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Value of One Carat EmeraldClick here to return to FAQ IndexChard 24 Carat Home Page

Large Square Cut Cornered Emerald
Q: What is the value of a one carat emerald?
Not a week goes by without someone asking us this question, we often get asked more than once daily. It is almost always an uncut emerald, although many people forget to mention this fact.
Obviously nobody can value an emerald without seeing it. All gemstones vary enormously in value, and the value depends on how attractive the stone is, and several other factors, but this does not stop many people from telephoning or e-mailing us expecting us to know the answer without even seeing the stone, and expecting our expert advice for nothing into the bargain!.
Nevertheless, we still try to help people.
After we had been asked about six times in the same week, we started asking the enquirers for more information.

Help Us To Help You
It never ceases to surprise us that most people asking for our advice do not give us all the information they have before they expect our answer.
By the time we had received about the sixth enquiry, we had learnt that these "one carat uncut emeralds" had been received as a prize in a competition.
Once we were armed with this clue, we asked our enquirers whether the competition organisers stated the value of the prize, or sent a valuation with it. The answer was negative.
Eventually somebody turned up in our showroom with one of the stones, which they had been given by a friend who had won it. Now most of the emeralds we deal in are already cut and polished, and knowing the value of uncut stones is another area of expertise. There is a lot a waste, perhaps 50% of the stone weight gets lost, cutting costs money, and coloured stones usually get paler when they are made smaller. Some attractive looking uncut stones may lose all their attractiveness when cut, and be worthless. Even so, we reckoned that it would probably cost more to have the uncut stone facetted and polished than it would be worth when finished. In other words, the stone was of very little, if any, value.

Another Clue
Not long after, another person brought us their emerald which they had received as a "competition prize".
It was an irregular shaped piece of quite attractive green material, we did not get as far as testing to check whether it was a real emerald. It was packaged in a small cellophane packet which was stapled to a small piece, perhaps 5" x 3", of cheap paper. The paper was badly and cheaply printed to the effect:-

You are one of the lucky winners of our competition.
Your prize a genuine uncut Columbian emerald weighing over 1 carat.
Special Offer
As an extra bonus to our lucky competition winners, our experts will polish your emerald, and transform it into an 18 carat gold plated pendant, for only £9.99, plus £1.99 postage and packing.
If you wish, you can also order at the same time, an 18 carat gold plated neckchain for only £4.99
To take advantage of this remarkable offer, you had to send your emerald to the address on the "leaflet" within 7 days, and enclose your cheque.
So, for only £16.97, you would be acquiring a cabochon ( polished, not facetted), emerald glued onto a piece of gold plated base metal, with a gold plated base metal chain.

Worth £1.99 on a Market Stall?
We reckon, even though it may have been a genuine natural emerald, the finished product would probably be the sort of thing you could be offered on a market stall at some price from 99p to £4.99, and probably cost £50 per hundred from an importer.

Leaflet Marketing
In other words, the whole deal turned out to be a door-to-door leaflet marketing offer.
The "emerald" with the "leaflet" is possibly only a piece of glass, or at best a piece of low grade emerald not worth polishing. When (if?) you receive "your" stone back, polished and mounted, effectively you will merely have purchased for £16.97, a piece of junk (we would hesitate to call it costume jewellery), with very little value.

How Can People Be So Stupid?
This is the question that we are left asking ourselves.
The answer of course, is that people will readily believe what they want to believe. When told they have won a competition, do they not stop to ask themselves what competition, or read the leaflet to find out? Do they not look at the cheap nasty print job, and work the above out for themselves? Most of them have probably not entered any competitions, so don't they think it's slightly odd to be told they have won one? Do they wonder whether it's been delivered to the wrong house?
The sad answer is no, they don't stop to think about any of these things, they want to believe they have acquired something valuable for nothing, so believe it they will. Naturally when they ask us, and probably hundreds of other jewellers thoughout the country, the value of a one carat uncut Columbian emerald, they don't volunteer all the details, or we would probably shatter their illusions, but these people are wasting their own time as well as ours. Ultimately they are only deceiving themselves, and nobody else.

Fraudulent Trading?
Because of the low price asked for the pendants, we would not suggest that the vendors are being fraudulent in their trading, although Trading Standards Officers and The Courts, may take a different view. Nobody is being deprived of a serious amount of money, and they do we presume, receive something in return matching its description. Any deception is in the claim that the original "emerald" is a prize, rather like the prizes announced by the pushy timeshare salesmen.

Question Answered?
Hopefully by now, if you found this page because you have "won" an emerald, you now know its value.
We are happy to have been able to help you.
We hope we have not upset you by our direct manner on this page, you may gather that we get a little frustrated at times.

Don't Give It To A Friend!
Please, whatever you do, don't give your "prize" to a friend. If you do, please leave it in its original packaging so your friend can work things out for themselves, don't do what one person in our story above did. You could hardly blame the recipient of the gift for not realising that it was only a free leaflet give-away.

Scratch Cards
The latest occurrence in the "One Carat Emerald" saga is the appearance of them as prizes in scratch card competitions. The example which we looked at was one where the "lucky winner" had a premium rate telephone number to call, minimum 5 minutes at £1 per minute. We suspect the only winners of this and other similar competitions are the organisers. We would not like to call this a scam without stronger evidence.

Gemmological Laboratory Findings
On 21st November 2001, we read a report from the London Gem Lab, which had tested five pieces of "rough emerald", some at the request of a local authority trading standards office. They found that two out of the five pieces were not emerald but mica schist with a few grains of emerald embedded, and would therefore fall foul of the Trade Descriptions Act.

Emerald Information

Emerald Rings

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