How to Locate Inclusions in Colombian Emeralds

How to Locate Inclusions in Colombian Emeralds.


We Evaluate Colombian Emeralds Inclusions against a White Background.

In this case, white is a constant that eliminates any confusion.
The facets of a Colombian Emerald are cut  to collect, concentrate and return the most green sparkle and scintillation. All of this is returned through the Face of the emerald and back to you. By doing this, the natural and ever present imperfections we in the trade call inclusions  are also camouflaged. Their visibility is minimized among the confusing brilliance and scintillation.
Keep in mind, Emeralds are Not Cut for light to enter through the sides or  bottom of the stone.

Locate Emeralds Inclusion in White Background


Because, All emeralds have what jewelers refer to in French as “Jardin” or “Garden”.
Equating Inclusions to a Garden is a bit of a stretch!
In the trade we use the word “Inclusion”* when referring to flaws in the emeralds crystalline structure.

*The Definition of “Inclusion” is:

Flaws and or foreign material Included inside the Emerald’s crystalline structure.

We could say that the grain in wood is similar to the inclusions in the Emerald. All wood has grain and all Emeralds have inclusions. Both are Natural, we like the grain in wood, even knots give character and are often desired. Not so in the case of Colombian Emeralds, the less inclusions the better. We want to see as few inclusions as possible with the Naked eye. Especially if they distract from the beauty of the emerald.
We will always see inclusions with a 10x Loupe.

Inclusions have a very positive side

Natural Colombian Emerald

The  inclusions in  a Natural Colombian Emerald  are  conclusive evidence that:

  • We are looking at a Natural* Colombian Emerald.
  • Origen is from the Muzo, Chivor, Cosquez or Gachala mines.
  • It is Not a Synthetic** or Laboratory created emerald.
  • Provenance is Not from Zambia, Brazil, Pakistan or other.

*The Definition of “Natural” is:

Occurring Naturaly in Nature.

**The Definition of “Synthetic” is:

Man made materials with the same physical, optical and chemical properties of it´s natural counterpart.

Now, Let’s look at some Inclusions!

  • Scoot your chair up close to the table.
  • Stabilize both elbows on the White pad of paper.
  • Now pick up the emerald  with your tweezers and look at it Face up with your Naked Eye.

If you are not sitting in front of me. Or, don’t have an emerald to work with, go to one on our web site: HERE.

Ask yourself,

  • Do I see any distracting inclusions?.
  • Put the emerald on your hand, as seen when set, do the inclusions become less evident?.
  • Do the inclusions disappear?.
  • Take note of the inclusions you see and where they are located.


You are looking at the emerald Face up with the naked eye in sunlight. This is the worst possible conditions for the beauty of the emerald. White light is reflecting off the background into the stone, from behind and all sides.



You are seeing the Emerald Naked

Any defects or flaws are exposed, which is exactly how you want to see it for evaluating and purchasing purposes.
Keep in mind that this is Not how the emerald will look once set in jewelry and seen in normal lighting conditions.
Only Very Fine Emeralds can be set with light coming through the sides.


Because there are so few inclusions that none will reflect back to you.

Colombian Emerald Ring, Cushion cut, Emeralds Engagement Ring, 18k White Gold, - 19682 - 1 -

What to expect while looking into the Emerald.

The reflections of light inside the stone and it’s green sparkle will minimize the visibility of any inclusions. All the green flashes and sparkles will confuse your eye and hide the flaws. Light entering the emerald from behind  may reflect off internal inclusions making them visible to the naked eye.
What can we do to see the the flaws clearly?
We need to turn off the confusing sparkly scintillation so we can observe the inclusions without distractions.

Now, Don’t Get Exasperated…

There Is a Secret!

I will teach you the Secret of how to Locate Inclusions in Colombian Emeralds in our next Blog, see you then!


by Lee Wasson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *