How to Tell If an Emerald is Fake

Emeralds are easy to fake. It is important to know what to look for in a real emerald.

Look for the color, the sparkle, and the inclusions found in it. The wear and tear on the stone can be a good indicator of whether the stone is a true emerald or not.

Let’s take a closer look at what makes a stone a true emerald so we can learn what signs to avoid when it comes to seeing whether the stone is a fake or not.

2 Types of Emeralds

There are two main types of emeralds that you are able to purchase.

The first kind is natural emeralds. These are the stones that are mined and were formed over hundreds of years deep within the earth. These will be the highest in value and are often the best quality as well.

Then there are synthetic emeralds, which are the ones that are created in a lab. They look just like the real thing and are made out of the same kind of minerals. They are not fake, but they are produced in a lab rather than in nature.

Look for Inclusions

Inclusions or a flaw are not prized in the gemstone industry but they can be an indication of whether the stone is real.

Inclusions will be any of the different elements that can enter into the stone while it is being formed. It is common to find some tiny threadlike tendrils inside the stone, ones that may look like vines.

Even if the emerald looks clear under the naked eye, a professional will be able to take a closer look and find some small flaws.

On the other hand, synthetic emeralds will not have the same inclusions as natural emeralds due to the way that they are formed.

If you have someone look at the stone and there are some inclusions inside that resembles discs or bubbles, then you may be working with an imitation stone like glass.

Check Into the Color

When it comes to the color, nothing can compare to an emerald. There are different shades of green in the emerald from a dark or pale tone, but the color itself is very distinct.

Authentic emeralds will often have a bluish-green color that is considered normal.

If you are looking at a stone that has brown or yellow tones, then this is not an emerald at all.

Does the Emerald Sparkle?

A genuine emerald is not going to sparkle with fire in it like some other gemstones do. This is something that you can find with a peridot, moissanite, or diamond, but you should not notice it with an emerald.

If you take your emerald and hold it up to the light, it will shine, but with more of a dull fire instead, rather than some rainbow flashes out of the stone.

If the stone does sparkle this way, then you are dealing with a fake.

Look for the Wear and Tear

Real emeralds are going to be pretty hard. When you rank them on the Mohs scale, they will rank somewhere between a 7.5 to 8. This means that the stone can handle some exposure without wearing down at all.

If the emerald you have is faceted, you can take a look for any wear and tear. When the edges are worn down without a good deal of definition,  this is a sign that the stone is made out of a softer substance, perhaps glass, that will wear out a lot faster than an emerald.

The Price is Off

Natural emeralds are really popular, which is going to make them expensive. If you are offered a diamond that is said to be authentic, but the price is too good to be true, then this is a good sign the emerald stone is fake.

There are sellers out there who may take an imitation emerald and try to pass it off as an authentic stone and you are getting a good deal. This is why you need to make sure that you are getting a stone from an authentic seller who will not steer you wrong.

If you are ever worried about the emerald that you want to purchase, it is best to have a professional take a look at it and have it appraised. This is the best way to ensure that you are getting an authentic emerald that is going to last a long time, rather than a fake that costs too much.

The emerald can be a great stone to add to any piece of jewelry. But if you are going to pay the high price for this stone, then you want to make sure you are getting a genuine stone. Take these factors into consideration and you will get the perfect stone for your needs.

Carl A. Jones, GIA GG

Carl A. Jones is a GIA Graduate Gemologist with over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. He is an independent jewelry appraiser. He specializes in determining the value of diamonds and advising consumers on how to buy quality diamond jewelry.

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