THE MUGHAL EMERALD
is a magnificent historic carved emerald, belonging to the period of the last of the four great Mughal Emperors of India who reigned between 1658 and 1707. The emerald, which undoubtedly is of Colombian origin, weighs 217.8 carats. It is carved with intricate floral designs on one side and beautiful Arabic calligraphy in the Naskh script on the other.
The instriptions in the Arabic Naskh script is a perfect example of ancient Arabic calligraphy laid out symmetrically in five rows, with the upper introductory row being a little wider than the remaining four rows of equal width. The edges of the rectangle are carved with cross pattern incisions and herringbone pattern decorations.
The dimensions of the emerald are 52 x 40 x 12 mm, and the mid-point of each of the four sides of the rectangle has been drilled for attachments, so that the gemstone could be mounted and worn as a talisman, with the Arabic inscriptions facing outwards.
THE HOOKER EMERALD
This is a 75.47 carat, square, inclusion-free Colombian emerald that was originally the property of Abdul Hamid II, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. The emerald was used by the sultan to decorate a belt buckle until it was purchased by Tiffany & Co in 1911 and was made into a brooch. The brooch has 109 round diamonds and twenty baguettes, the combined weight of the diamonds are 13 carats. Mrs Janet Annenberg Hooker (sister of Walter Annenberg) purchased the emerald brooch from Tiffany in 1955 and donated it to the Smithsonian Institute in 1977.
THE SPANISH INQUISITION NECKLACE
Neither the origin nor the name of this necklace can be substantiated. We know that parts of the original necklace are over three hundred years old, and some believe its gemstones to have once belonged to the Spanish royal family. Is 374 diamonds must have come from India as India was the only diamond source at that time. There are 15 emeralds, the largest of which is 45 carats, all of which came from Colombia. According to experts the necklace that exists today was probably created in the twentieth century, judging from its style. The Maharaja of Idore owned the necklace until 1948 when it was purchased by Harry Winston. The necklace became part of the National Gem Collection when it was donated to the Smithsonian Institute by Cora Hubbard Williams in 1972.
THE MACKAY EMERALD
The stunning 167.97-carat Mackay Emerald was mined in Muzo, Colombia.
The largest cut emerald in the National Gem Collection, it is set in an Art Deco diamond and platinum necklace designed by Cartier Inc. In 1931, Clarence H. Mackay presented the necklace as a wedding gift to his wife, Anna Case, a prima donna of the New York Metropolitan Opera from 1909 to 1920. The piece was donated to the Smithsonian Institute by Mrs. Anna Case Mackay in 1984.
THE CHALK EMERALD
With its superb clarity and deep green color, the 37.82-carat Chalk Emerald ranks among the very finest Colombian emeralds.
According to legend, it was once the centerpiece of an emerald and diamond necklace belonging to a maharani of the former state of Baroda in India
It originally weighed 38.40 carats (7.68 g), but was recut and set in a ring, where it is surrounded by sixty pear-shaped diamonds by Harry Winston Inc. The ring was donated to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum by Mr. and Mrs. O. Roy Chalk in 1972.
THE EMERALD UNGUENTARIUM
An enormous twin crystal weighing over 3,000 carats, most probably originated from the Muzo mines of which it bears the deep vivid green color, was purchased by Rudoloph II of Hapsburg in the early 17th century.
In 1641, Emperor Ferdinand III of Austria commissionned the famous gem cutter Dionysio Miseroni to fashion the crystal into an ointment vessel (unguentarium), measuring 8.5 cm in length, 7.2 cm in breadth and 10.9 cm in height.
THE DUKE OF DEVONSHIRE EMERALD
The Duke of Devonshire Emerald, a deep-green crystal weighing 1,384 carats could be the most famous emerald stone in the world.
Extracted from the mines of Muzo (Colombia), it was gifted to William Cavendish, the 6th Duke of Devonshire, by Emperor Don Pedro I of Brazil, in 1831.