Name: Emerald
Color(s): light to dark green
Mineral Information: Silicate, beryl group
Chemical Make-up: Al2Be3(Si6O18)
Hardness: 7.5 – 8
Where they are found: Columbia
About Stone: This mesmerizing stone’s velvety green color is unmistakable. The rich color is renowned as a color of spring and has long been a symbol of romance, hope and rebirth. As the precious gem associated with the goddess Venus, emerald is also commonly believed to aid in fertility.
The name emerald comes from the Sanskrit word ‘marakata’, which means spring green. Many legends and stories surround this magnificent and powerful stone. The Chaldeans, a kingdom of biblical times, believed emeralds contained Ishtar, their goddess of love and war. In the Middle East, an emerald amulet would often be engraved with a verse from sacred religious texts.
Ancient Egyptians believed the green color of emerald represented fertility and rebirth. They would commonly carve emerald scarabs and place them at the heart of a mummy to make the deceased’s health flourish in the afterlife. Pale green emeralds were once thought by the Romans to be unripe and as they changed to a darker shade of green, they were maturing in potency. Gazing into the cool green color was reported by Pliny, an author and philosopher of ancient Rome, to ease eyestrain. Nero Augustus, a Roman emperor, reportedly watched gladiator games through a large emerald because he found the color to be calming.
In some legends, the Holy Grail used by Christ at the last supper was made from a giant emerald. Later, the emerald grail was used to collect his blood dripping from the cross, imbuing the grail with fantastic and holy powers. In Ireland, March is the month for wearing green emeralds for good luck.
Genuine emeralds may include inclusions, referred to by experts as “jardin,” a French word that means garden, which can cloud the stone with minor inclusions. These inclusions are not considered flaws. They indicate that an emerald is genuine and not lab created.
It is common to coat emeralds with clear oil, paraffin wax or clear resin to diminish the appearance of surface inclusions and deepen the green color. Emeralds range in color from light to dark green. The shade of green is determined by the presence of chromium oxide and vanadium.
Zodiac Association: Taurus, Gemini, Aries
Metaphysical Properties: 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. A stone of inspiration and infinite patience, it embodies unity, compassion and unconditional love. Promotes friendship, balance between partners, and is particularly known for providing domestic bliss, contentment and loyalty.