Emerald Cut

How Cut Affects the Value of Emerald

A well cut emerald is an emerald that sparkles and glows to its maximum ability. Perfect cut is not quite as important for emerald as it is for most gemstones, because emerald is valued for its depth of color mostly, and is often too included to sparkle anyway. The shape “emerald cut” which is popular now for diamonds as well as other gemstones was in fact originally created for emerald. This cut was used for cutting emerald because it emphasizes color instead of sparkle. However, it is still important to know the difference between a good and a bad cut, so that when presented with a choice of emeralds, you can choose a well-cut one. When judging the cut of an emerald, you should look for:

  1. “Fish eye”: if the bottom emerald is not cut at the proper angles, you will be able to see through the emerald rather than seeing light reflected back to you.
  2. Uneven facets: especially prounounced in emerald cuts, step cuts, baguette and princess cuts, which are common among emeralds. These cuts have long straight facets instead of small trangles and diamonds. A poorly cut emerald of this style will have one end smaller than the other instead of an even length.
  3. Polish: emeralds can be difficult to polish because of the natural structure of the crystal, so twirl the emerald around, to see that each facet reflects light like a mirror with no rough or dull spots. Also, emeralds are prone to internal cracks and frissures which can also appear on the surface. If you see a any fine rough lines on the surface facets of the emeralds, it is a flaw in the cutting and you should avoid it as it can make your emerald vulnerable.

Here are some illustrations of how the quality of cut affects the value of emerald.


Terrible Cut: This gemstone does not sparkle nor does it reflect light from the bottom facets. It is a “fish eye”. We can see straight through it. Poor Cut: This emerald’s cut is better: there is some sparkle and reflection around the sides of the stone. However, we can still see straight through it and the facets overlap: meet at lines instead of points. Typical Cut: This cut is similar to what exists in most jewelry: there is some sparkle but the facets are uneven. Perfect Cut: This is a perfectly, beautifully cut emerald. The lights play and reflect from every facet. We cannot see through it: we only see sparkle.



How COLOR affects the value of an emerald
How CUT affects the value of an emerald
How CLARITY affects the value of an emerald
How SIZE affects the value of an emerald
Emerald treatments and synthetics
Emerald meaning and symbology
Summary of how to value emeralds

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