The Emerald was unearthed in 2001 in Brazil. It weighs 840 pounds and contains roughly 180,000 carats of emerald crystals, making it one of the largest emerald specimens ever found. The Emerald has been appraised at $392 million. If at all accurate, this number represents its value as a unique specimen, and not a market valuation of its emerald crystals, which are not of a high grade.
In the 16th century, Spanish conquistadors discovered and overtook the emerald mines in present day Colombia. It took them fifty years, however, to overpower the Muzo Indians who occupied the area and refused to reveal the sources of their mines to the greedy Spanish even under torture.Legends claimed that emeralds had power to cure diseases such as cholera and malaria and to make the wearer quick witted and intelligent. The Spanish became the world's dominant emerald traders. Their emeralds from Colombian mines became popular in Asia and are featured in the crown jewels of Iran.