Grading

An Important Group of Emerald Specimens Is Coming to NYC

GradingAug 15, 2019

An Important Group of Emerald Specimens Is Coming to NYC

“Magnificent Emeralds: Fura’s Tears” will run at the Wilensky gallery in Manhattan this fall, showcasing 25 exceptional emerald examples.

This specimen, showing emerald on calcite, is from the Coscuez Mine in Boyaca, Columbia, one of several found over a short period of time in the 1990s. The mineral is currently in the collection of Stephen Smale.

New York—The Wilensky gallery is bringing another set of exceptional minerals to New York City, this time a group of fine emerald specimens.

This fall, the Chelsea gallery will host “Magnificent Emeralds: Fura’s Tears,” comprising what it calls the world’s largest gathering of important emerald specimens.

There will be 25 emeralds on display, most on loan from private collectors and a select few available for sale.

Running from Sept. 28 through Dec. 30, “Fura’s Tears” references emerald’s ancient origin myth.  

According to the Muzo people of Colombia, Fura and Tena were the first woman and man created. They were granted all the necessary knowledge to survive as well as eternal youth, but only if they were faithful to each other.


Emeralds most often form as individual crystals rather than groups or sprays, as is seen in this specimen. Unearthed in 1992 in the Coscuez Mine in Muzo, this specimen features 20 emerald crystals fanning out across a whitish calcite matrix. It’s currently in the collection of the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals.The story goes that Fura broke the rule one day with a man named Zarbi, putting an end to their eternal youth. Angered, her husband stabbed himself with a dagger and laid on Fura’s knees until he bled to death.

Fura cried for centuries for Tena, according to the legend, and her tears were said to have transformed into the emerald mountains in Colombia, which today go by the names Fura and Tena and form the crucial part of the emerald mining area in the country.

Highlights of “Fura’s Tears” will include an emerald on calcite from the Muzo mine that formerly was in the collection of James Horner, the American composer responsible for musical scores in movies like “Titanic” and “Avatar,” who was an avid collector.

The matrix emerald has a deep, rich color and a large double terminated crystal—meaning it has two naturally faceted ends—that sits on top of a complete white to clear calcite crystal.

There also is an emerald on calcite from Oregon’s Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals unearthed in Muzo. It displays a rare group, or spray, of emeralds—more than 20 emerald crystals fan out from the matrix.


This emerald matrix, formerly in the collection of composer James Horner, is “the matrix emerald that all others are measured against,” according to the Wilensky gallery in

New York. Horner reportedly paid $1.2 million for it in 2000.

“This exhibition is focused on natural emeralds, as found and preserved in specimen and crystal form. By bringing together many of the world’s finest known examples of natural emerald specimens, we can better understand all emerald specimens,” said Wilensky President Stuart Wilensky.

“Magnificent Emeralds: Fura’s Tears” will run from Sept. 26 to Dec. 30, Monday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Wilensky, 173 10th Avenue, New York, NY, 10011.

The opening event will be held on Thursday, Sept. 26 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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