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The Magical Gemstone, Emerald

By Oluwatomiwa Ogunniyi
04 December 2022   |   7:00 am
Emeralds are one of the most desired gemstones since ancient Egypt because of their vibrant green colours. Known for their beautiful gemstones that are used for adornment as well as the spiritual properties associated with them, they are loved in the world over. They are even to be more valuable than diamonds. The appeal of…


Emeralds are one of the most desired gemstones since ancient Egypt because of their vibrant green colours. Known for their beautiful gemstones that are used for adornment as well as the spiritual properties associated with them, they are loved in the world over. They are even to be more valuable than diamonds. The appeal of this rare gemstone has only increased because they have played the role of pieces of jewellery over the years.

Its name is rooted in ancient Greek and originates from the term ‘Smaragdos’, which stands for a green gem. They are one of the traditional big four gems globally recognised as ‘precious’. The others are diamonds, sapphires and rubies.

They get their green from trace amounts of chromium and/or vanadium. Unlike the other precious stones, which are found in a variety of colours, emeralds are only evergreen, although their hues can range from yellow-green to deep jade.

They have first mined in Egypt around 1500 BC, where it was believed that emeralds stood for fertility and rebirth. Mummies were often buried with them to symbolise eternal youth. The Incas and Aztecs also valued these rich green gems, worshipping them as gods.

Aristotle mentioned the emerald in his writings, saying they can comfort and soothe the eyes and also improve the status of an individual. It is even said that the Roman Emperor Nero watched gladiator fights through a large transparent emerald, as he believed it soothed him.

Different ancient cultures have their belief in this gemstone. In the middle ages, it was also believed that it kept a woman chaste if she wore it. It was also believed that they told the future when placed on the tongue and had the power to serve as an antidote for spells and curses.

During the time of Hippocrates, emeralds were crushed into a powder and made into a lotion to soothe the eyes.
Throughout history, royal families have loved this gemstone. Cleopatra was famous for her love of the emerald, they were also a part of crown jewels in India, Iran, and Russia. Emeralds are more than 20 times rarer than diamonds, and therefore, can often be at a higher price.

And unlike diamonds, where clarity plays a significant role in valuing a stone, inclusions are to be expected in emeralds. They can be found in 99 per cent of natural emeralds so if you find a stone without, there are chances that it is synthetic.

The inclusions are formed of gases, other minerals and crystals and liquids that emeralds take on during the crystallisation process and are often viewed as desirable features. Known as ‘jardin’ (French for garden) in the trade, they can create attractive patterns, making no two stones the same, which actually increases the value of the gem.

And although emeralds are found all over the world, Colombia is by far the world’s largest producer of emeralds. They are also found in countries such as Nigeria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, India, Madagascar, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, the United States, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Wellness Meaning: In ancient times, the emerald is said to be a healing gemstone for ailments of the body and mind; a lot of ancient healers believed that wearing or being near an emerald would support wellness of the heart, kidneys and immune system. On another hand, some thought that the green colour and comforting properties of the emerald would heal vision ailments. During those times, to treat the eyes, emerald was soaked in water overnight and the water was poured over the eyes.

They are also believed to have a soothing energy that generates freshness and vitality in the spirit of the wearer. When kept in the workplace, the emerald is said to have an energy that promotes creativity and harmony among team members.

Emotional Meaning: In ancient times, the emerald was considered to be a stone of love, its green colour represented vitality, new beginnings and the spring season. It is also known to be the stone of faithful and mature love representing a faithful relationship and strong natural connection with a partner. It was believed that emeralds could act as a type of truth potion to help decipher if their partner is being honest.

For these reasons, the emerald is a great gemstone to present to a loved one for an engagement or anniversary or as a promise ring.

Emeralds As Birthstones
Apart from their extravagant charm, these gemstones are often associated with the wearers’ birth months/zodiac signs and are referred to as birthstones. People are asked to wear them in a particular metal to reap the benefits of these stones. So you can either wear the emerald as jewellery or to harness their energies and benefits.

The emerald is regarded as the traditional birthstone for May or for those born in spring. For those born in that time, the emerald is said to enhance the intellect of its wearer and promote healing. The emerald is also believed to help the wearer see things clearly and it encourages meditation.

Taking Care of your gemstone
Emeralds are gorgeous but fragile so they can easily be damaged. If you own any emerald jewellery, you need to handle them with care. Here are a few tips to keep your jewellery shiny:

1. Clean your emeralds regularly
You must clean your emeralds regularly, and carefully, soak them for some time in warm water and mild soap, then, use a soft brush or a special jewellery brush to gently scrub the pieces. Rinse them in warm water, and finally, use a microfiber cloth to dry them. Getting them professionally cleaned is also a better option.

2. Do not let the dust settle on emeralds
Allowing dust to settle can damage the stones because they cannot withstand harsh cleaning so it is better to use a soft cloth to dust them.

3. Do not expose your emeralds to harsh chemicals
This is a rule that applies to most gemstone jewellery, you must never allow your emeralds to come in contact with any harsh chemicals or products that contain such chemicals. Avoid wearing them when taking a shower, swimming or doing household chores, it is also better to wear your jewellery after you put on your skincare products, makeup and perfume.

You should also avoid storing your emeralds with other jewellery because they can easily be scratched by harder stones and metals. You can also cover emeralds with baby oil as an extra precaution to help prevent the stone from becoming overly brittle.