There’s an artform to shopping for jewelry, especially when it comes to selecting opulent gemstones. Jewelry is an investment, these are often heirlooms that would pass down through generations. Of course, selecting something as precious as an emerald is a much more delicate artform that figuring out what cut of fish you want at the grocery store. Liran Eshed, COO of Eshed, the world’s largest collector of Gemfields emeralds, and Emily Dungey, group marketing and communications director at Gemfields, have been able to offer their insight to help us learn how to shop for a Gemfields emerald.
AS IF: What should be the first thing shoppers look for when checking for Emerald quality?
Liran Eshed: You should buy something you like or love and feel connected to. You should also look for the right combination between the clarity, the color, and the luster (the "life") of the stone. When buying a high value gemstone, it's advisable to ensure it comes with a gemological certificate from a well-known reputable laboratory. It is also important to go to someone that has a big inventory who can show you different kinds of emeralds and different options. The material of the emerald may slightly change from one mine to another, so it is important to see many options and to choose the one you like the most!
AS IF: How’s the process for shopping for an emerald different from something more everyday like a diamond?
Liran Eshed: There is less consumer knowledge about emeralds than there is for diamonds, and there is also a lower supply of high-end emeralds compared to diamonds as high-end emeralds are actually rarer and harder to find.
AS IF : When did Eshed start working with Gemfields?
Liran Eshed: We started working together when Gemfields bought Kagem mine in Zambia and started selling its rough. Our company focuses on high-end, high quality emeralds from Zambia therefore our favorite source for emeralds is the Kagem mine. Kagem produces the highest quality material in Zambia. The emeralds show high durability, high clarity, and great luster which suit our clients’ demands.
AS IF: What makes the best quality Emerald?
Liran Eshed: The best combination includes the following:
a. The color – which should be somewhere in the middle - not too dark and not too light.
b. The clarity - overall - the cleanest the better. However, you should take into consideration that emeralds are not diamonds! Getting a "loupe clean" emerald is near impossible. Natural emeralds by their nature have much more inclusions and fissures (called "Jardin") and that's part of their beauty!
c. The luster - the stone should have brilliance, this is the "life" or "vividness" of the stone and might be referred to also as the crystallization of the stone.
d. The type of gemological certificate of the stone – disclosing the amount and type of oil that was used.