Harry Winston buys Rockefeller Emerald

Image courtesy of Christie's.

Image courtesy of Christie's.

A new price-per-carat record for an emerald has been set by the star of Christie’s June 20 Magnificent Jewels sale in New York.

The 18.04ct Colombian gem dubbed the Rockefeller Emerald sold for $5.5 million - appropriately enough at Christie’s Rockefeller Center location. At $305,000 per carat, it’s no surprise that Christie’s described it as "among the finest emeralds to be offered for sale at auction".

The buyer was American jewelry house Harry Winston, who will likely transform the jewel into a new piece.

The stone was originally purchased by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1930, set into a brooch worn by his wife Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. Upon her death in 1948 the emerald was passed to her youngest son, David Rockefeller. He chose to give the stone to legendary jeweler Raymond C. Yard, who created its current setting.

Image courtesy of Christie's.

Image courtesy of Christie's.

Previously the record was held by a 23.46 carat emerald and diamond pendant brooch, owned by Elizabeth Taylor, that fetched $6.6 million ($280,000 per carat) at Christie’s in 2011.

I got a brief moment with the stunning gem in New York during the preview leading up to the auction - enjoy the video below of the encounter.