Emerald (EM-er-uld) is green beryl, and the gemstone-quality specimens are the most valuable of the beryl family, since they are one of the four “precious gemstones” (the others being ruby, sapphire, and diamond). It can be anything from mint to forest green, occasionally with a yellowish tone, and can be opaque or translucent. Sometimes it has black crack-like inclusions. The green color comes from trace amounts of chromium (and sometimes vanadium) in its mineral composition. The name is derived from the Greek word smaragdos, meaning “green gem”. The gemstones mined in Colombia are a true green, while the ones mined in Brazil have a yellow tone and those from Zambia are slightly bluish. An emerald deposit was also discovered in the Yukon (Canada) in 1997.

Being a type of beryl, emerald has a Mohs hardness of 7.5 to 8 and a hexagonal crystal structure.

It is the main birthstone for May (the alternate being chrysoprase).

Location: Emerald is chiefly mined in Colombia, with Brazil and Zambia being close behind. Emerald can actually be found in almost every part of the world; some additional sources include South Africa, Zimbabwe, Russia, Afghanistan, Australia, Ghana, India, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tanzania, Zambia, Canada, and the United States.

Properties: Emerald has traditionally been seen as a stone of love, courage, and abundance. It is a powerful heart stone, bringing one’s awareness to heart-centered action. It brings energies of hope, gentleness, and encouragement to the wearer, which guides them to the compassion and unconditional love that govern the heart chakra. It can be used to clear emotional patterns wherein one sees themselves as a victim, or where they have rejected or surrendered their personal power. It helps bring the perspective of compassion and acceptance into all areas of life, as well as encouraging the wearer to meet everyone with that same compassion, acceptance, and respect. It can also be of some assistance in removing blockages to wealth, particularly those associated with feeling undeserving of such worldly standing. It also encourages the wearer to see “wealth” in other ways, to appreciate the gifts offered in all areas of life and meet all experiences with gratitude for the richness and learning opportunities they bring.

Some believe it can help with treating disorders of the spine, heart, lungs, muscles, and eyes.

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