Your On-Line Guide to
The Healing Energies, Metaphysical Properties,
Legendary Uses and Meaning
Introduction to the Meaning and Uses of Emerald
St. Hildegard of Bingen, the noted lithologist, declared, “All the green of nature is concentrated within the Emerald.” [Megemont, 80-81] Representing youth in the age of man, the power of this lush crystal stirs the soul like the heart of spring, symbolizing hope and the future, renewal and growth. It is a Seeker of Love and a Revealer of Truth, inspiring an ongoing search for meaning, justice, compassion and harmony.
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. [Melody, 257][Hall, 126][Ahsian, 148][Gienger, 36][Mella, 84]
Emerald is also a stone of great vision and intuition, associated with the eyes and sight, long believed to foretell future events and reveal one’s truths. It is a stone of wisdom, enhancing memory and increasing mental clarity. It combines intelligence with discernment, and brings to the conscious mind what is unconsciously known. Emerald also increases focus and intent, activating psychic abilities and opening clairvoyance. Traditionally it was used as a protection against enchantment and spells. [Mella, 84-85][Melody, 257-258][Hall, 127][Kunz, 76-79]
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. Emeralds were also talismans of Aristotle, Alexander the Great, Charlemagne, and the moguls of India. They’ve adorned the crowns and royal jewels of many countries for centuries, and fabulous collections and stunning gems continue to be treasured and displayed by the rich and famous today. [Mella, 84][Eason, 250][www.jewelsforme.com]
The pure exuberance of Emerald’s green color has inspired the Pantone Company, the industry standard for print, fashion, beauty and décor to declare “Emerald” the 2013 Color of the Year, describing it as “Lively. Radiant. Lush…a color of elegance and beauty that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony.” [www.pantone.com]
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. Light colored gems are usually known by the species name, Green Beryl. Most Emeralds are highly included with surface breaking fissures, so their toughness, or resistance to breakage, is usually classified as generally poor. [Simmons, 147][www.wikipedia.org]
According to Indian lore, the name Emerald was first translated from Sanskrit as Marakata, meaning “the green of growing things.” The term we use today is believed to derive from an ancient Persian word that translated to the Greek as Smaragdus, meaning “green stone,” the term used in antiquity and referred to a number of other green stones. Over time the Old French or Vulgar Latin versions, Esmeraulde, Esmaralda or Esmaraldus became the current name, Emerald. [Fernie, 128, 132][www.wikipedia.com][www.jewelsforme.com][Simmons, 147]
While Emerald, the green variety of Beryl, may perhaps be the most famous of the family, Beryl also forms in other colors used as gems, such as blue Aquamarine, yellow Heliodor and Golden Beryl, pink Morganite, Red Beryl or Bixbite, and the colorless variety, Goshenite.
Emerald Uses and Purposes
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. [Eason, 250]
In tumblestone form, Emerald promotes good self-esteem, especially in restoring the confidence of young girls or teens that have been teased about their weight, or any young person made to feel inferior due to the inability to afford the latest designer goods. [Eason, 250]
While Emerald has a calming effect on the emotions, it has an invigorating effect on thought, reflection, and philosophy. It is a marvelous crystal for activating artistic creativity, and for bringing focus and intensity to one’s lifework. [Megemont, 81][Melody, 257]
Emerald is a remarkable support stone for the workplace. It increases mental acuity, strengthens memory and inspires eloquence in speech. Natural Emerald or tumblestone held for five minutes a day brings rapid recall of facts, and is ideal for occupations where visionary insight is a significant benefit. It enkindles success in business, especially for older women, and is particularly known for assistance in areas of legal affairs, trials and litigation. [Kunz, 78][Hall, 127][Eason, 250][Melody, 258][www.jewelsforme.com]
Emerald brings a soothing mental and emotional equilibrium, making it extremely beneficial in stimulating cooperation and understanding within a group of people. It is also helpful in relieving claustrophobia. [Hall, 127]
Emerald Healing Therapies - Overview
(Please note: Information on this web site is no substitute for consulting a health care professional. All information contained on this web site, including information relating to medical and health conditions, products and treatments, is for informational purposes only. Please see your doctor or health care professional before starting any alternative treatments, diets, supplements or exercise programs.)
Emerald Physical Healing Energy
Emerald imparts a wonderful rejuvenating quality, thought to combat aging and when placed appropriately, to re-vitalize tired organs. It is a strong healer of the physical heart, and may be useful in treating the lungs, liver, gall bladder, pancreas and kidneys, as well as the spine and muscle system. It aids recovery after infectious illness, and its powerful green ray can assist healing of malignant conditions. [Megemont, 81][Ahsian, 149][Melody, 258][Hall, 127][Eason, 250]
Emerald is considered to be the best gem for treating the eyes and for restoring eyesight. An eye bath of Emerald water is soothing to the eyes and may alleviate eye infections. Drinking an Emerald elixir is also reputed to soothe gas and cardiac weaknesses, and is an excellent stimulant in treating gout and strengthening memory. (We recommend the indirect method of preparation. See our Elixir page.) [Eason, 250][Megemont, 81-82][Gienger, 36]
This stone is believed to ward off epilepsy, and may be used to avert fever, headaches, allergies and sinusitis. It also relieves eczema, rashes and skin irritations. [Gienger, 36][Eason, 250][Hall, 127] Emerald may be used to increase fertility and for support during childbirth. [Eason, 250]
Emerald Emotional Healing Energy
Emerald is a crystal of the heart, alleviating heaviness in the emotional field and nourishing the aura with an energy of hope, encouragement, gentleness and abundance. It heals heartbreak and gives the strength needed to overcome the misfortunes of life, clearing away negative patterns of victimization and loss of personal power by strengthening the physical and emotional heart centers. It is a stone of regeneration and recovery, bringing in freshness and vitality, love and compassion - for the self as well as for others. [Ahsian, 148-149][Hall, 127]
Emerald is the stone which most represents the energy patterns of the activated Heart Chakra, the wellspring of the emotions. [Simmons, 148] The Heart Chakra is located near the center of the breastbone. It regulates our interaction with the external world and controls what we embrace and what we resist, giving us the balancing ability to be ourselves within the environment. When the Heart Chakra is out of balance we may feel either controlling or controlled in a relationship, and become critical of the little foibles of others. We may find ourselves having inappropriately strong emotional responses to everyday external stimuli. Green crystal energy is used to resolve blockages and to re-balance the Heart Chakra, helping us understand our own needs and emotions clearly. We can deal with the ebbs and flows of emotional relationships, understand their cyclic nature, and accept the changes.
Emerald also stimulates the “high heart,” or transpersonal Love center just above and to the left of the Heart Chakra. It assists one in practicing compassion and respectful understanding of others. [Ahsian, 149]
Emerald Spiritual Energy
A stone of aspiration and inspiration, Emerald opens the heart, clearing and strengthening one’s connection to Divine Love, and sustaining one in their spiritual journey. It encourages one to live and act from the heart, offering unconditional love and compassion in daily life and relationships, and to be open to receive love from others. [Simmons, 148]
A strong and open heart also allows universal blessings to flow into one’s life. Emerald stimulates not only the hope of wealth in material possessions and financial standing, but allows one to experience true abundance beyond mere wealth. Abundance is the ability to receive the gifts of Spirit within all of life’s experiences and embrace its manifestations with gratitude. It encourages trust that the Universe will provide for all of one’s needs and that there can be no lack in reality. [Simmons, 148][Ahsian, 149]
Emerald is the purest crystal of the Green Ray. It is a “growth crystal” - a powerful conduit of the earth’s Life Force of birth, development and creation, and of the power of nature’s constant renewal. It is a potent aid in nurturing, whether of fledgling family relationships or a new business venture. Emerald is perfect for keeping a venture on course, a project on schedule, and life on track. Lighter Green crystals promote spiritual growth and renewed commitment to a higher purpose. Those of a darker hue are talismans of physical growth and strength, and safety in travel.
Emerald helps one to embrace and maintain the rhythmic breathing conducive to entering and attaining depth in the meditative state. Once achieved, it assists in maintaining the cool brilliance of deliberate reflection and emitting the radiance of light. [Melody, 258]
The Divinatory meaning of Emerald in natural or tumblestone form: You will be able to silence the sniping of someone who tries to make you feel inferior through your success. [Eason, 250]
The Divinatory meaning of gem Emerald: You may have doubted the loyalty of someone recently, but you don’t need to worry. [Eason, 250]
Dreaming of Emeralds signifies there is much to look forward to. [Kunz, 358]
Emerald varies in color from pale green to deep emerald green. If your birthday falls in any of the following periods, an Emerald of the color listed can be a valuable conduit to your Guardian Angel. The table also provides the name of the Guardian Angel of those born in the time period.
