Forget Grey, We’re Talkin’ Shades of Green!

400-million-dollar bahia emerald image as shown on

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand over the summer, you’re most likely aware of the heavily publicized book, 50 Shades of Grey.  Are you aware, however, of the book, Shades of Green?

Unlike the fictional 50 Shades of Grey, Shades of Green: The Bahia Emerald Story is a true-life story centered around two men’s efforts to gain ownership and possession of one the largest and most valuable emeralds in the world known as “the Bahia Emerald.”

Have you heard of the Bahia Emerald?  The gemstone was originally mined in 2001 in Bahia, Brazil, weighed 840 pounds, contained 180,000 carats and was appraised at $372 million US dollars.

In January 2012, the National Geographic Channel aired a video story about the emerald’s discovery, its mysterious 10-year journey to the US and the legal dispute that’s still underway regarding its ownership.  The story of the rare and famous Bahia Emerald is without doubt intriguing and exotic.

What about gemstones of a more local variety?  Have you ever had the opportunity to see an uncut emerald that was mined in a location near you?

Two weekends ago, I had the pleasure of visiting one of North Carolina’s gems – the Nature Research Center wing of the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences.  While there, I saw the “Underground North Carolina” exhibit that included several uncut emeralds that had been mined in the western part of N.C. on display behind glass.

According to the museum, North Carolina is the only state where the four most valuable gems – emeralds, rubies, sapphires and diamonds – have been found.  So, if you live in North Carolina and if you’re lucky, in addition to uncut emeralds, you may get the chance to see uncut N.C. rubies, sapphires and diamonds one day.

Throughout history, whether uncut or cut, gemstones have held charm and fascination for many people.  What about you?  Are you fascinated by gemstones?  Do you have a favorite gemstone?

I already happen to know several girls with a best friend whose name starts with a “D.”


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