The World’s Most Expensive Emeralds

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 to 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.

In of our most expensive series, we only look at singular stones, we will be creating special posts for the most expensive earrings and necklaces.

5) A Rare and Impressive Emerald and Diamond Ring

Weight: 35.72
Sale: Sotheby’s, Hong Kong, 7th October 2014
Sale Price USD: $4.3 Million
Sale Price GBP: £2.7 Million

The step cut, 35.72 carat Emerald was sold at the the Christie’s Hong Kong auction in october 2014. The emerald is set in platinum mount with high quality brilliant cut diamonds. The stone comes from the Muzo region of Columbia, which is famed for producing the finest emeralds. What makes this emerald so rare is not only the size but the high clarity and lack of enhancements. The word impressive is a fitting word for this emerald. The Gubelin certificate appendix states:

‘This emerald possessed a saturated and homogeneous colour, combined with an exceptional degree of transparency…Colombian emeralds of this size and possessing such a high quality with a complete absence of any clarity enhancement are very rare.’

4) Emerald and Diamond Brooch

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 ever 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.

3) Magnificent Emerald and Diamond Ring

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 diamond. The accompanying AGL report states that the emerald is of Columbian origin and only minimal clarity enhancement. It is the largest emerald in the top five and is a truly magnificent gemstone.

2) The Rockefeller Emerald

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. It’s is nearly as impressive as the stone itself, 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 columbian emerald and he entrusted Yard to mount the stunning gemstone in a platinum ring with diamonds. The emerald was certified 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’

1) Elizabeth Taylor Brooch by Bvlgari

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 Columbian 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.