When someone speaks of diamonds, they often mention the "4 C's" of Color, Cut, Clarity, and Carat when they assess the quality and value of the stone. All of these characteristics are considered when one looks at an emerald, but they looked at in a much different way. For most colored stones, the most important trait by far is color. This is one reason why Colombian emeralds are more highly prized over all others. Their rich and superior green to bluish green colors are unparalleled by emeralds from any other source. This is the 'trademark' color for which Colombian emeralds are known, but the color range for Colombian stones is actually quite varied, even within the same mine. You'll find Colombian emeralds with colors that range from a pale yellow green to a dark blue-green that's almost surreal. Or from a bright grassy color to a milky green jade-like appearance. They vary a great deal, but they are easily recognized if placed amongst emeralds from other countries. Valuation differences will also be just as obvious. But as the old rule says... you get what you pay for.

Color is one of the most important considerations in buying an emerald. The richer greens and blue-greens tend to be the most expensive and highly regarded emerald colors, but this should never sway you from buying a lighter colored stone that you fancy. After all, beauty is very subjective. It is not determined by some arbitrary quality standard or grading system, but by how you feel about it. If you think it's beautiful... that's all that matters.

An interesting fact on the subject of color that we have to mention is that the beautiful rich blue-green color that you may see in some Colombian emeralds is almost certainly indicative that it comes from the famed Muzo? mine. This mine is perhaps the most well known gem-producing mine in the world. Its name is synonymous with the outstanding quality emeralds it produces.

The original document is available at