Emerald - Mineral and Healing Properties

Chemistry: Be3Al2(SiO3)6 Beryllium aluminum silicate

Class: Silicates

Uses: Precious gemstone used extensively for top quality jewelry.

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  • Emerald Rough
  • Emerald Polished
  • Emerald Crystal
  • Emerald Faceted


Natural, transparent Emerald is one of four precious gemstones (including Diamond, Ruby and Sapphire), and is the green variety of Beryl, a beryllium aluminum silicate mineral colored by trace amounts of chromium and/or vanadium. Emerald occurs in hues ranging from yellow-green to blue-green, with the finest being a pure verdant green hue, medium to dark in tone.

Origin Of The Name

The word emerald is derived (via Old French: esmeraude and Middle English: emeraude), from Vulgar Latin: esmaralda/esmaraldus, a variant of Latin smaragdus, which originated in Ancient Greek: (smaragdos; meaning green gem).

Interesting Facts

Emerald has been a source of fascination and reverence in many cultures for over six thousand years, sold in the markets of Babylon as early as 4,000 B.C. It was a stone worshipped by the Incas, believed by the Chaldeans to contain a goddess, and was highly honored in all major religions for its spiritual power and beauty. Emerald was considered a symbol of eternal life in ancient Egypt, a gift of Thoth, the god of wisdom, and was a favorite jewel of Queen Cleopatra. The Emerald mines in Upper Egypt, rediscovered a hundred years ago, are some of the oldest in the world and were called Cleopatra’s mines for her love of the stone.

Where Is It Found

Emeralds in antiquity have been mined in Egypt since 1500 BC, and India, and Austria since at least the 14th century.

Emeralds are found all over the world in countries such as Afghanistan, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Tanzania, United States, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. In the US, emeralds have been found in Connecticut, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, and South Carolina. In Canada, in 1997 emeralds were discovered in the Yukon.

Colombia is by far the world's largest producer of emeralds, constituting 50–95% of the world production, with the number depending on the year, source and grade.Zambia is the world's second biggest producer, with its Kafubu River area deposits (Kagem Mines) about 45 km (28 mi) southwest of Kitwe responsible for 20% of the world's production of gem quality stones.

What Do We Do With It

High quality emeralds are used almost exclusively for making fine jewelry.

Emerald is regarded as the traditional birthstone for May as well as the traditional gemstone for the astrological signs of Taurus, Gemini, and sometimes Cancer.

Emerald is a variety of beryl. Beryl is an ore of berrylium which is used for X-ray detectors, in the hadron particle collider, aircraft, welding and electronics. But another variety of beryl is used for that: common beryl, instead of emerald. Though emerald can be used as an ore or beryllium, it generally isn't because it is more profitable for it to be used as a gemstone.

Metaphysical Uses

Called the “Stone of Successful Love,” Emerald opens and nurtures the heart and the Heart Chakra. Its soothing energy provides healing to all levels of the being, bringing freshness and vitality to the spirit. A stone of inspiration and infinite patience, it embodies unity, compassion and unconditional love. Emerald promotes friendship, balance between partners, and is particularly known for providing domestic bliss, contentment and loyalty. It was dedicated in the ancient world to the goddess Venus for its ability to insure security in love.

Emerald is an excellent stone for reviving passion, whether for an interest, a person, or a job. To attract romantic love, wear or carry an Emerald out of sight near the heart. To call back an estranged love, speak the words you wish to say holding the stone close to your lips and seal it in an envelope. If appropriate, send it to the person with a message.

For meditation, it is excellent to use with rhythmic breathing. Emerald is also used to remove barriers to spiritual growth and thus raise consciousness. Emerald can increase psychic and intuitive awareness, particularly in the area of clairvoyance. It is said to grant all knowledge of past, present and future.

Physical Characteristics

Color: Shades of green to colorless.

Luster: Vitreous

Transparency: Transparent to opaque.

Crystal System: Hexagonal

Crystal Habits: Massive to well chrystaline.

Cleavage: Imperfect

Fracture: Conchoidal

Hardness: 7.5 - 8

Specific Gravity: 2.76

Streak: White

Associated Minerals: Micas, quartz, euclase, calcite, tourmalines and some feldspars.

Other Characteristics: Faces on large crystals are often pitted, striated lengthwise and rough.

Best Field Indicators: Crystal habit, lack of good cleavage, hardness and color.

Educational Videos

Mining Emerald in Colombia

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