The biggest emerald in the world is Inkalamu, the Lion Emerald but The Bahia Emerald is consider as largest emerald ever found.
It depends on whether we consider a block composed of several stones or a single crystal.
The biggest emeralds ever found
The Bahia Emerald: 1,700,000 carats
The Bahia Emerald contains one of the largest single shard ever found. The stone, weighing approximately 341 kg or 1,700,000 carats, originated from Bahia, Brazil and is crystals embedded in host rock. It narrowly escaped flooding during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 during a period of storage in a warehouse in New Orleans. There was an ownership dispute after it was reported stolen in September 2008 from a secured vault in South El Monte in Los Angeles County, California. The gem was located and the case and ownership has been settled. The stone has been valued at some $400 million, but the true value is unclear.
A massive 180,000 carats emerald was unearthed recently
A massive 180,000 carats gem was unearthed recently by miners inside the Carnaiba Mine in Brazil. This incredible emerald specimen stands 4.3 feet tall and is valued at approximately $309 million.
The stone was found in an area of Brazil known to produce magnificent gems, the Carnaiba Mine within the state of Pernambuco. The cluster of gems was found 200 meters deep in the mine and required 10 people a full week to extract and lift the cluster to the surface.
This specimen is composed of in total 180,000 carats of emerald beryls. Given the size, rarity and number of crystals, experts estimate that the entire specimen could be worth $309 million.
Inkalamu, the Lion Emerald: 5,655 carats
The world’s biggest ever emerald, weighing 1.1kg and worth an estimated £2m, has been discovered in a mine in Zambia. The 5,655 carats gem was found by mining company Gemfields at Kagem, the world’s largest emerald mine, on October 2, 2020. It has been named Inkalamu, which means lion in the local Bemba language. Gemfields said only the rarest and most precious stones are given names. A Bemba name was chosen in honor of the mining company’s conservation work.
The Emerald Unguentarium: 2,860 carats
The Emerald Unguentarium, a 2,860 ct (20.18 oz) emerald vase carved in 1641, is on display in the Imperial Treasury, Vienna, Austria.
The Sacred Emerald Buddha: 2,620 carats
Carved from a 3,600 ct Zambian emerald in 2006, the Sacred Emerald Buddha statue weighs 2,620 ct.
The representation of Siddhartha Gautama is one of the largest carved gems in the world. He was depicted in a standard mudra position that is traditionally associated with an admonition to his family members (the sangha or priesthood) to stop quarrelling among themselves.
Weighing in at 2,620 carats, it has a lovely bluish green hue (due to impurities of chromium and vanadium), to me the best color for an emerald, and is relatively free of inclusions. It is very rare for such quality rough to have any other fate than being chopped up into faceted gems, so the decision the company took to carve it was a brave one. It was carved and polished by a master jade sculptor called Aung Nyein, originally from Burma but resident in Thailand.
The Guinness Emerald Crystal: 1,759 carats
The Guinness Emerald Crystal discovered in the Coscuez emerald mines is one of the largest gem-quality emerald crystals in the world, and is the largest emerald crystal in the collection of crystal belonging to the Banco Nacionale de la Republica in Bogota, the capital city of Colombia. The origin of the name Guinness is not known, but the elongated, 1759-carat, bright green crystal undoubtedly had all the credentials to enter the Guinness book of world records as the biggest gem-quality gem in the world at least for some years until it was surpassed by other larger natural emerald crystals.
The 1,686.3 carats LKA and 1,438 carats Stephenson emeralds
Nature plots to create something truly heart-stopping in its grandeur. The 1,686.3 carats LKA and 1,438 carats Stephenson emeralds discovered in 1984 and 1969 respectively within the Hiddenite area are among the world’s most spectacular stones, but distinguished gemologists esteem these two enormous, natural stones of astonishing crystal ranked amongst the largest emeralds ever found in the world: The LKA and Stephenson.
