The Value Of Emerald In 2024 By Color (As Expensive As It Looks!)

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

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The Value Of Emerald In 2024 By Color (As Expensive As It Looks!)

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD


A gem that’s as cool as mint ice cream and as precious as your favorite memory— that is emerald! If you’ve ever looked into one and thought, “Wow! That looks expensive!”, you’re spot on. In this article, we’ll dig deeper into how much emerald is truly worth.

Imagine having the most epic green crayon in your crayon box. That’s kind of like what having this gem is. But it’s not just the radiant green color that makes emeralds super special.

Emeralds are part of the beryl family. Think of it like a family where everyone’s good-looking, but this gem is the superstar sibling who gets all the attention. That’ll give you an idea of how high emerald’s value and price can get.

Rare, stunning, and always in the limelight: these are just some of the words that describe how valued emeralds are. Now, let’s go into the details of its worth.

What Emerald Is

Emerald is truly one of Mother Nature’s masterpieces! What makes it stand out is its stunning green color that comes from tiny amounts of chromium mixed in with the beryl.

Have you ever tried finding a four-leaf clover in a field of regular ones? Finding an emerald is a bit like that. It’s rare, which makes it super special. And just like every person has unique features, each emerald has its own little quirks called “inclusions.” Some think of them as the gem’s fingerprints!

When we talk about emerald’s value, it’s right up there with other famous gems like diamonds and rubies. Its brilliant color and rarity make it highly prized. So, if you ever come across an emerald, know that you’ve found a real gem (pun intended!) in the world of rocks and minerals!

Now, let’s go through the different colors that emerald comes with and the different prices that each one commands.

Green Emerald

A stunning, vivid green emerald set on a gold pendant
Green emerald pendant photo provided by and available for purchase at 5thElementIL

The most well-known color of emerald is pure green. But not all greens are the same. Some emeralds might be a light, minty green, while others can be a deep, forest green. The richer and more vibrant the green, the more valuable the emerald tends to be.

So, why is the green color so valued? First, that deep, lush green is super rare. It reminds people of the heart of a dense rainforest or the depths of the ocean.

Second, many cultures around the world associate green with life, growth, and prosperity. A rich green emerald is like having a small piece of Earth’s energy and beauty.

In the gem world, while all emeralds are celebrated, it’s the ones with the most enchanting green that truly steal the show.

How much is green emerald worth

As the most valued color of this gem, a high-quality green emerald can sell from $150 to $20,000 per carat.

Bluish-Green Emerald

A pair of golden stud earrings adorned by bluish-green emeralds
Bluish-green emerald stud earrings photo provided by and available for purchase at JewelrySavingLives

Bluish-green emerald is a standout beauty! Imagine the color of the sea on a clear sunny day; that’s the captivating shade of the bluish-green variety.

The magic behind this color comes from the mixture of elements within the emerald. While chromium gives emeralds their classic green, when a bit of vanadium and iron join the party, it starts to show off a cool bluish tint.

What makes this emerald valuable is that apart from its captivating color, it’s also relatively rare. The luscious landscapes of Colombia are the go-to spot to find these beauties. Colombia’s mines, like those in the Muzo region, are famous for producing top-notch emeralds with this bluish tint.

How much is bluish-green emerald worth

The beautiful bluish-green emerald can command a price of $80 to $1,500 per carat, depending on its quality.

Yellow-Green Emerald

Gold necklace and ring adorned with beautiful yellow-green emeralds
Yellow green emerald photo provided by Naima Alexandra Goller

Among the dazzling array of greens that emeralds come in is the yellow-green variety, which is like the sun peeking through a lush forest canopy!

Why does it have that sunny touch? Aside from chromium, vanadium and sometimes a bit of iron give this gem that golden, sun-kissed touch.

This shade of emerald becomes valuable because, aside from its undeniable beauty, it’s also less common. Its vibrant and unique shade also attracts gem enthusiasts and collectors, making it a sought-after prize.

You find these sunny treasures mostly in Brazil. When you think about the carnival-loving, samba-dancing nation, it’s no surprise they produce such lively colored gems.

How much is yellow-green emerald worth

Depending on its overall quality, a yellow-green emerald’s price is pegged at $80 to $1,500 per carat.

Why Emerald Is So Expensive

Stunning dangling earrings with diamonds and sparkling emeralds
Emerald dangling earrings photo provided by Harry Winston

Just saying the word emerald makes you think of something luxurious and rare, right? And here are the reasons why this gem is expensive.

Imagine your favorite movie or song. You love it because it’s unique, and there’s nothing else quite like it. That’s how it is with emeralds. Their lush, green color stands out in the gem world. Not every rock gets to be this fabulous.

The deeper and clearer the green, the more people go “ooh” and “aah” over it. Sometimes, emeralds have little marks inside them called inclusions. While some might see these as imperfections, others love them for the character they add to the gem.

Now, emeralds aren’t just sitting around everywhere like pennies on the sidewalk. They’re rare. And as with most things in life, the rarer they are, the more everyone wants them. This pushes up their value.

