Enjoy domestic bliss.
Find true friends and loyal lovers.
Be strong, kind and discerning.
Create the life that you most want to live.
Let emerald teach you how to love wisely and well.
Mineralogy of Emerald
Mineral Family: Cyclosilicates
Chemical Composition: Al2 Be3 [Si6 O18 ]
Color: Emerald green, green, pale yellowish-green
Crystal System: Hexagonal
Luminescence: Red (long wave)
Transparency: Transperant to opaque
Location: The most important deposits are in Columbia, as well as Brazil and Zimbabwe. Additional deposits are located in Afghanistan, Australia, Ghana, India, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Nambia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Zambia, Tanzania and the United States (North Carolina).
Mineral Family: Emerald is the green variety of Beryl, which is in turn a Silicate mineral. Silicate minerals are the largest family of minerals, including more than 25% of all known minerals and 40% of all common minerals. In addition to being a major part of the Earth’s crust, Silicate minerals have also been found on the moon and in meteorites. Silicates are minerals which contain the elements Silicon (a light gray shiny metal) and Oxygen (a colorless gas). Together, these two elements form a tetrahedron – a shape similar to a pyramid – with a Silicon atom in the center and Oxygen atoms at each of the four corners. These tetrahedra connect with other chemical structures, in six different ways, to form various minerals and rocks. There are six main groups of Silicate minerals, and these main groups are further subdivided into secondary subdivisions, such as Quartz, Feldspar, and Beryl. Beryl is a unique family in that all of its members are considered “gemstones.” Blue Beryl is Aquamarine, Pink Beryl is Morganite, and Green Beryl is, of course, Emerald. One of the rarest gemstone in the world is Red Beryl, or Bexbite.
Formation: Emeralds are the green variety of beryl. Most beryls are formed in igneous rocks, as well as their associated pegmatite dikes, mica schists and gneisses. On rare occasions, beryl may be found in sedimentary rocks such as shale or limestone. Beryl crystals form as columnar, hexagonal prisms. Its rich green color is imparted by trace amounts of chromium in colorless beryl.
Mining: Typically mined from primary deposits that still have their original relationship with the host rock. Emeralds are most likely to be found in small veins or on walls of cavities, often deep under ground.
Enhancements: Lab created emeralds are widely available in the fine gemstone market. Tumbled stones are almost certain to be fully natural, regardless of the shade of color.
History of Emeralds
Emerald has been one of the most prized gemstones throughout history. It was sold in the markets of ancient Babylon as early as 2000 BCE, and for centuries it was worn almost exclusively by Kings and Queens. In medieval Europe, it was considered to be one of the ‘Five Cardinal Gemstones’ – comparable only with Diamond, Sapphire, Ruby, and Amethyst. Emerald is included in all major lapidaries, texts that describe gemstones and their powers. It is also referenced in the Holy Books of all five of the world’s major religions!
In the Bible and Torah, Emerald is listed as the fourth of the twelve stones which decorated the breastplate of the High Priest of ancient Israel. The design for the Breastplate was given by God to Moses, whose brother Aaron was the first to wear it. Each of the gemstones on the Breastplate were inscribed with the symbol for one of the Twelves Tribes of Israel. Later on, King Solomon was said to own a flawless Emerald, which he wore in a ring and used to control jinns, or desert demons. In later Christian lore, Emerald was associated with St John the Evangelist. King
In Islamic countries, Emeralds are highly desired since the color green is synonymous with Islam, because the Prophet Mohammad’s cloak was that color. The royal treasuries in Topkapi Palace, Istanbul and in Tehran, Iran contain many of the largest and most valuable Emeralds in the world. Emeralds are also sacred to Buddhists, and sometimes used for eyes in Buddhist statues. The enormous Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan, destroyed by the Taliban in 2011, were said to once have emeralds for eyes, that shone like a beacon over the desert, guiding wayfarers.
In the ancient Vedic texts, revered by followers of the Hindu faith, Emeralds were the bile of the demon god Vala. According to the story, Vala once took the form of a stone cave where stolen cows were hidden. Indra, the leader of the demigods, split Vala apart, killing him and freeing the cows. Vala’s body was scattered across the earth and his various body parts were transformed into a variety of gemstones. The Cobra King, Vasuki seized Vala’s bile and in a moment of exuberance, accidentally split heaven in two with his tail. In response, the Eagle King attacked Vasuki, and the bile dropped to the earth on top of a mountain range, where it was transformed into Emeralds.
Emerald’s modern name comes from an ancient Persian word for the green gemstone, which was translated into Latin as smaragdus. Overtime smaragdus, was corrupted to esmeraude, emeraude, and emeralde before finally take its modern form. The original name is still used in the Sikait-Zubara region of southern Egypt, where Mons Smaragus (Emerald Mountain) marks what was once home to one of the most fabulous gemstone mines in history – “Queen Cleopatra’s Emerald Mines”
In ancient times, the most valuable Emerald mines were in Zubara and Sikail, in southern Egypt. They produced pale green Emeralds, which were considered highly desirable throughout Eurasia. This was particularly true during the reign of Queen Cleopatra (69-30 BCE) and during the early period of the Roman Empire. Today, these mines are all played out and have been abandoned to the desert. But in their day, they were heavily mined, first by the Egyptians and then by the Romans.
