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Intro to Emeralds

Emerald History

The verdant green color of the emerald has long been treasured and prized around the world. It has been used in jewelry as well as for many other purchases. The desirability of this rare gemstone has only increased through the ages rivaling that of all other popular gemstones like the diamondsapphire and ruby.

Emeralds In History

The emerald has been known by many names in history as it was a stone prized by all the large ancient empires. In ancient India, the stone was known as “marakata” translating to “the green growing.” The modern name emerald was most likely derived from an ancient Persian word which was translated to Latin as the word “smaragdus.” Overtime this word became emerald.

Emeralds have been sold in ancient markets in Asia and Europe up to 6000 years ago. On the other side of the world, Incas worshipped the precious green emerald. Even Aristotle took to mentioning the emerald in his writings, saying that an emerald can comfort and sooth the eyes and also improve the status of an individual.

Emerald are beautiful but have also been prized for their spiritual properties. Chaldeans believed that emeralds contained a divine element and Islamic cultures used the precious gemstone to engrave verses of the Koran. It is even said that the Roman emperor Nero watched gladiator fights through a large transparent emerald as he believed it soothed him.

Ancient cultures prized the emerald for bringing a creative energy to work. In the middle ages it was also believed that the emerald would keep a woman chaste if she wore it. An emerald would also be able to tell future events if placed on the tongue. It was believed that it also 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. Overall across many cultures, emeralds were believed to have calming, and protecting, often also symbolizing trust, fidelity and protection.

Throughout history, royal families have loved this stone. Cleopatra was famous for her love of the emerald. Emerald were also a part of crown jewels in India, Iran, and Russia. Hernando Cortes also found emeralds on his voyage to Mexico and attempted to bring them back with him to Europe, but failing due to a shipwreck. Many modern icons have also worn emeralds with great passion and gusto. Elizabeth Taylor had a fabulous collection of emerald jewelry including brooches and necklaces.

Emeralds continue to be a rare and beautiful gemstone used for adornment and for crafting jewelry. The alluring green is unmistakable and loved around the world. Learn more by continuing to emerald formation


Were emeralds popular in ancient times?

Yes. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all had a deep fascination with emeralds and believed they possessed mystical powers. The Incas and Aztecs of South America also held emeralds in high regard and used them in their religious ceremonies.

What are some famous emeralds from history?

One of the most famous emeralds is the Mogul Emerald, which is a 217.80-carat rectangular cut emerald that was once owned by the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb. Other famous emeralds include the Duke of Devonshire Emerald, the Chalk Emerald, and the Patricia Emerald.

How were emeralds used in ancient times?

In ancient times, emeralds were used for a variety of purposes, including as talismans, jewelry, and even medicine. The ancient Greeks believed that emeralds could cure eye diseases, while the Romans thought they could soothe a person's soul.

Are emeralds still sought-after?

Emeralds have always been highly prized, but the way they have been appreciated has changed over time. In ancient times, they were primarily valued for their mystical and healing properties. Today, emeralds are mostly appreciated for their beauty and rarity, and they are often used in high-end jewelry.

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