The World’s Largest Emeralds


Emerald is notorious for growing extremely large.  These examples are some of the world’s largest emeralds! If you know of something missing from the list, please contact us.

675px-IMG_0117_-_Wien_-_Schatzkammer_-_2860-carat_Columbian_Emerald
“Emerald Vessel, 2860-carat, Imperial Treasury, Vienna Austria” by Andrew Bossi. Licensed under CC By-SA 2.5

The Largest Named Emeralds

The Emerald Unguentarium

The “Emerald Unguentarium,” a 2,860-carat (20.18 oz) emerald vase carved in 1641, is on display in the Imperial Treasury, Vienna, Austria.

1492

Thomas Richard McPhee’s statue, “1492,” consists of a 1,550-carat carved emerald (10.94 oz) and 50 carats of diamond. It’s valued at $1.5 million and on display at The Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburg, PA.

The Guinness Emerald Crystal

The “Guinness Emerald Crystal” is a 1,759-carat (12.4 oz) uncut emerald from the Cosquez mines in Colombia. It’s also part of the collection of the Bank of The Republic of Colombia.

The Duke of Devonshire

The “Duke of Devonshire,” a 1,383.93-carat (9.76 oz) uncut emerald from Muzo, Colombia, now resides in “The Vault” at the Natural History Museum, London, UK.

The Isabella Emerald

The “Isabella Emerald,” a 964-carat (6.80 oz) cut emerald, is owned by A.D. Adventures Inc., West Palm Beach, FL.

The Gachalá Emerald

The “Gachalá Emerald,” an 858-carat (6.05 oz) uncut emerald from Colombia, is in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

The Empress Caroline

The “Empress Caroline,” an 858-carat (6.05 oz) uncut emerald from Hiddenite, NC, is privately owned.

The Patricia Emerald

The “Patricia Emerald,” discovered in Colombia in 1920 and named after the mine owner’s daughter, is a 632-carat (4.46 oz) uncut emerald. It resides in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

The Mogul Mughal Emerald

The “Mogul Mughal Emerald,” a 217.80-carat (1.54 oz) carved emerald, was sold at Christie’s for $2.2 million in 2001. It now resides in the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar.

The Sacred Emerald Buddha

The “Sacred Emerald Buddha,” a 2,620-carat (18.48 oz) emerald statue, was carved from a 3,600-carat (25.4 oz) African emerald crystal in 2006.

Sacred Emerald Buddha - World's Largest Emeralds

Unnamed Emeralds

  • A 7,052-carat (3.1 lb.) uncut emerald crystal from Colombia is privately owned and considered priceless.
  • A 1,965-carat (13.9 oz) uncut Russian emerald is on display at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History.
  • A 1,861.90-carat (13.13 oz) uncut and unnamed emerald from Hiddenite, NC, is privately owned. Discovered in 2003, this is currently the largest known emerald discovered in North America.
  • Five unnamed large emerald crystals from Muzo, Colombia are stored in the vault of the Bank of The Republic of Colombia. They weigh from 220 carats (1.55 oz) to 1,796 carats (12.67 oz).
  • Fred Leighton Jewelers sold a 430-carat (3.03 oz) carved Mughal emerald for several million dollars.
  • The al-Sabah Collection from Kuwait features many beautiful emeralds, including a 398-carat (2.79 oz) emerald in hexagonal form and a 235-carat (1.66 oz) emerald bead.
  • An emerald, gold and enamel 17th-century Mughal wine cup (7 cm) was sold at Christie’s for £1.79 million in 2003.
  • A 161.20-carat (1.14 oz) carved Mughal emerald fetched $1.09 million at Christie’s in 1999.

More of the World’s Largest Emeralds

The Bahia Emerald

The Bahia Emerald is an 840 lb. stone discovered in Bahia, Brazil, in 2001. This stone reportedly contains over 180,000 carats of emeralds (approximately 79.38 lb.), including the largest single shard of emerald ever found, described as “the size of a man’s thigh”. The events and personalities involved with this gemstone since its discovery have inspired much speculation, and its ownership is currently in dispute.

The LKA and Stephenson Emeralds

When the “LKA Emerald” was unearthed in 1984 in the Hiddenite area of North Carolina, it was considered the largest intact emerald found in North America. At 1,686.3 carats, it currently ranks as the 2nd largest. The name “LKA” comes from the company that owned the mine at the time. The “Stephenson Emerald,” found in the same region in 1969, weighs 1,438 cts. It, too, was considered the largest North American emerald until the discovery of the LKA emerald. This stone was named after John A. D. Stephenson, a 19th century researcher of Hiddenite area gems. Both of these gems were displayed in the American Museum of Natural History in the 1990s and are currently for sale.

LKA and Stephenson - largest emeralds
The “LKA Emerald (left)” and the “Stephenson Emerald” (Right). Before being named after John A. D. Stephenson, this stone was known as the “Finger Emerald,” after its discover, Michael “Butch” Finger. © Tony Wright, www.emeraldsrare.com. Used with permission.

About the author
Jeffery Bergman, SSEF, SGC
Jeffery Bergman, SSEF, SGC, founder and director of Primagem in Thailand, is an American gem dealer with more than 40 years of experience in gemstone and fine jewelry mining, cutting, wholesaling and retailing. His career has taken him to more than 50 countries and every continent except Antarctica. He has appeared on the BBC, CNN, NBC, ABC and GEO; and has been featured in Time, USA Today, National Geographic, Gems & Gemology and Discovery Channel magazine. He is a regular guest speaker at gem lab seminars and gemological association conferences and universities.
All articles by this author