Exceedingly rare emeralds from a 400-year old shipwreck will go on sale to the public for the first time in April. The Marcial de Gomar Emerald Collection is expected to fetch millions.
The emeralds were found in the wreck of the Nuestra Señora de Atocha shipwreck, thought to have gone down off the coast of Florida in 1622. They were privately collected by Marcial de Gomar in the 20th century.
Now they are coming to auction in New York City on 25 April — although online bidders will also be able to get in on the action.
The collection includes an 887-carat gem, La Gloria, billed as one of "one of the largest museum quality emeralds in the world". It is one of many pieces thought to be more valuable than top-quality diamonds.
Auction house Gurney's state on their website: "These spectacular emeralds were collected by Manuel Marcial de Gomar over a 62 year long career spent both in the United States and in the jungles of Colombia.
"Mr Marcial's firsthand knowledge and experience with rare emeralds including shipwreck origin emeralds, has placed him in demand as an author, lecturer and consultant, and while his family continues in their involvement with rare emeralds, it is Manuel's lifelong personal collection that is being sold.
"Decades ago, Mr Marcial was selected from many experts by Mel Fisher, the famed treasure hunter, to be the independent appraiser of all emeralds recovered from the Atocha. As payment for his expert services, Marcial received a selection of these fine stones from the world-famous wreck.
"Collectors and enthusiasts of sunken treasure will also be excited to learn that the collection features a number of historic gold coins from the 1715 Fleet. All of these items were privately owned and will be presented to the public for the very first time at the auction of the Marcial de Gomar Collection."