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Colour of ParadiseEmeralds in the Age of the Gunpowder Empires$
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Kris Lane

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780300161311

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300161311.001.0001

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(p.125) Chapter 5 Globetrotters
Colour of Paradise

Kris Lane

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on the comparisons made by an international team of mineralogists led by Gaston Giuliani of oxygen isotope ratios in one of the emeralds recovered from the 1622 Atocha shipwreck. Together with these emeralds, some famous Mughal stones long thought to be either Egyptian or South Asian in origin were also discovered. The mineralogists confirmed what historians and gemologists had long suspected: that most of the quality emeralds circulating in Eurasia after the time of Columbus were of New World origin, including those still touted as “oriental” or “lost mine” stones. Nearly all the emeralds tested could be traced not only to Colombia's Muzo, Coscuez, and Chivor districts but also to specific outcrops.

Keywords:   mineralogists, Gaston Giuliani, oxygen isotope ratios, Atocha shipwreck, Mughal stones, New World origin, lost mine stones

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