Spotlight on Emerald
St. Hildegard of Bingen, the noted lithologist, declared, “All the green of nature is concentrated within the Emerald.” It's as if, from beneath the earth, the rock sits patiently and brings forth the greenness and richness of nature toward it… like a fridge magnet on steroids.
Representing possibility and abundance, the power of this lush crystal stirs the soul like the dawning of a new spring, symbolising 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.
Radiant green Emerald is used to break down barriers to spiritual growth and increase psychic awareness, “granting all knowledge of past, present and future,” but be careful what you wish for with jealous Emerald, the universe may surprise you.
The History of Emerald
Throughout time and all over the world, radiant green Emerald has been known as a symbol of truth and love. According to Indian mythology, the name emerald was first translated from Sanskrit as “marakata,” meaning “the green of growing things.” In ancient Greece and Rome, Emerald was said to be the gemstone of the goddess Venus, bringer of love and hope.
Emeralds were revered by the Incas and believed by the Chaldeans to contain a goddess. Emerald was considered a symbol of eternal life in ancient Egypt, a gift of Thoth, the god of wisdom, and was a favourite jewel of the OG Queen Cleopatra. Emeralds were also talismans of Aristotle, Alexander the Great, Charlemagne and the moguls of India. Legend has it that Hernando Cortes, the conqueror of Mexico, tried to bring huge chunks of Emerald (that he stole from the Aztecs) home with him. On the way back, however, part of his fleet was shipwrecked, and delicately carved stones in the shape of flowers and fish and other rare Emeralds, including one reported to be the size of a man’s palm, went the same way as the Heart of the Ocean at the end of Titanic. Ouch.
They’ve adorned the crowns and been contained within the crown jewels of countless countries for centuries, and fabulous collections and stunning gems continue to be treasured and displayed by the rich and famous today. Emerald is so prized, that carat for carat, a fine example may be worth two to three times that of a diamond.
TL;DR Everyone f*cking LOVES Emeralds and has since time immemorial.
Emeralds are mined throughout the world (Afghanistan, Australia, Pakistan, Russia, United States), but the principal Emerald deposits and finest examples are currently mined in Brazil, Colombia and Zambia.
Only the finest quality Emeralds are clear and flawless. Most have tiny mineral inclusions or fractures, resembling moss or branches, and referred to as “jardin,” from the French word for garden. Flawless emeralds are rare and extremely valuable and usually only found in small sizes.
The most desirable colours of Emerald are bluish green to pure green, with deep colour saturation and a tone that’s not too dark (the most-prized examples are highly transparent). Their colour is evenly distributed, with no colour zoning visible to the naked eye. If the hue is too yellowish or too bluish, the stone is not Emerald, but a different variety of beryl, and its value drops accordingly.
Chromium, vanadium and iron are the trace elements that cause Emerald’s colour. It is the presence or absence of each of these and their relative amounts which determine the exact colour of any particular Emerald. The intensity of the green in the finest Emeralds might not be equalled by anything else in nature.
Colombian Emeralds will typically be the most expensive followed by Brazilian and Zambian stones and this reasoning is related to the colour.
Colombian Emeralds get their colour primarily from the trace amounts of chromium, which is responsible for some of the purest greens in gemstones. A Brazilian Emerald’s colour primarily comes from traces of vanadium and Zambian Emeralds get their colour from iron. Brazilian Emeralds typically have a slight brown or grey cast and rarely match the pure green hue that the best Colombian Emeralds embody, and Zambian Emeralds often appear too blue due to their iron content.
Real emeralds produce little to no "fire" (colourful flashes that appear under light). If your gem produces a rainbow of flashes, it is not an emerald.
Emeralds are brittle and easily fractured during handling and setting. They are classified with a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale.
What is Emerald used for?
As far back as there is evidence of Emeralds, there has been evidence of their spiritual and healing powers. Some claimed Emeralds would heal if simply worn, others said accessing their power required gazing deeply into the green for an unspecified time.
One of the four precious gemstones, Emerald is well used for intuitive awareness, meditation and spirituality. And while Ruby is often recognised as the stone of love and passion because of its red hue, in ancient times the Emerald was considered the stone of love, its green colour representing the spring season, embodying vitality and new beginnings. For this reason, it's the perfect gemstone to represent happy new beginnings, love and an eternal relationships. Emerald can also represent a faithful relationship and strong natural connection with a partner. So, if you like then you better put an Emerald ring on it.
A stone of the heart, Emerald also supports truthfulness, cultivating the courage is takes to loved and be loved. When you live your life according to the truth in your heart, Emerald can help stabilise the astral body and cleanse the energy of all levels of the subtle body. Yaaasss Queen, time to embrace your Emerald stone and let love in.
Rich and verdant green, Emerald is also considered a stone of protection and is used in the exorcism of the possessed.
Emerald is also a remarkable support stone for the workplace. Said to have an energy that promotes creativity and harmony among team members, the emerald is also said to increase mental acuity, strengthen memory and inspire eloquence. Meditating with natural Emerald or Emerald tumblestone brings rapid recall of facts and is ideal for occupations where visionary insight is a significant benefit. It inspires success in business, especially for older women (yeah, smash those glass ceilings!), and is particularly known for assistance in areas of legal affairs.
Try reaching for your Emerald stone before shelling out big bucks on a fancy PR firm, as using Emerald in business is said to increase sales and can improve the public image of a company.
Physically, the Emerald’s healing powers have been associated with the skeletal system, the flesh and skin, the cardiovascular system, the adrenal glands, the kidneys, liver and intestinal system. The stone is also considered to be very cleansing and prevents infection and diseases. It was once believed that a mother who wears Emeralds keeps her child safe from complications during childbirth.
Emerald’s verdant healing powers have also been linked to healing colic, burns, ulcers, headaches, tension, influenza, epilepsy, high blood pressure, heart disorders, neuralgia, cancer, skin disorders, dysentery, syphilis, fevers, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, asthma and anemia. The emerald was also once prized as an antidote in cases of poisoning. Even today, the powder of poorer quality emeralds is used in folk medicines in China.
This is one powerful motherf*cking stone y’all.