The Rockerfeller Emerald
The Rockerfeller Emerald has become the most expensive emerald ever sold. At an auction at Christie’s in June 2017 saw the 18.04 carat step-cut emerald fetch a whopping $5,511,500! It was bought by famed jeweller Harry Winston.
John D. Rockefeller, Jr. originally acquired the emerald in 1930, as the centerpiece of a brooch he gave to wife, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. After her death in 1948, the brooch was disassembled and the gems distributed among her children. The largest emerald became the property of their youngest son, David Rockefeller, who commissioned famous jewelry designer Raymond Yard to set it onto a diamond and platinum ring.
While most emeralds require an oil treatment to
enhance their brilliance and color, the Rockefeller rock is unique because it has not received any type of enhancement.
CFO Robert Scott was bidding in Christie’s Rockefeller Plaza saleroom with instructions from Harry Winston CEO Nayla Hayek to “bring this magnificent gem home at any price.” Following the sale, Nayla Hayek commented “Harry Winston is immensely proud to own the finest emerald in the world which once belonged to one of America’s most important dynasties.”
Mogul Emerald Necklace
This carved flat emerald is set in a platinum, gold, and diamond pendant necklace. The emerald was discovered in Colombia, possibly by Spanish conquistadors, and found its way to India for cutting. This emerald was most likely carved, rather than faceted, because of the natural inclusions, the shape of the original beryl crystal, or it might also have been the preferred style at the time. The floral motif carving is believed to be of the Indian Mogul style. The Mogul Empire was the imperial power that ruled most of the Indian subcontinent from the early-16th to mid-19th centuries. Often
carved gemstones were worn on the arm as amulets; threads pulled through the small drill holes on the sides of this emerald could then be tied on to the arm of the wearer.
The emerald is surrounded by round diamonds and is suspended from a double row diamond necklace; the diamonds total approximately 50 carats. A hallmark indicates that the Mogul emerald was set into the pendant and necklace in France around the turn of the 20th century. This historic and remarkable emerald necklace was gifted to the Smithsonian Institute in 2007 by Mrs Madeleine H Murdock.
The Maharaja of Indore Necklace
The Maharaja of Indore Necklace consists of two strands of antique-cut diamonds and emeralds to which a lower pendant and upper chain containing modern, brilliant-cut diamonds were added. The necklace contains 374 diamonds and 15 emeralds. The emeralds undoubtedly came from Colombia, while the diamonds were obtained from India, the only source of diamonds until 1723. The large, central, barrel-shaped emerald weighs approximately 45ct and is strung onto the necklace through a hole drilled lengthwise down its center. Due to its rich color and exceptional clarity, it is one of the world’s finest emeralds. The remaining emeralds and 16 diamonds are attached in a similar fashion with wire passing through angled drill holes that connect within the stone forming a V-shaped channel. The stones were
probably cut in India in the seventeenth century, making them some of the oldest cut gems in the National Gem Collection. The necklace was purchased by the Maharaja of Indore in the early twentieth century. In 1948, Harry Winston purchased the necklace from the Maharaja’s son. The necklace then became part of Winston’s “Court of Jewels” traveling exhibition. Cora Hubbard Williams of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania bought the necklace from Winston in 1955 and bequeathed it to the Smithsonian Institution in 1972.
The Emerald Dial
The emerald dial is a priceless 350-year-old watch made from a single jewel that was left buried under a cellar for centuries. In 1912 in London’s Cheapside district, a dazzling haul of almost 500 pieces from the Elizabethan and early Stuart eras, was uncovered by a group of labourers under a cellar floor. Excavations at the site found evidence of damage caused by the Great Fire of London, dating the ‘priceless’ collection to pre-1666, and it is believed to have been hidden about 350 years ago. The find is known as The Cheapside Hoard.
This watch, c. 1600, is a one-of-a-kind, set in a single large Colombian hexagonal emerald crystal. It is one of the most spectacular items found in the Hoard. There is no known object from the time to rival it in existence.
The Colombian emerald crystal is hexagonal in form with a hinged lid. The dial plate (the hand is missing) is enameled in translucent green. The dial plate is enameled in translucent green and the circular gold suspension loop and button securing the movement at the base are set with small emeralds.