The emerald is one beautiful and precious gemstone in green. It is considered the traditional gemstone of the month of May. Its name was taken from the Latin word esmeralda or esmeraldus. While this gemstone is available in many parts of the world (Colombia being the biggest producer), Vienna is proud to have the world’s largest emerald.
The emerald in Vienna is 2,860 carats and can be found in the Imperial Treasury located inside the Hofburg Imperial Palace.
The treasury stores both secural and eccleasiastical artifacts and valuable items dating back thousands of years ago. It features 21 rooms with collections of rare finds collected over the centuries. In fact, the Imperial crown known as Orb, the Sceptre of Austria as well as the Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire are displayed here.
Other impressive items on display in this collection are the embroidered robes from the Order of the Golden Fleece, the crown of the Transylvanian prince Stephen Bocksay, the Holy Lance from the 8th century, the agate bowl once considered as the Holy Grail and a giant narwhal tooth measuring eight feet believed be the horn of a unicorn.
The world’s biggest emerald is displayed at the secular section of the Imperia Treasury. This particular section displays imperial artifacts that include jewels and precious stones with unique sizes. Some of the jewels here were worn by Empress Elisabeth.
The ecclesiastical section, on the other hand, features religious treasures. These include relics, altars and devotional images dating back to the Baroque period.