The Emerald is a blueish green variety of the beryl family. Some will also classify the Indian Emerald as part of this family. However, do not be fooled by the beautiful hues of the Indian emerald as it is in fact simply clear quartz crystals that they have dyed to be those colours.
Some Random Facts
Colour: Variety of vibrant Greens
Birefringence: 0.005 to 0.009
Mohs Hardness: 7.5 to 8.0
Largest: Bahia Emerald from brazil weighing 341 kilograms.
Emerald ranges in colour from faint light green to a vibrant green like grass, with darker coloured stones being the more commonly known type. The intensity of the green ranges from a plastic-looking milky grass green to the richest transparent greens, like deep woods in springtime. They are long prisms with domed terminations and are hexagonal in shape.
As the gem of spring, emerald is the perfect choice as the birthstone for the month of May. It’s also the gem of the twentieth and thirty-fifth wedding anniversaries.
Emerald in History
Emerald has been mined since 2000bc in the mine of Upper Egypt that once belonged to the Queen of Sheba. The mine itself was said to be guarded by evil spirits and miners had to blessed by priests to be able to work there. After the Queen of Sheba, it is said that even Cleopatra was incredibly fond of the emerald. She had a deep passion for emeralds and most of her belongings were adorned with them.
In Egyptian burial rights, the emerald was placed at the throat of mummies as they were embalmed, so that the limbs may retain their vigour in the afterlife.
It was named “the Foundation Stone” in the walls of New Jerusalem. Roman Travelers also wore the stone to keep them safe in their journeys.
Its name comes from the ancient Greek word for green, “smaragdus.” Rome’s Pliny the Elder described emerald in his Natural History, published in the first century AD: “…nothing greens greener” was his verdict. He described the use of emerald by early lapidaries, who “have no better method of restoring their eyes than by looking at the emerald, its soft, green colour comforting and removing their weariness and lassitude.” Even today, the colour green is known to relieve stress and eye strain.
Emerald in Medicine
It speeds up cleansing and purification processes such as detoxing. It soothes hidden fears and anxiety. This stone heals inflammation, was used as a natural antiseptic and was even used to cure infections such as the plague by rubbing it on the sores. Emerald stimulates the mind and memory, making it an excellent stone to improve problem-solving capabilities. It is said to be an antidote for poison and helps to improve eyesight and is good for bones and teeth. It strengthens the heart, liver, kidneys and immune system.
Emerald in Folk Magic
It has always been associated with abundance and fertility. It is said that the wearer of this stone will only hear truth and honesty from those around him or her. Wearing this stone strengthens love and friendship and has always been associated with prophecy and foresight. However, should a partner be unfaithful the stone would dull and lose its vibrant colour and brilliance so that it reflects only the truth.