There are other Angels that are partial to Emerald. The table below gives you the information about them.
Emerald honors Annapurna, the Hindu Goddess of Food, Kitchens and Cooks. She symbolizes the divine aspect of nourishing care and is often depicted with a jeweled vessel containing food in one hand and a spoon in the other. Her blessing brings energy to achieve knowledge and enlightenment.
Emerald honors Astarte, the Phoenician Goddess of Fertility, Love and War. She is known in many cultures by different names and is said to be the Queen of the Stars. She helps with troubled love, and keeps lovers faithful to each other.
Emerald also honors the three Celtic Goddesses of Sovereignty - Banbha, Eriu and Fodla. They provide protection, leadership and inspiration to anyone defending their faith, their homeland, or their way of life.
Green crystals honor Persephone, the Greek Goddess of Spring. She represesents celebration and the Earth alive with new growth.
There are several ways to find an appropriate birthstone. The traditional one is listed first. These are from the popular lists that most people are familiar with. The second way is to find your natural birthstone by the color wheel of life. You can click on the Natural Birthstone graphic below to learn more. Finally many people use the traditional stones of the Zodiac.
In this section you will find information on all three approaches.
Emerald is the traditional birthstone for May, and was an historic birthstone for June.
Emerald is the natural birthstone of those fortunate enough to be born in the heart of spring (April 20 - May 20). Green crystals bring you renewal, success in new ventures, and good health.
Emerald is the traditional zodiac stone for those born under the sign of Cancer in early summer, from the summer solstice on June 21 to July 22. Cancer is represented by a crab, and people born under this sign are adaptable, loyal and attached to family. They are gifted with strong imaginations and make great musicians, artists, writers, and composers. Cancer is also known as the "Sign of the Prophet" or "Sign of the Teacher."
Emerald also nurtures the innate spirituality of the Taurus native in symbolically “seeing things clearly,” and encourages meditation and reflection in those born under the sign of Capricorn. [Megemont, 82]
As an amulet, Emerald was used to prevent epilepsy and was usually worn around the neck or in a ring. It was highly recommended by Aristotle for this purpose, and he also urged it to be hung around the necks of children to ward off this malady. [Fernie, 127][Kunz, 381][www.jewelsforme.com]
The ancient writings of Veda, the sacred text of Hinduism, declared Emeralds to be the “gem of good luck” and the “gem that improves one’s well-being.” Shah Jahan, one of the moguls of India that built the Taj Mahal, had sacred texts inscribed into his beloved Emeralds which he used as talismans. [www.jewelsforme.com]
Emerald is a Seeker Energizer crystal. Seekers contain the crystal energy structure that aligns the natural energy of the crystal to the natural power of the human mind in finding the way to new horizons and new capabilities. They’re pointers, directors, and compasses; the fresh start crystals. These are talismans of the scientist, the adventurer, the hunter, wanderer, and explorer. They’re also crystals of the student and the researcher.
Energizer crystals, such as Emerald, are powerful conduit crystals for focusing and amplifying the Universal Life Force and our energy to accomplish our goals. They aid in our efforts to gain what we seek, enhance our lives, protect what we value, and defend us from undesirable elements.
Emerald utilizes Wood energy, the energy of growth, expansion, new beginnings, nourishment and health. It enhances vitality, brings abundance, and keeps us growing physically. Use green crystals to enhance any space used for eating, in the room of a small child, or in a place of your home where you are beginning a new project. Wood energy is traditionally associated with the East and Southeast areas of a home or room. It is associated with the Family and Health area, and the Prosperity and Abundance area.
