Once an emerald has been discovered after millions of years under the ground, it is ready to face the process that will determine its final form: the cut. Adding to the color and quality of the raw emerald, the cutting process is crucial in determining the final market price of an emerald. The importance of this final step cannot be overstated. An emerald that is cut by a true professional can add significantly to its value, while an emerald that is not adequately cut will fetch a sub-par price.
The shapes an emerald might obtain through the cutting process include round, princess, cushion, emerald, oval, radiant, asscher, heart, and pear. Cushion and emerald are considered the most appreciated forms.
When making the decision for the final shape of an emerald, however, the cutter must consider attributes like the depth of color, the visibility of inclusions, and the durability of the raw emerald. The cutter must also consider how to reduce the fractures or fissures the stones might have in order to protect them against future damage. This is done by faceting the corners of the emerald and not leaving prongs exposed. Appropriately proportioning the positioning and number of facets can also have the added benefit of increasing the effect of hue, tone, and saturation.
Taking into account that it is not nature, but human creativity and ability that determine the final form of an emerald, cutting is a bold and admirable step
Although there is an established process for cutting an emerald, the ultimate decision for the final cut depends largely on a somewhat mystical relation between the cutter and the emerald. Cutting an object of such high value is a bold undertaking requiring creativity and ingenuity. The best emerald cutters rely not only on a lifetime of experience but also knowledge passed down through generations. Colombia has been the global leader for emerald production since the age of conquistadors. Colombian emeralds cutters are therefore considered artists of the highest global standard.