The colour green was considered sacred for Muslims, and, as such, emeralds took pride of place in Mughal jewellery. Though emeralds had been sourced in India since ancient times, by the period of the Mughal Empire, the finest examples were imported from what is now modern-day Colombia via trade with the Portuguese. An extensive treasury of emeralds was maintained by the Mughal emperors. A British trader who stayed in the palace at Agra from 1609 to 1611 reported that Shah Jahangir had more than half a million carats of unmounted emeralds in his treasury, so coveted were the rich green gemstones coming from the New World. Among the many incomparable examples from this collection are ‘The Taj Mahal Emerald’ Brooch by Cartier and ‘The Shah Jahan Emerald’.