Emerald is the green variety of the mineral beryl, owing its vibrant color to a trace amount of chromium and occasionally a slight trace of vanadium. The majority of emeralds contain several inclusions of softer minerals. These inclusions have been termed “jardins”, meaning gardens in French. Occasionally, these inclusions make it difficult to set the emeralds without damaging the gem. Emeralds have been cherished since man first discovered them and they are one of the most valuable of all gems. At times, emeralds have been more desirable than diamonds, rubies, or sapphires.


Emeralds were discovered in southeastern Egypt more than 3000 years ago. The Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans worked these vast emerald mines for centuries. These mines have long been inactive. Today, some of the finest emeralds in the world are mined in Colombia. Other sources include Russia, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Zambia.

Fine 2.75 Carat Emerald and Diamond Platinum Ring.

Pliny, the Roman Scholar, was one of the first to write about emeralds, praising its vibrant green color as representing the coming of a beautiful and hopeful spring. Pliny described a sculpted marble lion, in the tomb of King Hermias on Cyprus, overlooking the sea. The lion’s eyes were fashioned out of natural emeralds that were so bright they scared away all the fish. The fisherman replaced the eyes with common stones and the fish returned. In medieval times, emerald was used as a cure for eye disease and a guard against the evil eye and epilepsy. Emperor Nero treated his failing eyesight by watching gladiator combats through an emerald crystal.

The Holy Grail is reputedly carved from a large emerald crystal that fell from Satan’s crown as he descended from Heaven to Hell! The emerald’s sacredness lead to a biblical writer describing the throne of God as surrounded by a rainbow that looked like an emerald. (Revelation 4:3)

The emerald is the birthstone for May, and one of the gemstones for Cancer, the House of the Crab. It also commemorates the 20th and 35th Anniversary.


Crystal mystics continue to ascribe emerald with the ability to aid in curing problems with eyesight. In addition, it is considered to fortify the heart and detoxifies the blood. It is a talisman for all members of the healing professions: Doctors, Nurses, Ambulance, Counselors, Psychiatrists, etc.

Emerald is a stone of prosperity and riches, not just materially, but also spiritually. It is a stone of intelligence and communication, intuition, clairvoyance, sensuality, love, romance, beauty, harmony, and tranquility.

Emerald is a stone of the heart chakra.

French Straight Line Emerald Bracelet.

Victorian Emerald and Diamond Necklace.

Victorian Emerald and Diamond Necklace.

5.11 Carat Vintage Emerald Ring.

Gemological Information for Emerald

Color:Green with Blue or Yellow Tones
Crystal Structure:Hexagonal
Refractive Index:1.566-1.600
Durability:May be Fragile/Brittle
Similar Stones:Confusion is Possible with TourmalineDiopside, Fluorite and Green Glass
Treatments:Emerald is Routinely Fracture Filled and/or Oiled
Country of Origin:Brazil, Colombia, Africa

Emerald Care

Ultrasonic Cleaning:Not Safe
Steam Cleaning:Not Safe
Warm Soapy Water:Safe
Chemical Attack:Usually Resistant
Light Sensitivity:Stable
Heat Sensitivity:Very Sensitive, Unstable


  • The Treatises of Benvenuto Cellini on Goldsmithing and Sculpture, Ashbee, C.R. ISBN 0486215686

