Mughal emerald likely to fetch £1m

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The Independent Online

A spectacular Mogul emerald is expected to fetch more than £1m next month when it is offered for sale at auction by Christie's in London.

The vivid green, rectangular-cut jewel, which originates from Colombia, measures 2x1.5in. It is inscribed with a Shia prayer and is believed to date from AD1695-96, in the reign of Emperor Aurangzeb, one of the last Mogul rulers.

"As one of the best emeralds anyone knows of, it was clearly made for someone of huge importance. It would have been particularly difficult to carve because emerald is a very soft stone, and can easily break," said David Warren, head of Christie's jewellery department.

He thought the 217.80-carat gem, being offered in Christie's Arts of India sale on September 27 by an anonymous vendor, would most probably be bought by a museum.