Grading Emeralds

AZemerald uses American Gemological Laboratories (AGL) exclusively for all emerald grading reports. You can view their website at Many experts, feel the AGL reports are by far the best in the industry for colored gemstones. A lab report is not essential to purchase an emerald, but having absolute trust in your emerald dealer is. Any gemstone dealer that says an emerald is untreated needs to be able to back up this kind of statement with a lab report because almost all emeralds are clarity enhanced. Clarity enhancement is the introduction of a polymer or colorless oil that reaches into small fissures, which almost all emeralds have. This is an accepted treatment that has been going on for hundreds of years and is nothing that you need to be afraid of. Now just because a gemstone you are interested in has a gem report doesn’t mean that it goes into much depth. All the laboratories have different tiers of reports starting with whether the stone is natural or not. This is the least expensive kind of report and is useful for emeralds and other gemstones that are not very expensive. But a report that says “natural green emerald” is not enough information to go on when you purchase an emerald for thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. The least expensive report from AGL is the Gembrief ReportTM, which tells you whether the emerald is natural or not and gives basic information such as dimensions, carat weight, shape/style, and a yes or no on enhancement/treatment. This report is primarily for emeralds under $1,000 in price. Below is an example of what this report looks like.


The next report up in cost and detail is the Prestige Gemstone ReportTM and is available in three tiers depending on the degree of detail you require. The Standard ID and Enhancement Report costs $120 for all materials and sizes and identifies the type of gemstone and what kind of enhancement is present. The next tier up is the Origin Report which includes: identification and enhancement. This report starts at $180 depending on the size of the gemstone and includes more detail except primary origin. Origin is important for some gemstones, but for most emeralds, it is rather easy to tell the difference based on the inclusions and this kind of report is not usually necessary. The highest tier for the Prestige Gemstone ReportTM is the Grading Report, which includes origin, identification, and enhancement. This report starts at $240 and goes up in price depending on the size of the stone. This report is recommended for expensive emeralds and is the only report that grades the color, clarity, and cut and goes into other detail as well.