Gems & Gemology: The Quarterly Journal of the Gemological Institute of America


  • Nov.-Dec. 1934, Emerald Mining in Colombia, p. 149, 6pp.
  • Spring 1938, South African Emeralds, p. 146, 1p.
  • Summer 1940, Differences Between Russian and Colombian Emeralds, by Gübelin, p. 89, 4pp.
  • Spring 1941, The Emerald Mines of Muzo, Colombia, p. 130, 5pp.
  • Winter 1943, “Indian Emeralds”–Crackled Quartz, Dyed, p. 118, 1p.
  • Summer 1945, A Cat’s-Eye Emerald, p. 222, 1p.
  • Fall 1947, The 2,226 Gram Emerald of Iakov I. Kakovin, p. 469, 2pp.
  • Winter 1947, The Emerald in Fable and History, p. 497, 3pp.
  • Spring 1948, Recent Emerald Production of Colombia, p. 25, 2pp.
  • Spring 1951, Data on Indian Emeralds, by Gübelin, p. 13, 10pp.
  • Summer 1950, Emerald Mine Report from Colombia, p. 316, 1p.
  • Summer 1950, Emeralds Mined in India, p. 321, 1p.
  • Fall 1950, Indian Emeralds, by Webster, p. 344, 2pp.
  • Winter 1950, Report of Chivor Emerald Mines, p. 376, 3pp.
  • Fall 1955, The new Gachala Emerald Mine in Colombia, p. 195, 2pp.
  • Summer 1956, The Emeralds from Habachtel, Austria, by Gübelin, p. 295, 15pp.
  • Fall 1958, The New Emeralds from Sandawana, Southern Rhodesia, by Gübelin, p. 195, 9pp.
  • Fall 1958, Sandawana Emeralds-Some Commercial Aspects, p. 221, 3pp.
  • Spring 1959, A Near Flawless and Beautiful Color Emerald 12.65 cts., p. 264, 2pp.
  • Spring 1959, Another Emerald Deposit Found in Rhodesia, p. 284, 1p.
  • Fall 1960, An Oxidation Layer Seen on Old Emeralds, p. 70, 1p.
  • Spring 1961, A New Emerald Find Near Borur, Colombia, p. 142, 2pp.
  • Winter 1961, Brazilian Pegmatite Emerald and its Absorption Spectrum, p. 244, 1p.
  • Winter 1961, New Data on New Deposit of Australian Emeralds, by Gübelin, p. 251, 1p.
  • Winter 1963, A New Source of Emeralds in Brazil, by Draper, p. 111, 5pp.
  • Fall 1964, Trapiche Emeralds from Colombia, p. 210, 5pp.
  • Winter 1964, Chromeless Emeralds from Brazil Identified as Emeralds by GIA, p. 244, 1p.
  • Spring 1965, Trapiche Emeralds from Colombia, p. 265, 3pp.
  • Summer 1967, Trapiche Emeralds from Colombia in Large Sizes, p. 181, 2pp.
  • Fall 1967, Black-Core Emerald Crystals, p. 799, 3pp.
  • Fall 1967, A New Emerald Source in Australia, p. 220, 4pp.
  • Spring 1968, The Black Material in Trapiche Emeralds, p. 287, 2pp.
  • Summer 1968, Inclusions in Russian and Colombian Emeralds, p. 305, 3pp.
  • Summer 1968, Trapiche Emeralds, p. 316, 2pp.
  • Summer 1968, Zambia Emeralds, p. 320, 1p.
  • Spring 1969, Notable Emeralds in the Crown Jewels of Iran, by Meen, p. 8, 3pp.
  • Spring 1969, Changes in Synthetic Emeralds, p. 23, 2pp.
  • Summer 1969, Russian Emeralds, p. 63, 2pp.
  • Summer 1969, First Fluorite Inclusion Seen in Emerald, p. 53, 2pp.
  • Summer 1970, Natural Etched Trapiche Crystal left on Girdle, p. 187, 2pp.
  • Summer 1970, A 7 ct. Faceted Trapiche Emerald, p. 195, 1p.
  • Fall 1970, 3-Phase Inclusions, with Two Bubbles, Found in Colombian Emeralds, p. 235, 2pp.
  • Winter 1970, North Carolina Emeralds, p. 251, 3pp.
  • Spring 1971, 2-phase Inclusions in Colombian Emeralds, p. 275, 1p.
  • Spring 1971, Trapiche Emeralds, Inclusions and High R.I., p. 277, 1p.
  • Winter 1971, New Type Inclusions in Natural Emeralds, p. 379, 2pp.
  • Spring 1972, A Heat-Wave Pattern Inclusion in Natural Emeralds, p. 18, 2pp.
  • Summer 1972, Unusual Quartz Inclusions in North Carolina Emeralds, p. 34, 4pp.
  • Summer 1972, New Emerald Find from Marua District, Mozambique, p. 52, 2pp.
  • Fall 1972, Muzo Emerald Mine, Colombia, p. 77, 5pp.
  • Fall 1972, A Plane of Pyrites in a Colombian Emerald, p. 93, 2pp.
  • Spring 1973, Parisite in Muzo Emeralds and Trapiche Emeralds, p. 148, 2pp.
  • Winter 1973, Heavy Concentration of Pyrites in a Colombian Emerald, p. 253, 2pp.
  • Spring 1975, A Helical Inclusion in Emerald, p. 28, 1p. (See also Fall 1983, p. 173, 1p.)
  • Fall 1975, Color Zoning in an Emerald, p. 73, 2pp.
  • Summer 1976, Included Rutile Needles in Emerald, p. 174, 1p.
  • Fall 1976, A Quartz Crystal Inclusion in Colombian Emerald, p. 213, 1p. (See also Summer 1977, p. 314, 1p.)
  • Fall 1977, Very Strong Color Zoning in Emerald, p. 328, 2pp.
  • Fall 1977, Colombian Emeralds, by Sinkankas, p. 334, 4pp.
  • Winter 1977, A Puzzling Natural Emerald and “Ferrer” Glass Imitation Emeralds from the 1920’s, p. 366, 1p.
  • Fall 1979, Tripache Emerald, p. 211, 1p.
  • Winter 1980, Unexpected Absorption Spectrum in Natural Emeralds, p. 391, 2pp.
  • Winter 1980, Mobile Bubble in A Three-Phase Emerald Inclusion, p. 392, 3pp.

