In this post we will be looking at the five most expensive Emeralds in the world. As one of the big four gemstones, Emeralds have been highly desirable for centuries and are still very much sought after today. Every Emerald on this list is an extremely rare and fine example but as you will see, they do not achieve the same level of prices as the other big four gemstones.
Weight: 378.22 Carats
Sale: Christie’s, Geneva, 14th May 2008
Sale Price USD: $4.3 Million
Sale Price GBP: £2.2 Million
The most extravagant piece on this list and possibly every blog post I will ever write. Set with one of the largest Emeralds to ever be sold, weighing an incredible 378.22 carats, a yellow diamond weighing 40.43 carats and six colourless diamonds weighing over 75 carats. The $4.3 million sale price was also a world record price, beating the previous record by over $1.5 million.
Weight: 46.52 Carats
Sale: Christie’s, Hong Kong, 28th May 2019
Sale Price USD: $4.4 Million
Sale Price GBP: £3.5 Million
In May 2019, one of the finest pairs of Colombian Emerald earrings were auctioned at the Christie’s auction in Hong Kong. Weighing in at 23.34 and 23.18 respectively, the accompanying SSEF and AGL lab reports say that both Emeralds were of Colombian origin with no enhancements. Both earrings are set with additional matching 3.01 carat F/VS2 Cushion Cut Diamonds. While not a world record price, the $4.4 million sale price made them the most expensive Emeralds sold in 2019.
Weight: 61.35 Carats
Sale: Sotheby’s, New York, 11th December 2013
Sale Price USD: $4.6 Million
Sale Price GBP: £2.8 Million
In December 2013 one of the finest large emeralds to ever come up for sale was sold at Sotheby’s in New York. The 61 carat, modified square cut stone was set in a ring with approximately 17 carats of mixed marquise and pear cut diamonds. The accompanying AGL report states that the emerald is of Colombian origin and only minimal clarity enhancement.
Weight: 18.04 Carats
Sale: Christie’s, New York, 20th June 2017
Sale Price USD: $5.5 Million
Sale Price GBP: £4.3 Million
When the Rockefeller Emerald came to auction in 2017, many people believed that it could become the most expensive emerald ever sold but it was not to be. The emerald was originally in a Van Cleef & Arpels brooch that was purchased by John D. Rockefeller in 1930 as a gift for his wife Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. Following her passing in 1948, Rockefeller instructed his favourite jeweller Raymond Yard to disassemble the brooch and the emeralds were distributed between their children. It was David Rockefeller who received the 18.04 carat Colombian emerald and he entrusted Yard to mount the stunning gemstone in a platinum ring with diamonds. The emerald was assessed by the American Gemological Laboratories who said:
‘the opinion of the Laboratory that the origin of this emerald would be classified as Classic Colombia, clarity enhancement: none; also stating that ‘the unusual combination of size, provenance, absence of treatment and quality factors present in this material contributes favorably to its rarity and desirability’
Weight: 23.46 Carats
Sale: Christie’s, New York, 13th December 2011
Sale Price USD: $6.5 Million
Sale Price GBP: £4.2 Million
The most expensive emerald ever sold was part of the Elizabeth Taylor collection that went on sale in December 2011 and created a lot of excitement in the world of luxury jewellery. It was the emerald set by famous jewellers Bvlgari that was one of the stars of the show and it was the brooch that became a record breaker. Set with a 23.46 carat Colombian emerald with minimal enhancement and twelve pear cut diamonds in platinum. The stunning craftsmanship of this piece meant that it could be worn as a brooch or as a pendant on the matching emerald and diamond necklace. It will take a very special stone to beat this as the world’s most expensive emerald.
All prices were calculated using the historical exchange rate tool on xe.com from the sale price that was found on the websites of the respective auction houses. We would like to thank Sotheby’s and Christie’s for the images that we used in this post.