Mim Emerald: 1,390 carats
A Large, di-hexagonal prismatic crystal of 1,390 carats uncut with a beautiful deep green color. It is transparent and features few inclusions in the upper 2/3, and is translucent in the lower part. Housed at the Mim Museum, Beirut, Lebanon.
Duke of Devonshire Emerald: 1,383.93 carats
The Duke of Devonshire Emerald is one of the world’s largest and most famous uncut gems, weighing 1,383.93 carats. Originating in the mine at Muzo, Colombia, it was either gifted or sold by Emperor Pedro I of Brazil to William Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire in 1831. It was displayed at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851, and more recently at the Natural History Museum in 2007
The Isabella Emerald: 964 carats
The Isabella Emerald, a 964 carats cut stone, is owned by Archeological Discovery Ventures, LLC.
Isabella Emerald gets its name from Queen Isabella of Portugal, the queen consort of King Charles V (1516 to 1556), the Holy Roman Emperor, the King of Spain, and Archduke of Austria, who inherited a vast empire extending across Europe, from Spain and the Netherlands to Austria and the Kingdom of Naples, and also the overseas territories of Spanish America. Queen Isabella coveted the crystal and longed to possess it, after hearing glowing accounts of the stone from Hernan Cortez, in a letter written to her from Mexico. The gem known as the mystical “Emerald of Judgment” was presented to Cortez, by Montezuma II, the King of the Aztec Kingdom, at the time Cortez entered the city of Tenochtitlan with his troops on November 8, 1519. Hernan Cortez named the gemstone in honor of Queen Isabella, the Queen consort of Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor and the King of Spain.
The Gachalá Emerald: 858 carats
The Gachalá Emerald, one of the most valuable and famous emeralds in the world, was found in the year 1967, in the mine called Vega de San Juan, located in Gachala, a town in Colombia, located 142 km from Bogota. Gachalá Chibcha means “place of Gacha.” Nowadays the crystal is in the United States, where it was donated to the Smithsonian Institution by the New York City jeweler, Harry Winston.
The Patricia Emerald: 632 carats
The Patricia is a large and superbly colored specimen. At 632 carats, the dihexagonal, or twelve-sided, crystal is considered one of the great emeralds in the world. Found in Colombia in 1920, it was named after the mine owner’s daughter.
The flaws in this crystal are normal but compromise the hard gem’s durability. This specimen is one of the very few large emeralds that have been preserved uncut. Today, Colombia is still the world’s major source of emeralds.
The Mogul Mughal Emerald: 217.80 carats
The Mogul Mughal Emerald is one of the largest emeralds known. Auction house Christie’s described it as:
The rectangular-cut emerald known as The Mogul Mughal weighing 217.80 carats, the obverse engraved with Shi’a invocations in elegant naskh script, dated 1107 A.H., the reverse carved all over with foliate decoration, the central rosette flanked by single large poppy flowers, with a line of three smaller poppy flowers either side, the beveled edges carved with cross pattern incisions and herringbone decoration, each of the four sides drilled for attachments, 5.2 * 4.0 * 4.0 cm.
Originally mined in Colombia, it was sold in India, where the stones were much desired by the rulers of the Mughal Empire. The Mogul Mughal is unique among Mughal crystals in bearing a date – 1107 A.H. (1695-1696 AD) – which is within the reign of Aurangzeb, the sixth emperor. However, the Mughal rulers were Sunni, whereas the inscription, a heterodox Salawat dedicated to Hassan ibn Ali and Husayn ibn Ali also known as Nad e Ali, is Shi’a, making it likely that it belonged not to Aurangzeb, but to one of his courtiers or officers.
It was sold on 27 September 2001 by Christie’s for £1,543,750, including buyer’s premium. As of 17 December 2008, it was in the possession of the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar.