Synthetic Emerald

  • May-June 1935, A Coated Emerald, p. 254, 1p.
  • July-Aug. 1935, Synthetic Beryl (Including Emerald), p. 281, 5pp.
  • -Dec. 1935, Emerald Filter Tested, p. 355, 1p.
  • Winter 1937, New Synthetic Emerald Developments, p. 131, 4pp.
  • Summer 1938, The Detection of Synthetic Emerald, p. 163, 5pp.
  • Spring 1941, New Synthetic Emerald from San Francisco (Chatham), p. 134, 1p.
  • Summer 1941, The Synthetic Emerald, by Gübelin and Shipley, p. 146, 5pp.
  • Fall 1942, Synthetic Emeralds Appear Commercially in San Francisco, p. 40, 2pp.
  • Winter 1943, “Indian Emeralds”-Crackled Quartz, Dyed, p. 118, 1p.
  • Spring 1944, Synthetic Emeralds Tested, p. 133, 2pp.
  • Spring 1946, Improvements in the Quality of Synthetic Emeralds, by Switzer, p. 305, 3pp.
  • Summer 1947, Synthetic Emeralds, by Gübelin, p. 421, 5pp.
  • Summer 1947, German Synthetic Emeralds, p. 436, 1p.
  • Summer 1947, Synthetic Emeralds Enter the American Market, p. 439, 1p.
  • Spring 1948, Nacken Synthetic Emeralds, p. 25, 1p.
  • Spring 1951, New Gem Substitute Resembles Emerald, p. 29, 1p.
  • Spring 1953, Peculiar Inclusions in Synthetic Emerald, p. 283, 1p.
  • Winter 1958, Ultra-Violet in Testing Synthetic Emeralds, p. 228, 1p.
  • Spring 1959, Caution in Testing Synthetic Emeralds, p. 265, 1p.
  • Spring 1960, The New Lechleitner Synthetic Emerald, by Crowningshield, p. 11, 12pp.
  • Winter 1960, Beryl With Synthetic Overgrowth, by Gübelin, p. 105, 9pp.
  • Fall 1962, Emeralds Coated with Plastic, p. 340, 1p.
  • Winter 1962, Emeralds with Green Plastic Pavilions, p. 379, 1p.
  • Winter 1962, Straight Color Banding in Chatham Emerald, p. 380, 2pp.
  • Spring 1963, Emerald with a Dark Green Adventurine Quartz Back, p. 23, 1p.
  • Fall 1963, A New Synthetic Emerald, p. 85, 2pp.
  • Fall 1963, Synthetic Emerald vs. Natural, p. 91, 1p.
  • Spring 1964, Developments in the Synthetic Emerald Field, by Liddicoat, p. 131, 7pp.
  • Spring 1964, Two New Synthetic Emeralds (Zerfass and Gilson), by Gübelin, p. 139, 10pp.
  • Fall 1964, Symerald (Lechleitner or Emerita) Overgrowth, p. 218, 1p.
  • Spring 1965, The New Linde Hydrothermal Emerald, p. 259, 7pp.
  • Fall 1965, Chatham Emeralds in High Temperature, p. 336, 2pp.
  • Winter 1965, Linde Hydrothermal Emeralds, p. 372, 1p.
  • Winter 1967, A New Synthetic Emerald?, p. 242, 1p.
  • Winter 1967, Gilson Synthetic Emerald, p. 245, 2pp.
  • Spring 1969, Gilson Synthetic Emerald, p. 28, 2pp.
