In Mughal India emeralds were associated with the fertility of nature and were believed to aid good vision. The Mughals also believed emeralds like other precious gems had strong astrological associations. The present example is accompanied by a report from the Gemological Certification Services, London, numbered 78162-43, dated 14 June 2018, stating that the emerald is of Colombian origin. Such emeralds which were mined in Columbia would have reached India via Spanish merchants as trade goods during the Mughal period. The first emerald mine was at Chivor, discovered in 1555 and another later at Muzo in 1560. Enormous quantities of emeralds were acquired by the Mughals and a strong trade developed with Indian merchants, who purchased the largest and finest quality stones. They were often bestowed by Mughal emperors on deserving courtiers and subjects as a reward for good service to the state.
Comparable examples can be seen in numerous institutions and private collections, notably the Al-Sabah collection, Kuwait (see Keene 2001, pp.111-4, nos.9.1-9.10), the Al-Thani collection (see Jaffer 2013, cat. nos.16 and 17), the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha (inv. no.JE.86.2002), and the British Museum, London (inv. no.2001,0505.6).
A beautiful carved emerald was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite, 3 April 2018, lot 1746.