The biggest emerald in the world is the Gachala Emerald. It weighs 858 carats. It was discovered in the Vega de San Juan mine in Columbia in 1967. The emerald is currently in the Smithsonian Institution in the US.
Facts about Emeralds
Emeralds are precious gems known for their deep green color. Traditionally, it is the birthstone for individuals born in the month of May. Flawless emeralds are very expensive, as most of these gems have some flaws. The flaws occur due to the way the gem is created.
Various types of emeralds can be found throughout the Middle East. However, most of them are mined in Columbia, where the biggest emerald in the world was found.
But the use of the gemstone as jewelry dates back thousands of years in the Middle East. There are even accounts of Cleopatra stating emeralds are the greatest of all gems. There is also evidence that the ancient rulers of India valued the emerald greatly. There are several relics showing Indian rulers with large collections of emeralds.
The Mogul Emerald
At 200 carats, it is not as large as the Gachala Emerald, but it is equally well known. The precious gem was bought at Christie’s in 2001 for over $2 million by an unknown buyer.
Emeralds register a hardness of 7.5 on the Mobs scale. However, they are actually quite brittle and can break easily. It is for this reason that commercially available emeralds have resin coating. The resin will keep the stone from getting damaged.
Flaws in Emeralds
As stated, flaws are extremely common in emeralds. These are referred to as jardins (French for garden). The term was chosen because the flaws seem to naturally appear due to the way the stone is formed.
Emeralds with small flaws are costly. Those with large flaws are cheaper. If the flaws are extensive, the luminosity will be affected. It will make the gem look like a jade. A top notch emerald will sell for thousands of dollars. Greatly flawed emeralds will cost you only a few hundred dollars.
Emerald clarity is rated form i1 to i9, with i1 being the clearest. Many people do not mind emeralds with i4 ratings, as the flaws are visible only through magnification.
Because mining for precious stones is an ongoing process, it may be a matter of time before a gem as big as the Gachala, the biggest emerald in the world, is found.