Natural, transparent Emerald is one of four “precious” gemstones (including Diamond, Ruby and Sapphire), and is the green variety of Beryl, a beryllium aluminum silicate mineral colored by trace amounts of chromium and/or vanadium. Emerald occurs in hues ranging from yellow-green to blue-green, with the finest being a pure verdant green hue, medium to dark in tone. Light colored gems are usually known by the species name, Green Beryl. Most Emeralds are highly included with surface breaking fissures, so their toughness, or resistance to breakage, is usually classified as generally poor.
According to Indian lore, the name Emerald was first translated from Sanskrit as Marakata, meaning “the green of growing things". The term we use today is believed to derive from an ancient Persian word that translated to the Greek as Smaragdus, meaning “green stone,” the term used in antiquity and referred to a number of other green stones. Over time the Old French or Vulgar Latin versions, Esmeraulde, Esmaralda or Esmaraldus became the current name, Emerald.
While Emerald, the green variety of Beryl, may perhaps be the most famous of the family, Beryl also forms in other colors used as gems, such as blue Aquamarine, yellow Heliodor and Golden Beryl, pink Morganite, Red Beryl or Bixbite, and the colorless variety, Goshenite.
Emerald has been a source of fascination and reverence in many cultures for over six thousand years, sold in the markets of Babylon as early as 4,000 B.C. It was a stone worshipped by the Incas, believed by the Chaldeans to contain a goddess, and was highly honored in all major religions for its spiritual power and beauty. Emerald was considered a symbol of eternal life in ancient Egypt, a gift of Thoth, the god of wisdom, and was a favorite jewel of Queen Cleopatra. The Emerald mines in Upper Egypt, rediscovered a hundred years ago, are some of the oldest in the world and were called Cleopatra’s mines for her love of the stone. Emeralds were also talismans of Aristotle, Alexander the Great, Charlemagne, and the moguls of India. They’ve adorned the crowns and royal jewels of many countries for centuries, and fabulous collections and stunning gems continue to be treasured and displayed by the rich and famous today.
About Emerald Healing and other beneficial properties
St. Hildegard of Bingen, the noted lithologist, declared, “All the green of nature is concentrated within the Emerald.” Representing youth in the age of man, the power of this lush crystal stirs the soul like the heart of spring, symbolizing hope and the future, renewal and growth. It is a Seeker of Love and a Revealer of Truth, inspiring an ongoing search for meaning, justice, compassion and harmony.
It is called the “Stone of Successful Love,” Emerald opens and nurtures the heart and the Heart Chakra. Its soothing energy provides healing to all levels of the being, bringing freshness and vitality to the spirit. Emerald promotes friendship, balance between partners, and is particularly known for providing domestic bliss, contentment and loyalty. It was dedicated in the ancient world to the goddess Venus for its ability to insure security in love. Emerald is also a stone of great vision and intuition, associated with the eyes and sight, long believed to foretell future events and reveal one’s truths.