The la Gloria, an 887 ct. museum-quality stone which is believed to be the largest Muzo rough emerald in North America, is to be auctioned by Guernsey’s on April 25 in New York City. The La Gloria and 17 smaller rough emeralds discovered from the wreck of Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha, are all from the collection of noted emerald authority Manuel Marcial de Gomar. “It’s very rare for an auction to spotlight emeralds,” says Arlan Ettinger, founder and president of Guernsey’s. “We feel this will be an extraordinary event.” Most stones on auction, other than the La Gloria, will go under the hammer without a reserve. “That makes it more exciting,” he says.
The stone was sourced from the Muzo mine in Colombia, known for producing large exceptionally hued emeralds. La Gloria sat in de Gomar’s collection for many years, and although the rough could likely yield a 400 ct. polished stone, the collector believes it shouldn’t be cut.
“[There’s a] little piece of calcite on the end [that] is a tip to its provenance,” de Gomar says. “It tells you what country it comes from, what mine it comes from. All that is very significant. I wouldn’t want it to be cut. I’d like for it to be kept as is. It should be in a state museum somewhere.”
The Atocha sank in 1622, near the coast of Florida while en route to Spain. Marcial de Giomar befriended Mel fischer, the treasure hunter who in the 1980’s discovered the sunken Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha. In additional the headliner, several rough and cut emeralds that de Gomar has gathered will also be up for bids, including the 25.86 carat Marcial de Gomar Star, which Guernsey’s has described as the largest recorded star emerald and one of only 11 in the world.