During the reign of the early Roman Emperors, Egyptian Emeralds were held in particularly high esteem. Empress Lollina Paulina (CE 15-49), who was briefly the wife of Emperor Caligula (CE 12-41), famously came to a party covered in Emerald jewelry, which she bragged was worth 40 million sesterces – the equivalent cost of twenty villas in a fashionable part of Rome! Pliny the Elder (CE 23-79), a Roman author, naturalist and philosopher, attended the party when he was a young man. It made such an impression that he included the story in his lapidary, The Natural History of Precious Gemstones. While Pliny the Elder certainly admired gemstones, Lillina Paulina’s display disgusted him, since the emeralds had been bought with money acquired from extortion and corruption.
During the early fifteenth century, Spanish conquistadores flooded into South America in search of treasure and adventure. In what is now Columbia, tales were told of enormous Emeralds. Not content to simply steal the gemstones already dug out, the Spaniards wanted the source as well. During the 1530, the local Chibcha people were tortured and killed until they revealed the Emerald mine’s location. Then the people were enslaved as miners and Columbia’s mineral wealth flooded into Europe. Unlike the pale Egyptian Emeralds, Columbian Emeralds have a deep rich color. Today, Columbia continues to produce many of the most brilliant natural Emeralds. Unfortunately, these gems are drenched in blood. The gems are fought over by rival Emerald Lords, powerful gangsters who control the trade and feud with each other and the Colombian government, These Emerald Lords control the region and the population. It is estimated that 75% of the peasant population works in deplorable conditions in these Emerald mines.
Healing Properties of Emerald
Spiritual: Emerald encourages our spirit to grow! It helps us to surrender old visions of what “should be” and instead embrace the full potential of what “can be.” When used in meditation, Emerald can reveal conscious and subconscious beliefs that hold us back. When examined thoughtfully, these beliefs can soon be dismissed as utter nonsense and in their place new and more positive thoughts can take hold and grow. Emerald is particularly good for releasing scarcity thinking and instead cultivating abundance. Emerald connects us directly with the power of Divine Love and helps us to make choices that are life-affirming. It inspires us to be more compassionate and appreciative and to see the true beauty in everyone. Emerald is attuned to the Heart Chakra and linked to the astrological signs of Aries, Taurus, and Gemini. It is connected to the element of Water and vibrates to the number 4.
Emotional: Emerald is the stone of “successful love” and is an exceptionally good crystal ally for both committed partners and anyone searching for a long-term romantic relationship. It enhances cooperation, understanding and inter-dependence, allowing us to merge with others without losing our own sense of self. Emerald also teaches patience, helping us to overcome setbacks and misfortunes, and stay hopeful for the future. It keeps our heart young, and allows us to remember our friends and lovers as they were when we first met and to never let our love for them grow stale or jaded. Emerald encourages us to show love and concern for others without fear of being rejected or misunderstood.
Mental: Emerald provides us with a broad and sensible vision, helping us to see situations clearly and understand different perspectives, without negative judgement. It increases discernment and encourages intelligence, helping us to make the best choice possible based on the current information. Emerald encourages us to be goal-oriented and to not let fears of failure or unworthiness hold us back. It enhances memory and helps us to stay mentally focused and pro-active. Emerald is also a stone of justice, asking us to step up and fight for what is right and to protect the innocent and those who can not protect themselves. It encourages us to grow up and set aside any petty selfishness and instead act with nobility and strength.
Physical: Emerald is used by metaphysical healers to treat the eyes, sinuses, upper respiratory tract and the physical heart and liver. It is also believed to strengthen the immune system and help the body to recover from infectious diseases.
Always use wisdom when considering crystal therapies for healing.
Ethically Sourced Emerald
The Miners sell to a rough Gem Dealer/Exporter.
The Gem Dealer sells to the Lapidary.
The Lapidary sells directly to Moonrise Crystals.
Moonrise Crystals sells directly to you.
The Supply Chain
The Supply Chain is clean and relatively short.
The Mine and Lapidary are in different countries and at least one middleman is involved.
This Emerald was artisanally-mined in Madagascar.
The exact deposit is unknown, but most likely caused only minor environmental damage,
and would have been relatively low-risk for workers.
Learn More: Ethical Mining
This Emerald was polished in Mumbai, India.
The Lapidary is a family business, owned by two business partners.
Factory workers have safe conditions and are paid fairly.
The Lapidary is also the direct-importer & sells exclusively at large gem shows.
Learn More: Ethical Lapidary
I first met one of the owners of the lapidary at the Denver Gem Show in 2017. Our first encounter was short since it was my last day of shopping and I had already spent most of my budget. But their tumbled stock was the highest quality I had ever seen. A few months later we met again in Tucson and this time I made sure to see them at the beginning of the show!
In 2019, at the Tucson Gem Show, I was able to sit down with both owners and have a lengthy conversation about sourcing. Unlike most vendors, they were willing to speak with me in-depth about how they make sure their business is ethical. We talked about individual mines they source from both in India as well as how they source from other countries. We also talked about how they treat their own workers and about the links between business, karma and God. Their willingness to talk and their pleasure at the conversation makes me eager to continue to develop and deepen this relationship.
Emerald Tumbled Stone
Color: Dark green, with minor black “garden” inclusions. This is a 100% natural stone, so minor variations are part of their unique beauty.
Size: 1 inch, or a little bit bigger
Weight: 1 oz
Shipping: Next business day – Domestic First Class averages 3-7 days. International First Class averages 2-3 weeks.
Safe Handling of Emerald
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