For over 5,000 years, emeralds have been a human obsession: worshiped, worn as talismans, cut and polished for ornamentation, and crafted into jewelry. Countless written works have discussed the history, geology, and gemology of this gemstone. They have been a touchstone for artists, and a springboard for art. Emeralds are timeless and live in many spaces.
This exhibition is focused on the natural crystal formations of emeralds. Important emerald gemstones and jewelry can be found in every gem collection around the world. The same cannot be said about exceptional natural emerald specimens. We estimate that there are less than twentyfive in the world that would qualify. Of those twenty-five, two-thirds of them are part of this exhibition.
The significance of having two-thirds of the world’s finest known emerald specimens cannot be overstated. This has never occurred in the history of mineral collecting. This exhibition invites the viewer to experience the wonder that is emerald.
The Legend of Fura and Tena
The Muzo God of creation, Are, brought to existence the beautiful mountains, valleys, and rivers near the city of Muzo (modern day western Boyacá, Colombia). Are then created one female, Fura, and one male, Tena, as caretakers for his garden. For as long as they stayed faithful as a couple, they would enjoy indefinite youth together in paradise.
The couple relished in joy and fruitfulness for centuries. This all changed when a handsome man, Zarbi, appeared. He was seeking a rare flower to cure all illness. Fura decided to help. In doing so, she fell in love.
One day, Tena noticed that Fura had aged. This was an indication that the vows of fidelity had been broken. Because of this, Are’s spell of ageless life was no more. Heartbroken and distraught, Tena stabbed himself in the heart.
Fura cried for many days over her dead lover. Her screams turned into butterflies as it echoed through the forests while her tears turned to green stones. The first emeralds had been born.
Are then turned the couple into mountains to forever immortalize their love. Zarbi, out of anger, transformed into a river that would forever separate the two. This is the legend of the first emeralds.