Emeralds are one of the most coveted gemstones in the world, and for good reason. They have a stunning green color that can range from light to dark, and they are often associated with royalty, wealth, and power. Emeralds are also very rare and hard to find, especially ones that have a high quality and clarity. That’s why some emeralds can fetch millions of dollars at auctions, making them some of the most expensive gemstones in the world.
But what are the most expensive emeralds ever sold? And what makes them so special and valuable? In this article, we will take a look at the top 10 most expensive emeralds in the world, and learn about their history, origin, and features. Let’s get started!
Art Deco Emerald and Diamond Necklace – $4.194 Million
This gorgeous necklace was made in 1929, during the peak of the Art Deco movement. Art Deco was a style of design that influenced everything from architecture to jewelry, and it was characterized by geometric shapes, bold colors, and lavish materials. This necklace is a perfect example of Art Deco jewelry, as it features diamonds and emeralds set into a platinum chain that forms a choker-like shape around the neck, with a small drop-down pendant at the back. The pendant is the highlight of the necklace, as it showcases a stunning 10.47-carat emerald that is surrounded by diamonds of different sizes.
But this necklace is not only beautiful, it also has a royal history. It belonged to Princess Faiza of Egypt, who was born in 1923 and was the sister of King Farouk, the last king of Egypt. Princess Faiza was known for her elegance and glamour, and she had a collection of exquisite jewelry that she wore to various events and occasions. She owned this necklace until she died in 1994, and it was sold at Christie’s in 2013 for $4.194 million.
Grand Duchess Vladimir of Russia Emerald Necklace – $4.303 Million
This stunning necklace has a very impressive emerald pendant that weighs 75.61 carats and has a deep green color and high clarity. The emerald is encircled by diamonds and hangs from a platinum and gold chain that is also adorned with diamonds. The necklace is simple but elegant, and it lets the emerald shine as the main attraction.
But what makes this necklace even more valuable is its royal provenance. It belonged to Grand Duchess Vladimir of Russia, who was the wife of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich, the third son of Tsar Alexander II. The Grand Duchess was a prominent figure in the Russian court, and she had a passion for jewelry and art. She acquired this necklace in the late 19th century, and it was part of her famous collection of jewels that she managed to save from the Bolshevik revolution by smuggling them out of Russia in 1918. The necklace was later inherited by her descendants, and it was sold at Christie’s in 2019 for $4.303 million.
Emerald and Diamond Brooch – $4.425 Million
This brooch is a masterpiece of craftsmanship and design, as it features a magnificent 23.34-carat emerald that is cut in a hexagonal shape and has a vivid green color and high clarity. The emerald is set in a platinum mount that is decorated with diamonds of various shapes and sizes, creating a floral motif that is both delicate and dazzling. The brooch also has a detachable pendant that can be worn separately, and it contains a pear-shaped diamond that weighs 6.30 carats and is graded as D color and internally flawless.
This brooch was made by Harry Winston, one of the most famous and prestigious jewelers in the world. Harry Winston was known as the “King of Diamonds” and the “Jeweler to the Stars”, as he had a reputation for acquiring and creating some of the most exceptional and rare diamonds and gemstones in the world. He also had a clientele that included celebrities, royalty, and politicians. He made this brooch in the 1960s, and it was sold at Christie’s in 2011 for $4.425 million.
Emerald and Diamond Earrings – $4.449 Million
These earrings are a pair of stunning Colombian emeralds that weigh 13.56 and 12.91 carats, respectively. They have a rich green color and high clarity, and they are not clarity-enhanced, which is very rare for natural emeralds of this size and quality. The emeralds are set in platinum and gold mounts that are embellished with diamonds, creating a contrast between the green and the white. The earrings also have a detachable pendant that can be worn separately, and it contains a pear-shaped diamond that weighs 6.30 carats and is graded as D color and internally flawless.
These earrings were sold at Christie’s in 2015 for $4.449 million, and they are a testament to the beauty and rarity of Colombian emeralds. Colombia is the most famous and important source of emeralds in the world, and it produces some of the finest and most valuable emeralds ever found. Colombian emeralds are known for their intense and pure green color, which is caused by the presence of chromium and vanadium in the mineral beryl, which is the main component of emeralds. Colombian emeralds are also highly sought-after for their clarity, which is often enhanced by oiling or resin treatments to mask the natural inclusions and fractures that are common in emeralds. However, finding a Colombian emerald that is not clarity-enhanced and has a high clarity is very rare and desirable, and that is why these earrings are so expensive.
Emerald and Diamond Ring – $4.645 Million
This ring is a stunning example of a Colombian emerald that is not clarity-enhanced and has high clarity. The emerald weighs 28.88 carats and has a deep green color and a rectangular shape. The emerald is set in a platinum ring that is surrounded by diamonds, creating a halo effect that enhances the emerald’s brilliance and color. The ring also has diamonds on the shank, adding more sparkle and elegance to the piece.
This ring was sold at Christie’s in 2014 for $4.645 million, and it is one of the most expensive emerald rings ever sold. The ring was made by an anonymous jeweler, but it is believed that the emerald came from the Muzo region of Colombia, which is one of the most famous and productive emerald mines in the world. The Muzo region is known for producing emeralds that have a deep and saturated green color, which is sometimes referred to as “Muzo green”. The Muzo region is also known for its history and culture, as it was the site of many battles and conflicts between the Spanish colonizers and the indigenous people, who considered the emeralds to be sacred and used them for religious and ceremonial purposes.
The Rockefeller Emerald – $5.511 Million
This emerald is one of the most famous and historic emeralds in the world, as it belonged to John D. Rockefeller Jr., the son of the oil tycoon and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Sr. The emerald weighs 18.04 carats and has a vivid green color and high clarity. The emerald is also cut in a unique octagonal shape, which was done by the renowned gem cutter Raymond Yard, who was a friend and jeweler of the Rockefeller family.
The emerald was originally part of a brooch that Rockefeller Jr. bought for his wife, Abby, in 1930. The brooch contained a 5.51-carat diamond and a 12.27-carat emerald, which were later removed and recutted into a 5.58-carat diamond and an 18.04-carat emerald. The emerald was then mounted on a platinum ring that was designed by Raymond Yard, and it was given to Rockefeller Jr.’s son, David, as a gift. David Rockefeller wore the ring for many years until he decided to sell it at Christie’s in 2017, where it fetched $5.511 million, setting a new world record for the price per carat of an emerald.
House of Boghossian Necklace – $5.96 Million
This necklace is a masterpiece of innovation and craftsmanship, as it features a technique called “inlay”, which involves setting one gemstone inside another without any metal or glue. The necklace was created by the House of Boghossian, a family-owned jewelry house that is based in Geneva and has a history of more than 100 years. The House of Boghossian is known for its expertise and creativity in working with gemstones, and it has developed several techniques and styles that are unique and distinctive.
The necklace consists of 11 Colombian emeralds that weigh a total of 104.50 carats and have a vibrant green color and high clarity. The emeralds are inlaid with diamonds, creating a seamless and harmonious effect that enhances the beauty and value of both gemstones.