Emeralds are a popular gemstone choice for their striking green colour and unique beauty. While emeralds can be found in several parts of the world, Brazil and Zambia are two of the most significant sources of this precious stone.
Brazilian and Zambian emeralds are known for their exceptional quality and unique characteristics, but how do they differ? In this blog, we will explore the similarities and differences between Brazilian emerald vs Zambian emerald and help you understand which one is right for you.
Brazilian Emerald, also known as Sakota Emerald, is one of the most desirable origins of Emerald. It is obtained from the famous Sakota emerald mines. This Emerald’s rich and vibrant green colour makes it a highly desirable Beryl mineral family gemstone. In the mid-1960s, Brazil became the heartland for a reasonable emerald gemstone. The emerald gemstone was discovered in Brazil around 1920 which changed Brazil’s image as an emerald mining centre.
Since 1980, the discovery at Itabera in Minas Gerais, Santa Terezinha de Goiás, and Nova Era near Itabera has provided the best emerald Brazil has ever delivered. Brazilian emeralds stand out due to their vibrant, rich green colour. A high-quality Brazil emerald will have a natural glow, rich colour, and good transparency, adding to its value.
Zambian emeralds are of exceptional quality. Zambia is located in Southern Africa, in a gemstone-rich region. Around 1976, large-scale emerald mining began in Zambia. The colour of Zambian emerald stones usually tend to be a more saturated greener. Zambian emeralds have become one of the most significant gemological discoveries of the modern era. No other location on the planet has ever been able to provide such consistent quality.
Zambian emeralds are simply breathtaking. Zambian emeralds, like any other emerald, were created from a rare combination of minerals, including beryllium, chromium, and vanadium. In other words, emeralds formed millions of years ago when granite and metamorphic rock collided. Zambian emeralds are naturally stronger than others, with hardness ratings ranging from 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale.
This places them just behind rubies and sapphires, both of which have a Mohs scale rating of 9, and diamonds, which have a perfect 10 rating. Zambian emeralds are also less fragile and porous than other types of emeralds.
This was an overview about the different emeralds. Let’s dive into their basic differences:
Difference between Brazilian Emerald Vs Zambian Emerald
|Brazilian Emerald||Zambian Emerald|
|Colour: Zambian Emeralds are bluer and darker in colour. It has a bluish-green or deep green appearance. Colour comes from traces of iron and is distinguished by its bluish undertone and extreme saturation. Oversaturation and a bluish undertone detract from the overall higher quality.||Colour: Zambian Emeralds are bluer and darker in colour. It has a bluish-green or deep-green appearance. Colour comes from traces of iron and is distinguished by its bluish undertone and extreme saturation. Oversaturation and a bluish undertone detract from the overall higher quality.|
|Price: According to findings, they can fetch up to $30,000 per carat. Nova Era is known for producing clean faceted stones, which are in high demand among jewellery manufacturers. The fine colour and transparency of emeralds make this material highly sought after in the market.||Price: Despite the fact that Zambian emeralds are highly sought after due to their clarity and distinct colour, they are significantly less expensive stones. The history of emerald mining in both countries is the primary reason for their generally lower price.|
|Inclusions: Partially healed fissures with two-phase fluid inclusions typically square, rectangular, or like a comma and fine, parallel-oriented growth tubes were the most commonly encountered inclusions. The chemical composition of emeralds is distinguished by relatively high K, moderate Cr, Fe, and Mg, and low Na, V, and Li.||Inclusions: Zambian emeralds have relatively high R.I. and S.G. values, with inclusions that typically include actinolite, phlogopite, dravite, fluorapatite, magnetite, and hematite.|
|Clarity: Brazilian emeralds tend to have high clarity, which means fewer visible inclusions. Some Brazilian emeralds can have large inclusions.||Clarity: Zambian emeralds tend to have lesser clarity than Brazilian emeralds. Some Zambian emeralds can be relatively clean.|
|Availability: Brazil’s emerald production has declined significantly in recent decades, making its availability lesser than Zambian emeralds. Brazilian emeralds were once a major source of the gemstone, particularly from the state of Minas Gerais, but production has declined due to a combination of factors such as depletion of easily accessible deposits, difficulty in mining due to the rugged terrain, and environmental regulations.||Availability: Zambian emeralds are more common than Brazilian emeralds. This is because Zambia, with several active mines, is one of the world’s largest producers of emeralds. Zambian emeralds have grown in popularity in recent years as a result of their high quality and intense green colour, prompting an increase in production to meet demand.|
|Size: Brazilian emeralds are typically smaller, with stones weighing more than 5 carats considered rare.||Size: Zambian emeralds are known to be larger than Brazilian emeralds. This is due to Zambia’s geological conditions, which allow for the formation of larger crystals. Zambian emeralds are commonly found in sizes greater than 5 carats, and stones larger than 10 carats are not rare.|
Which emerald is better: Brazilian or Zambian?
When comparing Brazilian and Zambian emeralds, it ultimately depends on personal preferences and what characteristics you prioritize. Both origins produce emeralds of exceptional beauty and quality. Brazilian emeralds are often known for their lighter green hues, which some may find appealing. On the other hand, Zambian emeralds are typically admired for their deeper and more saturated green color, which appeals to many collectors and buyers. The choice between the two is subjective and should be based on individual taste and the specific qualities you seek in an emerald.
Are Brazilian emeralds valuable?
Yes, Brazilian emeralds can be valuable, especially if they possess desirable characteristics such as a rich, vibrant green color, good clarity, and minimal inclusions. The value of an emerald is primarily determined by its color, clarity, carat weight, and overall quality. Some Brazilian emeralds can command high prices in the market, especially if they exhibit exceptional features. However, it’s essential to note that the value of an emerald is also influenced by market demand and other factors, so it’s advisable to consult with a reputable gemologist or jeweler to get an accurate assessment of an individual emerald’s value.