Jewelry, the Perfect Gift for Your Wedding Party

3 Tips For Buying Emeralds

Diamonds may be forever, but they're not everyone's preference. Some people prefer their jewelry with a splash of color. If you're shopping for a piece of jewelry for yourself or for someone special, consider going with this year's trendiest gemstone, the emerald. The brilliant green stones make an eye-catching accessory, and the stones look great with gold, silver, or platinum settings. If you know what you're looking for and how to shop, emeralds can also be a relatively affordable treat for yourself or gift for a loved one. Take a look at a few helpful tips for picking out and paying for gorgeous emerald jewelry.

Shop at the Right Time

The best time to buy any jewelry is when there's the highest demand for it. That's because competing jewelry sellers will try to outdo each other with sales, resulting in lower prices for you. Times of high demand will also be the times when there are the largest varieties of settings and styles available to choose from. That means that the weeks leading up to Christmas and Valentine's day are good times to shop, and for emeralds, the month of May is also a great time to find deals – emerald is the birthstone for May.

If you don't mind having a somewhat smaller variety of styles to choose from, you can also find some good deals immediately after high-demand occasions, when the stores are trying to clear out old stock and make way for new items. The week after Valentine's day, the early part of June, and the beginning of January are all good times to look for clearance deals on emeralds.

Know the Four Cs

If you have experience shopping for diamonds, you can also apply some of that knowledge when it comes to shopping for emeralds. Just as you can with diamonds, you can tell the value of emeralds by looking at the four Cs: color, cut, clarity, and carat.

Many people assume that the most valuable emeralds are the deepest green ones, but that's not always the case. While it's true that valuable Columbian emeralds tend to be deep green in color, emeralds mined in India are a more bluish green, and these can also be very valuable and beautiful. Another good option is the Brazilian emerald, which has a bright, light green color.

Clarity refers to the number of blemishes or inclusions in the stone. Emeralds are never completely flawless, but the fewer the blemishes, the more valuable the stone is. However, if you're shopping for fashion, rather than investment value, then a few extra inclusions may not be such a bad thing. These so-called flaws can often add to the unique beauty of the stone.

The most popular cut for emeralds is, unsurprisingly, the emerald cut. This cut is the one that best enhances the color of the stone. However, gorgeous emeralds are available in round, square, marquise, oval, and many other cuts.

Carat refers to the weight of the stone. It's something to consider, but it's one of the least important considerations when it comes to valuing emeralds. A heavy stone full of flaws is going to be less valuable than a smaller but clearer stone. A stone that is brilliant and translucent and fits into its setting well, and is generally appealing to your eye, is worth more than an ugly but heavy stone.

Consider Lab-Created Stones

If you're not concerned with the resale value of your jewelry, or you are interested in jewelry that doesn't come with the heavy environmental impact attached to mining for gemstones, then you may want to consider shopping for lab-created stones instead of natural ones.

While they're lower in value, lab-created stones are not paste imitations of real gemstones – a lab-created emerald is chemically identical to a natural emerald. They're simply created quickly by manmade processes instead of over time in the earth. Because they're formed more quickly, they also have fewer flaws than natural stones. As a result, you can get a larger emerald with better clarity for less money when you shop for lab-created stones. A gemstone expert with specialized equipment would be able to tell the difference, but your friends and acquaintances will never know that your high-quality emerald was created in a laboratory instead of mined from the earth.  

Now that you know how to pick out a terrific emerald, you can get started shopping. You can't go wrong by enhancing your trendy fashion jewelry collection or surprising someone you love with a dazzling and fashionable piece of emerald jewelry.