The Carolina Emperor: 64 carats
The 64.82 carat Carolina Emperor is placing the foothills of NC on the map! This famous North Carolina Emerald was said to be inspired by a similar piece of jewelry that was owned by Catherine the Great. The empress owned a gorgeous hexagonal shaped Colombian emerald with diamonds surrounding the emerald on a brooch that sold at a Christie’s auction for over $1.65 million. The Carolina Emperor, found locally in Hiddenite, NC, was purchased last year and has now recently been donated to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, NC. The grandest part of all this is that the benefactor has asked to remain anonymous. The exhibit at the museum is said to have three uncut crystals. The largest of these stones weighing 1,225 carats is a desired blue green color that could be compared to the highly sought after Muzo gemstones.
Emerald of Saint Louis: 51.60 carats
The Saint-Louis emerald that adorned the crown of the Kings of France comes from Austria mines as well as most ancient European emeralds. These mines were productive until the 19th century, almost until the discovery of the Urals deposits in 1830.
The Chalk Emerald: 37.82 carats
The royal rulers of Baroda State, a princely state in India, once owned the stone. It was the centerpiece of an emerald and diamond necklace worn by the Maharani Saheba, who passed it down to her son, the Maharajah Cooch Behar.
In the 20th century, the gem was recut from its original weight of 38.40 carats (7.680 g) and set in a ring designed by Harry Winston, Inc., where it is surrounded by sixty pear-shaped diamonds, totaling approximately 15 carats. The ring was donated by Mr. and Mrs. O. Roy Chalk to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in 1972 and is part of the Smithsonian‘s National Gem and Mineral Collection.
- A 7,052 carats uncut crystal from Colombia, privately owned and considered priceless.
- A 1,965 carats uncut Russian stone, on display at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
- A 1,861.90-ct carats uncut and unnamed gemstone from Hiddenite, NC, privately owned. Discovered in 2003, this is currently the largest known emerald discovered in North America.
- Five unnamed large crystals from Muzo, Colombia, stored in the vault of the Bank of the Republic of Colombia, weigh from 220 carats to 1,796 carats.
- Fred Leighton sold a 430 carats carved Mughal stone for several million dollars.
- he al-Sabah Collection from Kuwait features many beautiful stone, including a 398 carats crystal in hexagonal form and a 235 carats crystal bead.
- A crystal, gold and enamel 17th-century Mughal wine cup 7 cm sold at Christie’s for £1.79 million in 2003.
- A 161.20 carats carved Mughal stone fetched $1.09 million at Christie’s in 1999.
The world’s largest fake emerald
Teodora: 57,500 carats
The 11.5-kilogram green rock was billed as the world’s biggest emerald and dubbed Teodora, a name that derives from Greek and means “gift from god.”
The gemstone, however, may not quite be the $1-million-plus stone its purported owner Regan Reaney promoted it as.
Mr. Reaney was arrested on January 2012 in Kelowna in the B.C. interior, as Royal Canadian Mounted Police took him into custody. Mr. Reaney is accused of multiple fraud offenses in Ontario, the RCMP said in a brief statement, and Hamilton Police had outstanding warrants for his arrest.
Mr. Reaney wasn’t previously known to Kelowna police, but he did not feel the instinct to keep a low profile. He had a watermelon-sized precious gem to sell, after all.
In fact, it was a real beryl, but it was dyed.
The world’s largest emerald: FAQ
How much is the world’s largest emerald worth?
The world’s biggest gem ever found uncovered in a single shard, the Bahia Emerald weighs approximately 1.7 million carats, or 752 lbs. It was discovered in the Bahia region of eastern Brazil. The huge stone, which currently sits in a vault in Los Angeles, could be worth as much as $925 million.
Who owns the world’s largest emerald?
The world’s biggest ever found crystal, weighing 1.1 Kg and worth an estimated £2m, has been discovered in a mine in Zambia. The 5,655 carats gem was found by mining company Gemfields at Kagem, the world’s biggest emerald mine, on October 2, 2020.