Famous Emeralds Throughout History

Famous Emeralds Throughout History

Throughout history, several emeralds have gained fame and notoriety due to their exceptional size, color, and provenance.  One of the most famous emeralds in history is the “Mogul Emerald,” which dates back to the 17th century and is believed to have originated from Colombia. This impressive emerald weighs approximately 217.80 carats and is intricately engraved with inscriptions in Persian script. The Mogul Emerald has a rich green color and is set in a pendant surrounded by diamonds, adding to its allure. It is said to have been owned by various Mughal emperors before eventually finding its way to the collection of Queen Victoria and later the British Crown Jewels.

Another renowned emerald is the “Chalk Emerald,” a 37.82-carat gemstone with a vibrant green hue and remarkable clarity. Originating from Colombia, this emerald is named for its previous owner, Mrs. Ronald Reagan, who wore it as a brooch. The Chalk Emerald is now part of the collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, where it is prominently displayed alongside other famous gemstones.

One of the largest emeralds ever discovered is the “Gachala Emerald,” weighing an astonishing 858 carats. This emerald was found in the Gachala mine in Colombia in 1967 and exhibits a deep green color with exceptional transparency. Despite its size, the Gachala Emerald is remarkably clean, with few visible inclusions. Today, it is housed in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where it continues to captivate visitors with its beauty and rarity. These famous emeralds, along with many others, serve as testaments to the enduring allure and fascination of these precious gemstones throughout history.

Historical Emeralds

So, what are the most famous emeralds throughout history?

Here are some of the most famous emeralds:

The Mogul Emerald

This historic emerald is one of the largest in the world, weighing approximately 217.80 carats. It dates back to the 17th century and is believed to have originated from Colombia. The Mogul Emerald is inscribed with Islamic prayers and set in a pendant adorned with diamonds and pearls.

The Duke of Devonshire Emerald

This stunning emerald is part of the Devonshire Collection and is believed to have originated from Colombia. It weighs approximately 138.7 carats and is known for its rich green color and exceptional clarity. The Duke of Devonshire Emerald is set in a brooch surrounded by diamonds.

The Chalk Emerald

This magnificent emerald is part of the Smithsonian’s National Gem Collection. It weighs approximately 37.82 carats and is known for its intense green color and remarkable clarity. The Chalk Emerald is set in a ring surrounded by diamonds and was originally owned by the Maharajas of Baroda.

The Gachala Emerald

Discovered in Colombia in 1967, the Gachala Emerald is renowned for its deep green color and impressive size, weighing approximately 858 carats in its rough form. It was named after the town of Gachala where it was found and was eventually cut into smaller gemstones, one of which weighs around 172 carats.

The Isabella Emerald

This historic emerald is named after Queen Isabella of Spain and is believed to have once been part of her royal collection. It weighs approximately 127.8 carats and is known for its intense green color and exceptional clarity.

The Patricia Emerald

This extraordinary emerald is one of the largest ever found, weighing approximately 632 carats in its rough form. It was discovered in Colombia in the late 1920s and is known for its exceptional color and clarity. The Patricia Emerald is named after the mine owner’s daughter and is part of a private collection.

The Rockefeller Emerald

Originally part of the collection of John D. Rockefeller Jr., this exceptional emerald weighs approximately 18.04 carats and exhibits a vivid green color with exceptional clarity. It was set in a ring by Raymond Yard and later sold at auction for a record-breaking price per carat for an emerald.

The Bahia Emerald

This massive emerald crystal was discovered in Brazil and weighs approximately 840 pounds (380 kilograms). It is one of the largest emeralds ever found and is notable for its size and unusual hexagonal shape. The Bahia Emerald has a tumultuous history of ownership disputes and legal battles.

The Mackay Emerald Necklace

This stunning necklace features a 167.97-carat Colombian emerald as its centerpiece, surrounded by 35 cushion-cut diamonds. It was commissioned by Clarence Mackay for his wife, Anna Case, in the early 20th century and is now part of a private collection.

The Hooker Emerald

This impressive emerald weighs approximately 75.47 carats and is known for its deep green color and exceptional clarity. It was originally set in a necklace owned by Janet Annenberg Hooker and is now part of the collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

The Guinness Emerald Crystal

Discovered in Colombia in the 1950s, this massive emerald crystal weighs approximately 1,759 carats and is one of the largest intact emerald crystals in the world. It is named after the Guinness family and is known for its remarkable size and color.

The Spanish Inquisition Emerald

This historic emerald dates back to the 16th century and is believed to have once belonged to Hernando Ruiz de Alarcon, a treasurer of the Spanish Inquisition. It weighs approximately 13.75 carats and is known for its exceptional color and clarity.

The Mackenzie Emerald

This impressive emerald weighs approximately 167 carats and is known for its intense green color and remarkable size. It was discovered in Colombia in the 20th century and is now part of a private collection.

The Dresden Green Diamond

While primarily known as a diamond, this historic gemstone is notable for its rare green color. Weighing approximately 41 carats, it is one of the largest natural green diamonds in the world. The Dresden Green Diamond is believed to have originated from the Kollur mine in India and is now housed in the Green Vault museum in Dresden, Germany.

The Imperial Emerald

This exceptional emerald is part of the Iranian Crown Jewels and is believed to have belonged to Empress Eugénie of France. It weighs approximately 75 carats and is known for its vivid green color and impressive size.

The Idol’s Eye Emerald

This legendary emerald weighs approximately 70.21 carats and is known for its intense green color and exceptional clarity. It was once part of the collection of Abdul Hamid II, the last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and is now part of a private collection.

The Mackay Emerald Ring

This exquisite ring features a 167.97-carat Colombian emerald set in platinum and surrounded by diamonds. It was commissioned by Clarence Mackay for his wife, Anna Case, in the early 20th century and is now part of a private collection.

The Shah Jahan Emerald

This historic emerald is believed to have once belonged to Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who commissioned the Taj Mahal. It weighs approximately 78 carats and is known for its deep green color and exceptional clarity.

The Duke of Burgundy’s Emerald

This historic emerald is believed to have once belonged to the Duke of Burgundy in the 15th century. It weighs approximately 75 carats and is known for its intense green color and exceptional clarity.

These are just a few examples of the most famous emeralds throughout history, each with its own remarkable story and legacy. These exquisite gemstones continue to captivate and inspire admirers around the world with their beauty and rarity. They are celebrated for their exceptional beauty, size, and historical significance, and they continue to capture the imagination of gemstone enthusiasts and collectors around the world.

Summary

Throughout history, several emeralds have gained fame and notoriety due to their exceptional size, color, and provenance. One of the most famous emeralds in history is the “Mogul Emerald,” which dates back to the 17th century and is believed to have originated from Colombia. This impressive emerald weighs approximately 217.80 carats and is intricately engraved with inscriptions in Persian script. The Mogul Emerald has a rich green color and is set in a pendant surrounded by diamonds, adding to its allure. It is said to have been owned by various Mughal emperors before eventually finding its way to the collection of Queen Victoria and later the British Crown Jewels. Another renowned emerald is the “Chalk Emerald,” a 37.82-carat gemstone with a vibrant green hue and remarkable clarity. Originating from Colombia, this emerald is named for its previous owner, Mrs. Ronald Reagan, who wore it as a brooch. The Chalk Emerald is now part of the collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, where it is prominently displayed alongside other famous gemstones. These famous emeralds, along with many others, serve as testaments to the enduring allure and fascination of these precious gemstones throughout history.

Jyotish Varsha Gupta
Varsha Gupta

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