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 Emerald Gemstone Properties 



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.

Emerald jewelry has always been a favorite of celebrities and Hollywood. Angelina Jolie wore a pair of vivid emerald earrings to the 2008 Academy Awards ceremony as a symbol of her hope for world peace. And a fantastic emerald treasure played a starring role in the romantic comedy movie, Romancing The Stone.

Designing with Emerald

Precious emerald gemstone beads mix well with other brightly colored gemstone beads such as sapphires and ruby pink Malaysia jade, vividly dyed agate and brightly colored onyx gemstone beads.

Elegant styles made with silver metals create a cooling effect while designs fashioned with gold-filled and vermeil evoke an ancient royal essence. Pair emeralds with green tones of gemstone and crystal beads and lustrous cultured freshwater pearl beads for statement jewelry.

The Power of the Stone

Metaphysical Properties

Throughout history, emeralds have often been associated with various goddesses of love and beauty, such as Venus. Emeralds were commonly believed to protect lovers from unfaithfulness. If the heart remained loyal, the gem would glow a beautiful green color but it was thought that if a lover's heart went astray, the green color would lose its luster and rich color.

There were times in medieval history when emeralds were given to spouses because wearing an emerald was believed to enable the wearer to control their passion and lust. In addition, it was believed that wearing an emerald would improve memory and increase intuitive intelligence, enabling you to think clearly about the past, present and future.

Emeralds are believed to be encouraging, calming and balancing because of their color. They are also thought to promote creativity and restore optimistic hope in dreams and visions. They are thought to bring good fortune and are often seen in the cash boxes of business owners who seek to prosper their endeavors.

Geological Properties

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.
Mineral InformationSilicate, beryl group
Chemical CompositionAl2Be3(Si6O18)
ColorEmerald green
Hardness7-1/2 - 8
Specific Gravity2.67-2.78
Refractive Index1.576-1.582

Proper Care

Emeralds should be spared from rugged wear. The best way to clean emerald jewelry is with warm water, a soft brush and pat dry with a soft cloth. Protect it from scratching and sharp blows that can fracture or shatter the stone. Avoid large temperature changes, ultrasonic cleaners and steam cleaners that can damage or remove the oil/wax/resin coating protecting the stone.

To learn more about emeralds and other gemstones, order your copy of Walter Schumann's revised and expanded edition of GEMSTONES of the World.

For inspirational jewelry design ideas featuring emeralds, visit the Gallery of Designs.

For the most up-to-date fashion and color forecasts, visit Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Fashion Spotlight.

**Please note that all metaphysical or healing properties listed are collected from various sources. This information is offered as a service and not meant to treat medical conditions. Fire Mountain Gems and Beads® does not guarantee the validity of any of these statements.

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