Definitions Of Category Levels Used At Emeralds International, LLC.
The following categories indicate a level of value, established by a composite of qualities and attributes possessed by a given emerald. If these qualities are affected, by damage to the emerald, it reduces the category level appropriately. Nuances of shades of emerald green denoting origin are held to be a subjective matter decided upon by individual preference, and, except where the market places a premium on the shade or hue of green from a given country, it is not taken into consideration for purposes of Emeralds International’s in-house grading system. This grading system is for the internal use of Emeralds International only.
Gem fine: Emeralds exceeding one carat in size, very lightly to lightly included, with higher levels of color saturation and vivid to intense fire/brilliance. In other words, emeralds that have all four of the qualities desirable in an emerald; size, color, clarity and an eye catching dispersion of light. Transparency is requisite. Included in this category are emeralds smaller than one carat that, but for their size, would be considered “Gota de Aceite” – a Spanish euphemism for the finest quality emerald.
Gem: Emeralds that have some, but not all, of the above qualities. To illustrate: over a carat and intense to vivid fire/brilliance but a lighter tone of green, or smaller than a carat with dark green color and slightly intense fire/brilliance; over a carat with dark color but less fire/brilliance. Transparency is also requisite. Light to moderate inclusions.
Commercial: Emeralds having one main feature, i.e. color, clarity or size accompanied by a secondary partial degree of one of those three principle qualities. They may also be opaque, rather than transparent. The shade of green may not be so pleasing to the eye and they may also be heavily included with visible fractures.
Some important facts about emeralds:
All natural emeralds contain naturally occurring inclusions of liquids, solids, and gases known as single, double or triple phase inclusions. These are not to be confused with flaws, which are actual fractures or cleavage planes. The "jardin", also known as the “garden’, is nature's handwriting, a signature of genuineness in the emerald. Also typical is the irregularity of facets. It may be said then that what is a defect in a diamond, is more of a virtue in an emerald. It is also common to “oil” emeralds to enhance their appearance, usually done as a post-lapidary process in the country of origin. This is acceptable in the gem industry as long as no coloring agents are used and is disclosed. Untreated emeralds, like other gems such as diamonds and rubies, fetch a premium on the market, and are actually one of the least treated and enhanced of the gemstone families when compared to radiation, laser drilling, glass filling, beryllium coating, heating and other treatments typically performed on gemstones. On the Mohs Hardness scale of 1 to 10, the emerald has a hardness of 7 1/2 to 8 and will cut glass and steel. Emeralds are geologically far rarer than diamonds. Emeralds over 1ct in gem quality grade are considered to be large. From 50% to 85% of the weight is lost in the cutting process of gem quality and gem fine emeralds.