History sometimes makes inextricable links between places and gemstones, as India shows. Although the Spanish controlled the great emerald mines of Colombia throughout the apogee of their production from the 16th to the 18th century, most of the output was exported to India to be used for jewels commissioned by the Royal families.
When these stones appeared in western markets in the early 20th century, they became known as ‘Old Indian Material’. The ‘Indian’ character of this emerald is accentuated by its traditional taviz-cut, a flat hexagonal tablet form, often seen in Mughal jewels from the subcontinent. Taviz-cut stones were often drilled so that they could be worn free of any additional mounting.