Emerald in Ancient Lore and Legend
Emerald has been the constant green stone throughout the ages, representing youth in the age of man. In ancient times green was used for those who died in the flower of youth, and sometimes an Emerald was placed upon the index finger of the corpse as a sign the light of hope was spent. [Kunz, 31]
In ancient Egypt, Emeralds were considered a symbol of eternal life. Matrix-emerald or faience of the same color was used in amulets for engraving texts and prayers from the Book of the Dead to be placed on the body for burial. The “papyrus scepter,” uat, meaning “verdure, flourishing, greenness,” is cut from matrix-emerald and, placed on the neck of the mummy, is emblematic of the eternal youth it was hoped the deceased would enjoy in the afterlife. The 159th chapter speaks of a uat of matrix-emerald, believed to be the gift of Thoth and thought to protect the limbs of the deceased. [Eason, 250][Kunz, 226-227]
The first-century Egyptian magician, Hermes Trismegistos, was said to carve on a pure Emerald tablet words that held the key to magic: “As above, so below.” For this reason Emeralds have always been considered a magical stone, connecting cosmic and Earthly realms, and for bringing thoughts and desires into reality. [Eason, 250]
As a revealer of truth, Emerald also held the power to protect one from enchantments, conjurations and spells. It was considered a gemstone of universal sight, strengthening memory, increasing intelligence, and giving the wearer the ability to foretell the future, especially if put on the tongue or worn on the left side of the body. In its prophecy, according to legend, the Emerald would even hurl itself from its mounting or change hues in order to forewarn of impending danger or illness. During the Middle Ages it was a symbol of fidelity, reputed to reveal the truth or falsity of a lover’s oath and helped keep a woman chaste, though the same was not believed to be true for a man. [Hall, 127[Kunz, 76-79][Mella, 84-85][www.jewelsforme.com]
Inherent in a fine Emerald is the power to assist one in becoming an eloquent speaker. Aristotle, a great fan of the gem, wrote that owning an Emerald increases the owner’s importance in presence and speech during business, gives victory in trials, and helps settle litigation. [Kunz, 78][www.jewelsforme.com]
The Emerald of old was believed to be born white within the mines then ripen to its mature perfect meadow-green, first assuming its verdancy in the part nearest to the rising sun. However, gathering these ripened gems may have given pause. Many Emerald mines were, and are still, famously steeped in superstitions and fear, believed to be the abode of demons or wicked spirits who guard the treasures within the mines and who would resent and retaliate for any intrusion. [Fernie, 116, 128, 130][Kunz, 248]
Association of Emerald with sight and the eyes has been reported by many civilizations throughout time, both for its soothing quality and the belief it cured diseases of the eyes. Egyptians of the High Empire used it to enhance vision, and the Greeks and Romans stuck small Emeralds in the corners of the eyes of those nearsighted or farsighted. Light, transparent Emeralds were polished and used as a magnifying glass, and developed into the very first eyeglasses. The Emperor Nero was well-known for observing the feats of gladiators through an eyeglass of Emerald. [Mella, 84][Megemont, 81][Fernie, 130]
The zodiac of the ancient Greeks and Romans dedicated Emerald to the month of June, associated with the sign of Cancer, The Crab. [Fernie, 45-46] They also believed Emerald to be controlled by the planet Venus, with its reproductive energies of life and nature. In the East, however, Emerald was often ascribed to Mercury, for its wisdom and eloquence. Some claimed Jupiter to be its influence. [Kunz, 28, 242, 348][Mella, 84][Simmons, 148]
In Jewish history, Emerald is listed in Exodus as the fourth stone in the Breastplate of the High Priest, though original manuscripts translate the smaragdus, Emerald, as being the Bareketh, the third stone, engraved with the tribe of Levi. Legend also relates Emerald as one of four precious stones given by God to King Solomon, endowing him with power over all creation. [Kunz, 78, 291-292]
In Christian history, the Emerald is attributed to St. John, emblematic of his youth and gentleness. In Revelations in the New Testament, he compares the rainbow around the Throne of God “in sight like unto an Emerald.” [Fernie, 44, 126] For Christians, these stones became typical of the resurrection, of the birth into a new and purer life. [Kunz, 28]
In antiquity, Emerald was to be worn in a ring to prevent giddiness, and strengthen the memory. It was believed to take away foolish fears of devils, hobgoblins, folly and anger, was said to be good for the eyes, assisted women in childbirth, and drove away evil spirits. The Emerald was considered an antidote for poison, venomous bites, and taken as an elixir, cured all fluxes, especially dysentery. [Fernie, 87, 127][Kunz, 379-380] The Roman historian, Pliny, tells of an old Hebrew tradition that if a serpent fixes its eyes on an Emerald, it becomes blind. [Fernie, 126][Kunz, 157-158]
