The Rockefeller Emerald

John D. Rockefeller Jr. acquired the jewel in 1930

By Kate Samuelson
June 20, 2017

An 18.04 carat Colombian emerald once owned by the Rockefeller family could sell for as much as $6 million at Christie’s Magnificent Jewel auction in New York Tuesday.

According to Christie’s, John D. Rockefeller Jr. first acquired the octagonal step-cut emerald in 1930 to form part of a brooch for his wife, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. When Abby died in 1948, individual emeralds from the brooch were distributed among the Rockefeller children. The central emerald — the one being auctioned— was given to David Rockefeller, who had it mounted on a ring.

The emerald is expected to sell for between $4 million and $6 million.

The American Gemological Laboratories (AGL) describes the jewel as “exceptional,” adding that it’s an “unusual combination of size, provenance, absence of treatment and quality factors [that contribute] favorably to its rarity and desirability.”

The name it’s attached to is also a major selling point.

“The Rockefellers are like American royalty,” Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s International Head of Jewellery, in a statement. “The provenance will also add a lot more to the emerald than just what it’s worth.”


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