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This treasure is engraved with salutations of peace from the Koran.

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By The Editors

Photo courtesy of “Centuries of Opulence: Jewels of India”

01.30.18

Centuries of opulent jewels from India take center stage at the Gemological Institute of America.

If you are wondering how a 125-carat Colombian emerald found its way into a Mughal-era pendant made for an 18th-century ruler in India, that is just one mystery the Gemological Institute unravels during its “Centuries of Opulence: Jewels of India” exhibit, on display at its world headquarters in Carlsbad. In fact, India’s nobility traded diamonds from their famous Golconda mines for emeralds from Colombia, Burmese rubies, and pearls from the Persian Gulf. On loan from a private collection, the 50-piece show documents 300 years of history through extravagant jewels, from lavish symbols of power and wealth to the religious importance of a rare, 17th-century emerald and diamond hand of Vishnu, engraved in Sanskrit with passages from the Bhagavad-Gita. With wars won and lost over these treasures, the Arabic salutations of peace engraved into this massive emerald seem particularly apt. Through March 1