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6 Most Expensive Emerald Jewellery In The World

by Madonna

Emeralds have captivated humanity for thousands of years with their vivid green hue and legendary associations with immortality, rebirth, and prosperity. The allure of this precious gemstone is evident in some of the most extravagant pieces of jewelry ever created. This article explores the world of the most expensive emerald jewelry, delving into their history, craftsmanship, and the extraordinary stories behind them.

The Green Fascination

Emeralds have been cherished since ancient times. The earliest known emerald mines were in Egypt, dating back to at least 330 BC, where the gemstone was a favorite of Cleopatra. The Incas and Aztecs of South America also valued emeralds, using them in religious ceremonies and as symbols of wealth.


The discovery of the New World brought the famed Colombian emeralds to the attention of Europe. These stones, renowned for their exceptional quality and color, quickly became the standard of excellence for emeralds. The Spanish Conquistadors were particularly enchanted by the richness of Colombian emeralds, leading to extensive mining in regions like Muzo, Coscuez, and Chivor.


What Makes an Emerald Valuable?

The value of an emerald is determined by several factors:



The most critical factor in an emerald’s value is its color. The finest emeralds exhibit a pure green to a bluish-green hue with vivid saturation. The color should be evenly distributed without any noticeable color zoning.


Unlike diamonds, emeralds typically contain inclusions, often referred to as “jardin” (French for garden) due to their mossy appearance. While a certain level of inclusions is acceptable and even expected, the highest-quality emeralds are relatively free of visible inclusions that can affect transparency and brilliance.


The cut of an emerald is essential for showcasing its color and minimizing the visibility of inclusions. The most common cut for emeralds is the rectangular step cut, also known as the emerald cut, which helps to enhance the stone’s color and provide a classic, elegant appearance.

Carat Weight

Larger emeralds are rarer and thus more valuable. However, the other quality factors (color, clarity, and cut) significantly influence the price per carat.

The Most Expensive Emerald Jewelry in the World

1.The Rockefeller Emerald

One of the most famous and valuable emeralds in the world is the Rockefeller Emerald. This extraordinary gemstone weighs 18.04 carats and is of Colombian origin. The emerald was purchased by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in 1930, and it remained in the Rockefeller family until it was sold at a Christie’s auction in 2017 for a staggering $5.5 million, setting a record price per carat for an emerald at $305,000.

2.The Stotesbury Emerald

The Stotesbury Emerald is a magnificent 34.40-carat Colombian emerald with a storied history. It was once owned by Evalyn Walsh McLean, the last private owner of the Hope Diamond, and later by the socialite Eva Stotesbury. The emerald has been set in various pieces of jewelry over the years, including a Cartier brooch. Its current whereabouts are unknown, but its value is estimated to be in the millions of dollars.

3.The Duke of Devonshire Emerald

The Duke of Devonshire Emerald is one of the largest and most famous uncut emeralds in the world, weighing an astonishing 1,383.93 carats. This emerald is part of the Devonshire Collection and was given to the 6th Duke of Devonshire by Emperor Dom Pedro I of Brazil in 1831. While not set in jewelry, its immense size and historical significance make it one of the most valuable emeralds in existence.

4.The Elizabeth Taylor Emerald Brooch

Elizabeth Taylor, a renowned actress and jewelry collector, owned some of the world’s most exquisite gems. One of her prized possessions was an emerald and diamond brooch given to her by Richard Burton. The brooch features a stunning 23.46-carat Colombian emerald. In 2011, the brooch was sold at a Christie’s auction for $6.5 million, making it one of the most expensive emerald pieces ever sold.

5.The Grand Duchess Vladimir Suite

This magnificent suite of emerald jewelry belonged to Grand Duchess Vladimir of Russia. The suite includes a tiara, necklace, and earrings, all featuring large, high-quality Colombian emeralds. The tiara alone contains fifteen cabochon emeralds, each weighing approximately 25 carats. After the Russian Revolution, the suite was smuggled out of Russia and sold to various private collectors. Its estimated value is over $10 million.

6.The Chalk Emerald Ring

The Chalk Emerald is a remarkable 37.82-carat Colombian emerald set in a platinum ring surrounded by sixty pear-shaped diamonds. The emerald was once owned by Maharani Saheba of Baroda, who wore it as a necklace before it was recut and set in its current ring setting by Harry Winston. The ring was donated to the Smithsonian Institution by Mr. and Mrs. O. Roy Chalk in 1972, where it remains on display. The ring’s estimated value is several million dollars.

The Craftsmanship Behind Expensive Emerald Jewelry

Creating high-end emerald jewelry requires exceptional skill and artistry. Here are some aspects of the craftsmanship involved:

Design and Planning

The design process begins with a thorough evaluation of the emerald’s qualities, including its color, clarity, and cut. Designers create sketches and 3D models to visualize the final piece, ensuring that the emerald’s beauty is maximized.


The setting of an emerald is crucial in protecting the stone and enhancing its appearance. Emeralds are softer than diamonds and can be prone to chipping. Thus, the setting must be designed to provide adequate support while allowing light to enter the stone and showcase its color. Common settings include prong settings, bezel settings, and halo settings.


The metal used in emerald jewelry is typically high-quality gold or platinum. Skilled artisans meticulously shape and polish the metal to create a seamless and elegant design that complements the emerald.

Accent Stones

Diamonds are often used as accent stones in emerald jewelry to add sparkle and contrast. The placement and size of these accent stones are carefully considered to enhance the overall design without overshadowing the emerald.

Finishing Touches

The final steps include polishing the piece to a high shine and conducting a thorough quality check to ensure that every detail is perfect. The result is a stunning piece of jewelry that showcases the emerald’s beauty and craftsmanship.

See Also: What Changes After Wearing an Emerald Ring?

The Investment Value of Emerald Jewelry

Emerald jewelry, especially pieces featuring high-quality, rare emeralds, can be a valuable investment. The prices of emeralds have steadily increased over the years, driven by demand from collectors and investors. Factors such as the emerald’s origin, historical significance, and the reputation of the jeweler can significantly impact its investment value.

Market Trends

The market for emerald jewelry is robust, with consistent demand from collectors and connoisseurs. Auctions of exceptional emerald pieces often fetch record-breaking prices, indicating the gemstone’s enduring appeal and value.

Rarity and Supply

High-quality emeralds, particularly those from Colombia, are becoming increasingly rare. The limited supply and growing demand contribute to the rising prices and investment potential of emerald jewelry.

Preservation and Care

To maintain the value of emerald jewelry, proper care and preservation are essential. Emeralds should be stored separately to avoid scratches and cleaned gently with mild soap and water. Regular inspections by a professional jeweler can help ensure that the setting remains secure and the emerald retains its brilliance.


Emeralds have enchanted humanity for millennia with their captivating green hue and legendary allure. The most expensive emerald jewelry in the world showcases not only the beauty of these precious gemstones but also the extraordinary craftsmanship and history behind each piece. From the Rockefeller Emerald to the Grand Duchess Vladimir Suite, these exceptional jewels represent the pinnacle of luxury and investment value. As demand for high-quality emeralds continues to grow, these stunning pieces are likely to remain highly sought after by collectors and investors alike.


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