Nuestra Señora de Atocha (1622)
A natural, hexagonal emerald crystal. The Spanish discovered emeralds in Colombia in 1536, during the conquest of South America. Emeralds were highly prized gems, and mines quickly established by the Spanish, adding another facet to an almost unbelievable array of New World treasures controlled by that nation. Colombian emeralds quickly became both a standard trade item and a popular statement of wealth mounted in rings, crosses, necklaces, belts, and caps. As a natural consequence of their commanding value and portability, a clandestine market in emeralds evolved, well- evidenced by the fact that the cache of 6,000 loose and uncut emeralds on the Atocha site was not declared on the ship's manifest. The Atocha emeralds are from the Muzo region of central Colombia, an area that even today produces some of the finest emeralds in the world.
2.5 cm H x 2.7 cm L , Item (Overall)