7: The Rockefeller Emerald: Size, provenance, rarity and desirability
From the age of Cleopatra — who is said to have commissioned an emerald carved with her image as a gift for Julius Caesar — through to the Romanov tsars, the Mughals and British royalty, no jewellery collection has been considered to be complete without a selection of impressive emeralds.
In June 2017, Christie’s offered a gem-quality emerald of 18.04 carats that belonged to the Rockefeller family. Gifted to David Rockefeller by his father upon the death of his mother, the stone was set in a beautiful diamond ring designed by Raymond C. Yard in 1948.
Described by the American Gemological Laboratory as ‘exceptional’ and possessing an ‘unusual combination of size, provenance, absence of treatment and quality factors that contribute favourably to its rarity and desirability’, the Rockefeller Emerald was purchased for $5,511,500. At $305,516 per carat, it broke the price-per-carat world record previously held by a Bulgari emerald brooch from The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor.
The day after the auction, a representative for Harry Winston announced that the firm was ‘immensely proud to own the finest emerald in the world, which once belonged to one of America’s most important dynasties’.
Content courtesy: Christie’s