How to Identify Raw Emerald? Ultimate Guide

Are you a gem collector? Then you must be happy if a cute gemstone occupies even a tiny place in your gemstone box. Green emerald is such a stone. It is popularly known as a form of the mineral beryl. They are called raw emeralds when they are found in uncut and rough conditions.

But how to identify raw emerald? This punchy article will let you know how to choose the genuine mesmerizing emerald for you. Following the tips and tricks and through some experiments, you can pick the original emerald.

How to Identify Raw Emerald?

Emeralds are found raw in nature. Then they are given shapes and polished to produce fascinating jewelry. To identify raw emeralds, you need to know how do they look like. They possess all physical qualities, including the mind-blowing green color of cut emeralds. 

raw emerald
Raw Emerald

You can differentiate one from another by their shape, color tone, and transparency.

1. Shape

The trap cut or the step cut is a common emerald cut. By cropping the corners of the gemstone, its stability is ensured. But raw emeralds include four corners that are square. They have a column-like shape. The pattern of genuine raw emeralds is irregular. Roughness is noticed on its surface as they are not polished.

2. Color

You will find raw emeralds’ color is green, like the cut emeralds. They differ in their color shade. Usually, the finest form of emerald green is brighter and blueish. In the case of raw emerald, its shades may be rich forest green, pale yellow-green, or blue-green.  

3. Transparency

Diaphaneity is commonly used for transparency or clarity in the gem trade. However, the clarity of both the raw and cut emeralds is almost similar. 

Related: How To Tell If A Moonstone Is Real?

How to Test the Authencity of Raw Emerald?

You may check the authenticity of raw emeralds in different ways. You can conduct some experiments using a glass of water, water drop, dichroscope, and being aware of the price. 

  • Experiment with Water Glass:   You can place a raw emerald in a glass of water. If the emerald you are testing is genuine, it will radiate but the artificial one will not do so.
  • Experiment with Water Drop: You can test the given emerald in another way. You just need a drop of water. Place that water drop on the raw emerald’s surface. If the tested emerald is genuine, it will be able to keep hold of the water drop shape. On the contrary, as soon as you place a water drop on a fake emerald surface, it will lose its shape as the water spreads.   
  • Experiment through dichroscope:  A cheap dichroscope tool helps you know the real emerald. You may observe the stone in different directions, placing it on the other end of the dichroscope. The natural stone with a blue-green appearance illuminates strongly. 
  • Checking the Layers: If you immerse a raw emerald in water, you will notice the layers of real stone. But, it is difficult to identify the layers of the imitated stones made of two or three layers of other elements.  
  • Considering Price Issue: If you intend to own a genuine emerald, you must have mental preparation to spend $500 USD per carat. It is a minimum cost. Don’t push yourself into the trap if the price tag indicates a lower price. Because then you’re enjoying the beauty of emeralds like crystal or glass.

To clear your doubt, you may take the help of a jeweler for a professional appraisal. But the jeweler must be accreditated under a national organization like the American Society of Appraisers or American Gem Society.

Related: How Much Is Alexandrite Worth?

frequently asked questions


Most gem-quality emeralds are produced in South American Columbia. Another South American country Brazil and the African country, Zambia, supply emeralds in the international market. USA, North Carolina, Africa, and Ethiopia also provide a small amount of emerald. 


Raw emeralds are cheaper than faceted emeralds. Proper cutting of raw emerald turns it into an expensive emerald. Besides, all emeralds are not of gem quality. The quality and price are determined by emeralds grade. 


Raw emerald is known as emerald rough or gem rough too. It is one of the species of the mineral beryl. Pure colorless beryl Goshenite is transformed into green beryl.


Emeralds, one of the four precious gemstones is derived from beryl. Other stones are available in different colors but emerald is of evergreen only. Chromium and/or vanadium are responsible for its green color.

Final Words

By the time you know how to identify raw emerald. The day is over to be ashamed of wearing fake stone with the amount of real stone. Look for a gemologist or an accreditated jeweler for not to be a loser. Then, following the shape and habit of the emerald, you can check its genuineness.

Authentic raw emerald’s appearance will never be uniform. You will find them having random quality. Keep in mind that, it is almost impossible to judge an emerald as fake or real just by having a glimpse of it. As you are paying higher, you must be wiser in your action.

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