Left: Gachala Emerald = Right: Mackay Emerald & Diamond Necklace = = = Beryl (variety: Emerald)

Emerald is the most valuable variety of the mineral beryl. Primarily green, it may also display tints of yellow or blue. Not enough green, and the stone will be classified as green beryl. Too much blue, and it will be called an aquamarine. Thus, the more pure green color the emerald displays, the more valuable it is. Its color is caused by impurity atoms of either chromium or vanadium, which are incorporated into beryl crystals as they grow. The 858 carat uncut Gachala Emerald was found at the Vega de San Juan mine in Gachala, Colombia, in 1967. Rarely are emerald crystals of such size and superb color preserved; they are usually cut into gems. Harry Winston donated the Gachala Emerald to the Smithsonian in 1969. - Weight: 858 carats - Gift: Harry Winston, Inc., 1969 - Locality: Vega de San Juan Mine, Gachala, Colombia = = = Beryl (variety: Emerald) - The stunning Mackay Emerald was mined in Muzo, Colombia. The largest cut emerald in the National Gem Collection, it is set in a pendant of diamonds and platinum and was designed by Cartier. The art deco style necklace was a wedding gift in 1931 from Clarence Mackay to his wife Anna Case Mackay, who was a prima donna at the New York Metropolitan Opera from 1909 to 1920. The emerald weighs 167.97 carats and is set in platinum with 35 emeralds and 2,191 colorless brilliant and step cut diamonds. - Weight: 167.97 carats - Gift: Anna Case Mackay, 1984

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