – The cut of an emerald can affect its value as well. A well-cut stone will have good symmetry, depth, and angles that show off the gemstone’s beauty.

Clarity – Emeralds can contain inclusions, minor flaws or blemishes that affect their clarity. The fewer inclusions, the more valuable the emerald is.

Emeralds are graded from C to AAA+, with C being the lowest quality and AAA+ being the highest. AAA+ is the rarest and most valuable grade with visible swirls of green, slight clouds and a few inclusions. In contrast, grade C emeralds appear to be opaque with heavy inclusions.

How Much is Unpolished Emerald Worth?

The price of an unpolished emerald cost less than a polished one for about $200 per carat.

An unpolished emerald usually weighs more than a polished one because the cutting and polishing process removes about 50% of the gemstone’s weight.

The value of an unpolished emerald also depends on the location where it is mined. Emeralds mined in Brazil are less expensive than those from Zambia and Colombia.

Is An Emerald Worth More Than A Diamond?

Emeralds are generally more costly than diamonds, owing to their limited availability. However, fancy colored diamonds can cost more per carat than emeralds, depending on their unique features.

Nonetheless, the cost is determined by the quality of each stone, making precise prices difficult without further examination. Though in general, emeralds are more expensive than diamonds of a similar weight and quality.

Jackie Palmer is a Houston-based coin journalist and fashion enthusiast. She joined Jewels Advisor’s content team after years of experience as a content strategist, managing blogs and social channels for local stores. Jackie mostly collects and studies US coins produced during the 20th century and over the years, published hundreds of articles for multiple coin publications.