Colombian Emerald History

EARLY HISTORY Emeralds mined in Colombia have been used for trade and personal adornment throughout much of Middle and South America since pre-Columbian times. When the first Spaniards arrived in the New World in the early 16th century, emeralds were being worshiped, were used in jewelry, and played an important role as sacrificial offerings in […]

Emerald Mining in Colombia

There has been more activity in emerald mining in Colombia in the last few years than at any other time in the four centuries since the Spanish first discovered the deposits. The past, however, has yielded many fabulous gems, the most famous of which are also described here and placed in historical perspective. Few gemstones […]

Smithsonian’s 75-Carat Hooker Emerald Was Once Mounted Into a Sultan’s Belt Buckle

One of the world’s most spectacular examples of May’s official birthstone is the 75.47-carat Hooker Emerald, an historic gem that was once mounted into the belt buckle of an Ottoman sultan. Today, it is beautifully displayed in a platinum brooch adorned with 109 brilliant-cut diamonds weighing approximately 13 carats. When Janet Annenberg Hooker donated the piece […]

The 37.8-Carat ‘Chalk Emerald’ Will Take Your Breath Away

Exhibiting the most highly prized velvety deep green color, the 37.82-carat Chalk Emerald is displayed near the Hope Diamond in the National Gem and Mineral Collection at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. The gem was sourced in the famous emerald-mining area near Muzo, Colombia — a destination widely known as the world […]