Places like Colombia, Brazil, and Zambia are like Hollywood for emeralds. They’re the star-making locations where some of the world’s most fabulous specimens are found.

But it’s not just about beauty; there’s history too. Emeralds have been loved by queens, kings, and famous figures for centuries. Owning this gem is like having a piece of that glamorous history.

How To Determine The Value Of Emerald

A silver ring with petal-shaped white crystals and a rectangular green emerald
Emerald ring photo provided by RUIF Jewelry

How much an emerald is worth depends on a number of factors. Below are some of the most influential ones:


This is the most significant factor when it comes to emeralds’ price and value. The most desirable color of this gem is pure green with vivid color saturation. The deeper and more vivid the green, the more valuable the emerald is.


Emeralds often have inclusions, which are sometimes referred to as the gem’s “garden” due to their plant-like appearance. While these inclusions can give each stone a unique character, fewer inclusions generally lead to a higher value.

However, because inclusions are common in emeralds, they’re more accepted than in other gemstones like diamonds.


Many emeralds are treated to improve their clarity. Common treatments include oiling with cedar oil or other fillers to minimize the appearance of inclusions.

An untreated emerald with minor inclusions can be more valuable than a treated emerald with the same level of clarity.


The mine from which an emerald originates can influence its value. For example, specimens from Colombia are particularly prized due to their outstanding quality and color, and they can command higher prices than emeralds from other regions.

Carat Weight

Like other gemstones, the size (or carat weight) of an emerald will influence its price. Larger stones of good quality are rarer and, therefore, more valuable.

Cut and Shape

The quality of the cut can significantly affect an emerald’s appearance. A well-cut specimen will display the stone’s color to its best advantage and enhance its brilliance.

Emeralds can be cut in a variety of shapes, with the “emerald cut” (a rectangular or square cut with beveled corners) being the most traditional.

Carving and Craftsmanship

Carving and craftsmanship also play pivotal roles in determining an emerald’s price. Expertly carved gems can showcase the stone’s best features, enhancing its natural beauty and masking potential flaws.

Superior craftsmanship ensures that the emerald is presented in its best possible light, maximizing brilliance and color. Buyers often value and are willing to pay more for exceptional artistry and skill in the gem’s presentation.

Emerald Price By Color

As we’ve discussed above, an emerald’s color is the most significant factor in determining its price. To give you a better idea of emerald’s value and price across different colors, refer to the table below:

Emerald values by color

Green Emerald$150 – $20,000 per carat
Bluish-Green Emerald$80 – $1,500 per carat
Yellow Green Emerald$80 – $1,500 per carat

Truly, emerald is as expensive as it looks, with prices that can make you gasp.

Now, let’s play with the numbers a bit and see the different values of emeralds depending on different units of measurement.

Emerald pricing by unit of measurement

A carat of Emerald$80 to $20,000
A gram of Emerald$400 to $$100,000
An ounce of Emerald$11,340 to $2,834,950
A kilogram of Emerald$400,000 to $100,000,000
A pound of Emerald$181,437 to $45,359,200
A ton of Emerald$362,874,000 to $90,718,500,000

The Most Expensive Emerald

Beautiful, deep green Rockefeller emerald set on a ring with diamonds on the side

The record for one of the most remarkable emerald sales belongs to the “Rockefeller Emerald.” This gem is a mesmerizing 18.04-carat Colombian emerald and is admired for its exceptional quality and vibrant color.

In 2017, the Rockefeller Emerald was auctioned off for an astounding $5.5 million, making its per-carat price approximately $305,000— a record in itself!

What adds even more allure to this gem is its storied past. The emerald was originally owned by John D. Rockefeller Jr., one of America’s legendary industrialists and philanthropists. Its impeccable clarity, combined with its storied lineage, sets it apart in the gem world.

In essence, the Rockefeller Emerald’s staggering price is a testament to how the gemstone’s provenance, combined with its natural attributes, can elevate its value to unparalleled heights.

How To Get An Appraisal On Your Emerald

A thick golden band with a pear-shaped yellow green emerald
Emerald band photo provided by Naima Alexandra Goller

Obtaining an appraisal for an emerald is a crucial step in understanding its value, especially if it’s a piece of significant worth. Typically, there are several ways you can do this.

Jewelry stores often offer appraisal services, particularly those with a long-standing reputation or those that specialize in gemstones. They usually have in-house gemologists or can recommend trusted appraisers.

You can also employ the help of independent certified gemologists, professionals who specialize in evaluating and grading gemstones.

If you’re looking for a broader perspective, gemological laboratories like the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the American Gem Society Laboratories (AGSL) offer appraisal services and can issue official grading reports.

Another great option especially for particularly valuable or historic pieces is to approach auction houses. They can give estimates based on recent sales of similar items.

About Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

Keith Jackson is an avid rockhound who is constantly exploring new sites to expand his collection. He has worked as a professional Geologist for over 20 years and holds a PhD in Geology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a Masters Degree in Geology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a Bachelors Degree in Geology from the University of Connecticut.

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