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Can a Scratched Emerald Be Repaired?

April 30, 2023

Beautiful gemstones are the heart of great jewellery. From sapphires to aquamarines and rubies, there are endless options to choose from–and each gem brings its own unique and vibrant qualities to a piece such as a natural emerald pendant from Australia.

If you are thinking about different options and are considering aquamarine versus emerald, there are a few things to know. Aquamarine is a precious gemstone widely known for its timeless elegance and vibrant, rich green hues. Like any precious stone, it is susceptible to scratches, chips, and cracks. 

When it comes to emerald gemstones, most owners worry that damaged emeralds cannot be repaired. Luckily, they can!

Repairing Emerald Gemstones

Before we dive in and discuss possible repair methods, it is important first to understand why emeralds are prone to scratches and damage. Unlike diamonds and sapphires, emeralds score a rating of 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs hardness scale. This makes the emerald a relatively soft stone that is more susceptible to scratches than other gemstones. 

While emeralds are still fairly durable gemstones, they are prone to scratches from improper wear and care and accidental mishaps such as drops.


How Minor Scratches Are Fixed

If your emerald has a minor scratch on the surface, you will be happy to know that the repair is not as complex or extensive as you might think. 

Because a scuff only affects the stone’s surface, all a jeweller needs to do is polish the surface. By polishing the surface using a polishing wheel, the jeweller is able to remove the outer layer and expose the layer underneath. Removing the outer layer will leave behind a shiny, smooth, and vibrant layer, scratch-free. 

Some jewellers prefer to mediate surface scratches with oils. While applying oils can help mask the damage, it is not a permanent solution and will require ongoing treatments.


Repairing Severe Scratches or Cracks

Depending on the severity of the damage, an emerald suffering from extensive damage such as deep scratches or large cracks will need to either be recut or, in worst-case scenarios, replaced altogether. 

The process of recutting the emerald involves removing any part of the stone that is damaged and reshaping it to its original glory. While this is a potential fix for extensive damage, it is a time-consuming process that could also be quite costly. 


Refer to the Experts

It goes without saying, but a stone as rare and sought-after as an emerald should be handled by a professional jeweller. While there are many online resources, we highly advise against a do-it-yourself repair.

Every precious stone is different. Some stones are flawless, while others contain extensive internal flaws. Failing to understand your stone’s composition before taking any repair action can result in more damage. 

With that being said, it is worth pointing out that because no emerald is created equally, there are certain emeralds that cannot be repaired. Seeking the opinion of a professional jeweller will help you understand the composition of your emerald, and the repair options available to you.

Read out our latest post to learn what an emerald engagement ring means—and don’t forget to check out Holloway Diamond’s extensive emerald collection!

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