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The Mogul Emerald

The Mogul Emerald is one of the largest emeralds in the world. The rectangular cut tablet, which dates back to 1695, weighs 217.80 carats and is about 10 cm high. One side is inscribed with Islamic prayers and the other is engraved with opulent flower ornaments. The emerald is thought to have come from the reign of Emperor Aurangzeb --the last of the great Mogul rulers, who controlled much of India. It was discovered in Colombia by the Spanish conquistadors and most likely arrived in India through trade during the Mogul dynasty, according to experts. The emerald was auctioned off at Christie's of London for $2.2 million to an anonymous buyer in 2001.

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