precious gem of the heart
Emerald Origin & Physical Properties
Emerald is a precious gemstone variety of the mineral beryl with a green color ranging from yellow-green to blue-green. Beryl crystals form in the hexagonal crystal system occurring often in columnar crystals. It is a beryllium aluminum cyclosilicate with a hardness from 7.5 - 8 Mohs. The unique green color of Emerald is caused by trace amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium. The name Emerald originates from the Ancient Greek name ‘smaragdos’ meaning ‘green gem’. Nearly all Emeralds have inclusions, even valuable ones. Nearly flawless Emeralds are incredibly rare and gemstones are often treated with oil to increase their stability and clarity.
Emeralds form in hydrothermal veins or pegmatite deposits. Mineral rich fluids rise from the hot magma beneath carrying important elements for the formation of Emeralds like beryllium, aluminum, silica and chromium. As the hot liquid began to cool, Beryl crystals grew within the mineral rich environment.
Like Diamonds, Emeralds are graded using the ‘4 C’s’, meaning color, clarity, cut and carat. Color takes first priority in the evaluation process with a pure verdant green being the most valuable. Blue-green gemstones are more valuable than yellow-green ones. Clarity and high degree of transparency takes second priority after color. As the carat size increases, so does the price per carat for high quality, well-cut gems.
The first mines of historical record were in ancient Egypt from Mount Smaragdus since at least 1500 BC. They continued to be mined on an industrial scale by the Roman, Byzantine and later Islamic empires. It is believed that the indigenous peoples of Colombia were mining Emeralds from at lest 500 AD. It too Spanish Conquistadors 50 years of battles to overpower the Muzo indigenous tribe that was ruling the mining region of Colombia. Once in control, the export of Emeralds from Colombia dominated the Emerald market for nearly 500 years. New finds in Zambia have shifted the market over the last two decades, and the beautiful Emeralds from this region represent a growing percentage of the World’s market. Other sources of Emerald includes North Carolina, Brazil, the Ural Mountains of Russia and the Kashmir region of the Himalayas.
|Specific Gravity||Average 2.76
1.57 – 1.58
Transparent to opaque
Green shades to colorless
Colombia, Zambia, Brazil, Zimbabwe
Success in Love/marriage, self-esteem
Emerald Healing & Metaphysical Properties
Emerald is a precious gemstone that has been treasured by cultures for millennia. It is a symbol of life, renewal and the vitality of the heart. Just as the verdant-green leaves of a tree produce oxygen, so Emerald exudes life-force and energies of renewal. It is a gemstone primarily associated with the Heart Chakra. Emerald can help balance and revitalize the emotional body. A balanced heart shows empathy and is both a source of strength and compassion. Emeralds encourage a clear emotional state where we let go of past sorrows and regrets, embracing the new growth of life that is always reaching towards the heavens.
Emerald has long been associated with wisdom and mental clarity. It can enhance the intuition and unify our intentions with action in the physical realm. Emerald simultaneously calms the emotional body will invigorating and stimulating the mental realm. It has long been associated with prosperity and being a stone that blesses success in material endeavors.
Use emerald as a stone for rejuvenation when you are feeling emotionally weak, vulnerable or sad. Embrace the abundant fountain of unconditional love to aid in personal relationships and most importantly, your inner relationship with your own heart and consciousness.
Emerald History & Mythology
Emerald was known as ‘marakata’ in Sanskrit, meaning “the green color of growth”. Emerald is mentioned frequently in the ancient Rig Veda, the first and oldest book of the Vedas. Due to the fact that Emeralds are quite scarce in the Indian subcontinent, some historians believe that India was trading with the ancient Egyptians and importing Emeralds as far back as 3000 BC.
There is evidence that Emeralds were traded as a valuable commodity in Babylon as far back as 4000 BC. Emeralds were mined by the pharaohs of ancient Egypt and later by the Romans in the same area of the southeastern Sahara. Cleopatra was enamored with Emeralds and help further increase their popularity and demand in times of antiquity. The Romans called the area where the old mines were continued the ‘Emerald Mountains’. The Egyptians believed that Emerald symbolized rebirth, fertility and offered protection.
The Emerald was one of four stones given to King Solomon by God, said to bestow on him power over the physical world. In the Middle Ages miraculous healing powers were attributed to the emerald, among them; the power to preserve or heal visual problems.
Olmec, Incan, Aztec and Mayan tribes held Emerald in high regard. We know that Emerald was traded as a valuable commodity throughout South and Central America because numerous Emerald artifacts have been discovered thousands of miles from their original source. The Chivor and Muzo mines in Colombia were mined by native tribes well before 0 A.D.