Where Emerald is found
Deep within the pyramids of Ancient Egypt, the emerald was a symbol of fertility and rebirth worn by royalty such as Queen Cleopatra in her adornments. Revering them as green stones of love and fertility, the Ancient Romans considered emeralds so valuable that they would dedicate it to the Goddess Venus. Worshipped by the Incas, the Spanish Conquistadors spent decades in the 1500s trying to subdue them to reveal the location of their emerald mines before stumbling upon it accidentally. Even in our day and age, the influence of emerald has seeped its way into modern media and subculture. The popular DC Comics superhero ‘Green Lantern’ is able to defeat his enemies and save the universe all because of his green emerald ring. For thousands of years the emerald has fascinated different cultures all over the world.
Emeralds are gemstones from the beryl mineral family known for its distinctive green color. Traces of chromium and vanadium – impurities that act as blessings in disguise – are what causes the rich, eye soothing color. The name derives from the Ancient Greek word for green, “smaragdus”. Three simple words that describes the emerald’s eternal beauty was written in 50 AD by Pliny the Elder, a famous Roman philosopher, author and army commander: “Nothing greens greener”.
Emeralds were attributed many mystical powers throughout the ages. Green goes hand in hand with nature and is the most calming color on the color wheel. It was believed to be a cure for dysentery when held in the mouth and also believed to be a preservative against epilepsy. It was presumed to safeguard the wearers chastity, drive away evil spirits and even assist women during childbirth. Those who had eye strain would look through the soothing green color of the emerald, resting their eyes after long hours of work. Others believed emerald will give them the ability to foresee the future.
The emerald gemstone also played a role in religion. Hindus believed that offering emeralds to Krishna, the god of love, compassion and tenderness would be rewarded with ‘Knowledge of the Soul and the Eternal’. In Christianity, mentions of emeralds as one of the foundation stones of the Heavenly City were discovered in the New Testament Book of Revelation.