  • Summer 1969, High Refractive Indices in Synthetic Emerald, p. 64, 2pp.
  • Summer 1969, Linde Hydrothermal Emerald, p. 65, 1p.
  • Summer 1969, Banded Glass Emerald Imitation, p. 68, 2pp.
  • Fall 1969, Odd Emerald Inclusions (?) (Linde), p. 100, 3pp.
  • Winter 1969, New Non-Fluorescent, High-Property Synthetic Emeralds, by Fryer, p. 106, 6pp.
  • Winter 1969, Banding in Non-Fluorescent High-Property Synthetic Emerald, p. 120, 2pp.
  • Winter 1969, New Hydrothermal Emerald (Linde), p. 123, 3pp.
  • Winter 1969, Synthetic Flux-Melt Emeralds (Gilson), p. 123, 2pp.
  • Winter 1969, A New Synthetic Flux-Melt Emerald with Flower-Like Inclusions, p. 130, 3pp.
  • Spring 1970, Parallel Growth in Synthetic Emerald (Gilson), p. 151, 1p.
  • Spring 1970, Zerfass Synthetic Emeralds (Flux Fusion), p. 162, 1p.
  • Summer 1970, New Hydrothermal Synthetic Emerald, p. 185, 3pp.
  • Fall 1970, Assembled Emerald Proves to be Linde, p. 226, 1p.
  • Fall 1970, More on Linde Hydrothermal Emerald, p. 233, 2pp.
  • Summer 1971, A Colorless Beryl with Green Plastic-Coated Back, p. 320, 1p.
  • Fall 1971, A Platinum Wire Left in a Synthetic Emerald, p. 349, 1p.
  • Fall 1971, Another Flux-Grown Synthetic Emerald (from Vancouver, Canada), p. 359, 2pp.
  • Winter 1971, Ferrer Glass Imitation Emeralds, p. 378, 2pp. (See also *Winter 1978, p. 366, 1p.)
  • Winter 1971, Beryl Triplets to Imitate Emeralds, p. 380, 1p.
  • Winter 1971, Parallel Growth Banding Typical in Flux-Grown Synthetic Emeralds, p. 382, 2pp.
  • Spring 1972, Non-Fluorescent Synthetic Emerald, p. 10, 2pp.
  • Summer 1972, Beryl Coated Emerald-Green with Plastic, p. 54, 2pp.
  • Spring 1973, Glass Imitation of Emerald Crystals, p. 136, 1p.
  • Spring 1973, Unusual Synthetic Emerald Inclusions, p. 139, 1p.
  • Spring 1973, Synthetic Emerald with Very Strong Zoning, Common, p. 149, 1p.
  • Summer 1973, A Rare Emerald Imitation (a Hollow Bead Filled with Crushed Emerald in oil), p. 185, 2pp.
  • Summer 1974, Emerald Imitations (Painted Quartz in Matrix, Filled Hollow Back, and Emerald-Green Fluorite), p. 300, 4pp.
  • Spring 1976, Another New Flux-Type Synthetic Emerald, p. 138, 2pp.
  • Fall 1976, A Spodumene (?) Crystal in a Synthetic Emerald, p. 214, 1p.
  • Fall 1976, Some Very Effective Emerald Imitations, p. 220, 2p.
  • Fall 1977, Pale Green Beryl Crystal Core-Drilled & Filled with Deep Green Cement, p. 328, 1p.
  • Spring 1979, Imitating Emerald, p. 154, 1p.
  • Fall 1979, Another Fake Matrix Emerald, p. 196, 2pp.