Pliny also tells of a sculptured marble lion with Emerald eyes, placed on the tomb of King Hermias on the island of Cypress on the coast near the fisheries. These Emeralds were of such extraordinary brilliance, and flashed their light so far out to sea they frightened the fish so that they swam a great distance away. The fishermen, realizing the cause for the scarcity of their supply, removed the Emeralds and replaced them with other stones, inducing the fish to return. [Fernie, 130][Kunz, 167, 349]
According to the Roman magician Damigeron from the 2nd century B.C., the Emerald should be engraved with a scarab, with a standing figure of Isis beneath it. It should then be pierced longitudinally and worn in a brooch in order to see the “glory of the stone granted it by God.” [Kunz, 132]
A text from the 1600s, the Magick of Kiram, is said to be sought after by the learned but seen by few, and kept in the Vatican in Rome, instructs one to carve upon a Smaragdus (Emerald or other precious green stone) a Bird Harpe, with a Sea Lamprey under its feet. When worn, it protects against disturbance, dreams, and stupidity, and gives rest to lunatics and those afflicted with colic. [Fernie, 128-129]
One story from the Oriental Memoirs of Forbes, tells of an observer on a certain moonlit night watching a swarm of fire-flies. After hovering for a while, illuminated by the moonbeams, one special fly, more brilliant than the others, alighted on the grass and remained there. The observer, surprised that it didn’t fly away, went over to discover the reason. He found there, instead of a fire-fly, a shining Emerald, which he then took and afterwards wore in a ring. [Fernie, 133]
The famous “San Graal” of King Arthur’s time was reputed to be a miraculous chalice made of a single precious Emerald, sent from Heaven and endowed with the power of preserving chastity, prolonging life, and other wonders. This chalice was believed to have been brought directly from the hands of God by angels, and was the actual cup from which Christ drank at the Last Supper. [Fernie, 133]
At the time of the Spanish Conquest, an immense Emerald the size of an ostrich egg was adored by the Peruvians in the city of Manta. This “Emerald goddess”, named Umiña, was only displayed on high feast days, when the Indians flocked to the shrine bringing gifts to the goddess. Less than scrupulous priests especially recommended donation of Emeralds, saying these were the daughters of the goddess, who would be pleased to see her offspring. The immense horde of these precious gems, however, fell into the hands of Pedro de Alvarado, Garcilasso de la Vega, and their companions during the conquest of Peru. Only the mother Emerald survived, being so cleverly concealed by the priests of the shrine that the Spaniards never succeeded in gaining possession of it. [Kunz, 247-248]
Legend claims Hernando Cortes, the conqueror of Mexico, tried to return home with huge chunks of Emerald that he took from the Aztecs. However, one of his ships became shipwrecked, losing forever, rare and delicately carved Emeralds in the shape of flowers and fish, and one particularly large Emerald the size of a man’s hand. [www.jewelsforme.com]
The Emerald is the seasonal gem of spring, traditionally given on the occasion of a 55th wedding anniversary. [Kunz, 323, 337] Today the American Gem Trade Association lists it as the stone for a 20th anniversary. [Eason, 45]
The term Oriental Emerald refers to a green variety of Corundum (Sapphire), in itself a rare gem. [Fernie, 127]
The symbols [ ] enclose the author's name and a page number for a reference cited from the following books:
[Ahsian, pp.] Robert Simmons & Naisha Ahsian, The Book of Stones (Berkley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2007).
[Altman, pp.] Jennifer Altman, Gem and Stone: Jewelry of Earth, Sea, and Sky. (San Francisco, Chronicle Books, 2012)
[Eason, pp. ]Cassandra Eason, The New Crystal Bible (London: Carlton Books Ltd., 2010).
[Fernie, pp.] William T. Fernie, The Occult and Curative Powers of Precious Stones (Blauvelt, NY: Rudolph Steiner Publications, 1973).
[Gienger, pp.] Michael Gienger, Healing Crystals (Scotland: Earthdancer Books, 2009).
[Hall, pp.] Judy Hall, The Crystal Bible (Cincinnati, OH: Walking Stick Press, 2003).
[Hall 2, pp.]Judy Hall, The Crystal Bible 2 (Cincinnati, OH: Walking Stick Press, 2009).
[Kunz, pp.] George Frederick Kunz, The Curious Lore of Precious Stones (New York: Dover Publications, 1971).
[Megemont, pp.] Florence Megemont, The Metaphysical Book of Gems and Crystals (Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2008).
[Mella, pp.] Dorothee L. Mella, Stone Power II (Albuquerque, NM: Brotherhood of Life, Inc., 1986).
[Melody, pp.] Melody, Love Is In The Earth (Wheat Ridge, CO: Earth-Love Publishing House, 1995).
[Raphaell, pp.] Katrina Raphaell, Crystal Enlightenment (Santa Fe, NM: Aurora Press, 1985)
[Simmons, pp.] Robert Simmons & Naisha Ahsian, The Book of Stones (Berkley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2007).