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April 25, 2013updated Apr 27, 2013

An Emerald In Their Eyes

By Chris Boyle



Emeralds have long held a place among the world’s royalty and celebrities. Who can forget Elizabeth Taylor’s famous emerald and diamond necklace, a present from Richard Burton.

From Tehran to Milan to midtown New York today, the Hadjibay family has made amazing precious stones and beautiful jewelry their life’s work for three generations. “Each stone and each piece of jewelry has a story,” says Morris Hadjibay, son of the founder.

Some 40 years ago the family patron saw an emerald he very much wanted – 206 carats from Colombia with exceptional color and clarity. The owner had no interest in selling it, but Amir Hadjibay told the European gentleman if he ever changed his mind to please call.

Sometime around 2010 his grandsons were in the New York office and were told a man was looking for their grandfather. They called their father and uncle, Morris and Giacomo, who sat down with the man. The man then took the emerald out of his pocket and the founder’s dream was realized.

National Jeweler referred to the stone as “mind boggling. The family who trade under the name Bayco debuted the stone to an audience of international press here in Basel.

“This is a unique stone. There is no second to it in the world, and it is everything you would dream about in an emerald,” Giacomo said. “A three carat unenhanced emerald is a rarity, 10 carats is even rarer, now think 206 carats. The yield from rough is 22 to 24 percent so this was cut from 1,000 carats.”

Having named the stone, The Imperial Emerald, it is backed up by certificates from Gubelin, AGL, GIA, C. Dunaigre Consulting, and GRS. Additionally, it has also received a Gem Portrait by Gubelin, a JewelFolio by AGL, and Monograph by the GIA. Each of these is a book made by each lab which is reserved only for extremely rare and exceptional stones.

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Speaking exclusively to Elite Traveler the two brothers said the stone is not for sale, but will likely be loaned to museums and taken on exhibits for the public to view. For most of the last four decades they suspect it was hidden in a safe, and they now hope to give the public a view.

The company sells through retailers, but has been building its brand in recent years. The family is hoping the spectacular stone will give the company a higher profile as they share the previously unseen treasure.

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