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(The Chalk Emerald Ring; image courtesy of Pinterest)
Experts explained that the cost of emeralds were much higher in India than in Europe. These gems were rare and came from Columbia by way of Spanish traders in the 1550s. Columbian emeralds were regarded the finest in the world and were to be found around Muzo and Chivor, Colombia.
Legend has it; the Chalk Emerald was once the centre of attraction fitted onto a diamond and emerald necklace owned by a Maharani of the former princely state of Baroda, which was ruled by the Gaekwads between the early 18th century and mid-20th century; when India got her independence.
The precious stone has a distinctive Columbian green hue and previously weighed 38.4 carats. Then it found its way into the possession of American jeweller, Harry Winston, who designed a gold ring specifically for this Columbian emerald. Mr. Winston had the stone recut to 37.82 carats and set in platinum and gold. The emerald stone is surrounded by pear shaped diamonds that are a dazzling 60 in number and weigh 15 carats in all.
This ring was then bought by Mr. Oscar Roy Chalk; a rich New York entrepreneur, as a gift for his wife Mrs. Claire Chalk after whom the ring is named the Chalk Emerald Ring.
(New York entrepreneur Oscar Roy Chalk on the right; image courtesy of Flickr)
In 1972 the couple donated the Chalk Emerald Ring to the Smithsonian. To this day the ring is on display as a part of the National Gem and Mineral Collection at the National Museum of Natural History in America; which belongs to the Smithsonian Institution’s group of museums.