I had to share this photo for it is the closest most of us will come to really fabulous emeralds. The model is wearing a 28 million yuan or approximately US $3.71 million emerald pendant from a jewelry store in Nanjing, China.

Its provenance is fascinating for it dates back to 1790. It was a gift to the Qianlong Emperor (1711-1799) for his 80th birthday. The emerald is not only large but the green is close to that of imperial jade, the jadeite gemstone prized by the Chinese and probably the reason why it was chosen as a present for him. I wonder what he really thought of the emerald for he was mostly obsessed with imperial jade. This exquisitely lovely green shade of jade is also known as feitsu or "kingfisher" jade and remains the most sought after form today.

I wrote about the Qianlong Emperor and his jade obsession before. He was the "Son and Heaven" who squandered many lives to secure Burmese supplies of imperial jade. Before his reign, the Chinese only used nephrite, the other jade which is actually a totally different gemstone altogether. Nephrite jade is sometimes known as Ming jade because it was popular during the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644).

Chinese Imperial Jade
Wikipedia : Jade
The Beading Gem's Journal