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Crystals 101 museums New York City

Magnificent Emeralds: Fura’s Tears Exhibition Review

I was lucky enough to attend the opening of “Magnificent Emeralds: Fura’s Tears” at Wilensky Gallery, with my friend Lin Jamison, the founder of GemX.

 I was lucky enough to attend the opening of “Magnificent Emeralds: Fura’s Tears” at Wilensky Gallery, with my friend Lin Jamison, the founder of GemX.  This exhibition is on display from September 26th to December 30th. You can’t miss it if you want a chance to see an exhibition of the rarest emerald specimens that have ever been mined.

This was a great opportunity for me to ask a million questions about emeralds from two experts, Stuart Wilensky, founder of the gallery, and Ronald Ringsrud, one of the world’s foremost emerald experts. My first question upon viewing all of these breathtaking specimens was - how do you prevent all of these from being cut up into gems? What makes a beautiful specimen and what makes a valuable cut gem? When we observed these specimens closely, even though a lot of these emeralds had extremely deep, bold, color, many of them had a lot of inclusions. There are many amazing specimens that no longer exist today because the emeralds were too valuable as jewelry to survive in the collectors market. At the end of the day, the value of a specimen isn’t as easily quantified as say, the value of a diamond - like fine art, you know it when you see it.

My favorite piece I saw here was one of the most rare - a perfectly formed emerald as an inclusion inside a crystal-clear quartz. This is the only known example of something like this being found, and I really enjoy the humor of a stone of much greater value being a flaw in a less valuable stone. 

One really fun fact is that the deep green color of the emeralds found in Columbia owes itself to one of the other stones in our Superstar Rocks Collection, Pyrite. Emeralds, as we know, are beryls with trace elements of chromium, vanadium, and iron. Colombian emeralds from the Muzo mines are known to have the best color of all emeralds in the world, and their very small concentration of iron (compared to other localities) is what gives them this unique color property. Too much iron will lead to a yellowish cast to the stone. As you see in some of these specimens, in Columbia, there are often veins of pyrite found near the emeralds, and the formation of pyrite absorbs the iron atoms that would otherwise have gone into the emerald.  

I would highly recommend checking out this show if you’re in New York - once they all go their separate ways, it’s very unlikely you’ll ever see specimens like this all together again.

Wilensky Exquisite Mineral Gallery

 173 10th Ave, New York, NY

 

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