Emeralds have been held in high esteem since ancient times. For that reason, some of the most famous emeralds are to be seen in museums and collections all over the world.
The “Mogul Emerald” is one of the largest emeralds in the world. The rectangular cut tablet, which dates back to 1695, weighs 217.80 carats and is about 10 cm high. One side is inscribed with Shiite prayer and the other side is engraved with opulent flower ornaments. It is dated 1107 A.H. (1695 A.D.).The emerald is thought to have come from the reign of Emperor Aurangzeb – the last of the great Mogul rulers, who controlled much of India. The emerald was auctioned off at Christie’s of London for 1,543,750 [pounds sterling] (US$2,272,400) at Christie’s London auction house on Sept. 27, 2001 to an anonymous buyer.
The “Patricia Emerald” weighing 632 carats is considered to be one of the world’s greatest emeralds. While most uncut emeralds have six sides, the Patricia Emerald is dihexagonal, or twelve-sided. The emerald was found in the Colombian Andes in 1920, in the Chivor Mine. It was named after mine-owner’s daughter but according to a different point of view, the emerald was actually named after the Patron Saint of Ireland, St. Patrick.
The “Crown of the Andes,” one of the most renowned pieces of Jewelry of 16th-century origin, is perhaps one of the first pieces of jewelry to be adorned. It represents one of the finest surviving examples of the craftsmanship of 16th century. The name “Crown of the Andes” reflects the place of origin of the emerald-studded gold crown, which is the city of Popayan, high up in the Andes. The crown was offered as a gesture of gratitude to the Virgin Mary, by the residents of Popayan, for miraculously saving the city from the scourge of a devastating epidemic of smallpox in the region. It took 24 goldsmiths and gem workers 6 years to produce it. It is made out of a 100 pound piece of gold. All of the gems used were originally owned by the Incas, with 447 emeralds included.