What Does It Mean When Emerald Is Oiled?

When we talk about emeralds being oiled, we refer to a common treatment method employed to enhance the gemstone’s visual appeal. Emeralds, by nature, often contain natural fissures and inclusions, which can affect their transparency and overall clarity. To counteract these imperfections and improve the gemstone’s visual clarity, emeralds are commonly treated with oil.

The Oiling Process: Enhancing Emeralds’ Natural Beauty

The Oiling Process of Emerald

Emeralds are typically treated with colourless oils or resins, such as cedarwood oil or synthetic oils like Opticon™, to fill the fractures and inclusions within the gemstone. This process involves immersing the emerald in the oil or applying the oil directly onto the gemstone’s surface. The oil seeps into the gemstone, filling the cracks and minimizing their visibility, thereby enhancing the emerald’s clarity and brilliance.

The oil used in the treatment is transparent, ensuring that it does not affect the emerald’s colour. Instead, it acts as a refractive agent, allowing light to pass through the gemstone more smoothly, giving it a more vibrant and lively appearance. The oiling process is reversible and can be repeated if necessary to maintain the gemstone’s visual appeal.

The Implications of Oiling Emeralds

Improved Clarity and Transparency: Oiling emeralds helps to minimize the appearance of fractures and inclusions, thereby enhancing the gemstone’s clarity and transparency. The oil fills the gaps, reducing their visibility to the naked eye and creating a more uniform appearance.

Enhanced Luster and Brilliance: By allowing light to pass through the emerald more effectively, the oil treatment improves the gemstone’s lustre and brilliance. The refractive properties of the oil give the emerald a radiant glow, making it more captivating to the observer.

Preservation of the Gemstone: Oiling emeralds not only enhances their visual appeal but also helps to protect the gemstone from further damage. The oil fills the cracks and crevices, stabilizing the structure of the emerald and preventing the fissures from expanding.


Is oiling emeralds a common practice?

Yes, oiling emeralds is a widely accepted practice in the gemstone industry. It has been employed for centuries to enhance the appearance of emeralds and improve their market value. However, it is essential to disclose any treatments performed on the gemstone to ensure transparency and maintain ethical practices.

Does oiling affect the value of an emerald?

The value of an oiled emerald can be affected by the treatment. While oiling can enhance the gemstone’s visual appeal and make it more desirable, it is crucial to disclose the treatment to potential buyers. Some individuals prefer untreated or minimally treated emeralds, and the value of such gemstones may be higher in the market.

Can oiled emeralds be cleaned?

Oiled emeralds require special care and cleaning methods to avoid damaging the treatment. It is best to avoid harsh chemicals or ultrasonic cleaners when cleaning oiled emeralds. Instead, a soft cloth and mild soap solution can be used to gently clean the gemstone. Regular maintenance and re-oiling, if necessary, can help preserve the emerald’s appearance.

Can oiled emeralds be re-oiled?

Yes, oiled emeralds can be re-oiled if the treatment starts to wear off or if the gemstone requires additional enhancement. Re-oiling should be performed by a professional gemologist or jeweller experienced in emerald treatment to ensure the best results.

How can I determine if an emerald has been oiled?

Identifying whether an emerald has been oiled can be challenging without specialized equipment. A gemological laboratory or a certified gemologist can conduct tests, such as examining the gemstone under magnification or using spectroscopy, to determine if the emerald has been treated.

Are all emeralds treated with oil?

Not all emeralds undergo oil treatment. Some emeralds are considered “untreated” or “natural,” meaning they have not been subjected to any enhancement methods. These untreated emeralds are highly prized and often command higher prices in the market due to their rarity and natural beauty.


The practice of oiling emeralds plays a significant role in enhancing the gemstone’s visual appeal and market value. Through the meticulous process of filling fractures and inclusions with transparent oils, emeralds undergo a transformation that results in improved clarity, transparency, and overall brilliance. While the treatment is reversible and requires special care, oiled emeralds continue to captivate the hearts of gemstone enthusiasts worldwide.

As with any gemstone purchase, it is essential to seek transparency and ensure that any treatments performed on emeralds are disclosed. This will allow you to make an informed decision and choose a gemstone that aligns with your preferences and values. So, the next time you admire an emerald’s radiant green beauty, you’ll have a deeper understanding of what it means when an emerald is oiled.

Also explore Different Origins of (Panna) Emerald Stone, Types of Emerald Stone, Who Should Not Wear Emerald Stone and many more about Emerald Stone.

Jyotish Varsha Gupta
Varsha Gupta


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