Emerald is Greek for 'green stone' (Smaragdos) and has been mined for thousands of years. Gem quality emeralds are transparent stones with an attractive grass green colour and very few inclusions. These stones are very rare and expensive, as emeralds are often heavily included and commonly have surface reaching cavities. Some large faceted emeralds with highly visible dark inclusions appear on the market and command high prices. The most important attribute is again, the highly saturated grass green colour. The quality of emerald available to the gem market is wide, resulting in very cheap to enormously expensive stones.
Source locations for emerald include: Afghanistan, Africa, Australia, Brazil, Columbia, India, Madagascar, Pakistan and the USA.
Emeralds may have been oiled to fill fractures that often go deep within the stone, this improves the clarity and colour. The oil may contain dye to further enhance the colour. This is a normal and accepted practice in some countries and must always be disclosed. Fractures may be filled with polymers and other materials: complete coatings are also applied.
Emeralds are also made synthetically by hydrothermal methods, fortunately detected by the lack of natural inclusions and the presence of wavy growth lines (Chevrons).