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Symbolism of Emeralds

E1556 | medium | play | left | “Emerald ID: E1556 Weight: 1.43 Carats Origin: Colombia”Where the word “Emerald” comes from -The term emerald is intrinsically related to the word green in the English language, going back to antiquity with the original term being “smaragdus” or “green gem”. Meaning any green transparent stone, not a specific one. The fact that we term only specific shades of green colored beryl as emeralds says a lot about how we perceive the color green.

Common Attributes – Emeralds are known for true love, dating back to the Greek offering emeralds to Aphrodite; goddess of beauty and love. They are also associated with wealth to a lesser extent. More unusual attributions say you can see the future if you place it under your tongue, and make you a more eloquent speaker. These ideas also tie into overall wisdom.

Vedic Astrology Attribution – Vedic Astrology is all about the alignment of planets, with emeralds being associated with Budha (not to be confused with the Gautama Buddha of Buddhism). The main attribute of Budha is intelligence, whether it is creativity or education. Since predictions are made based on how the planets move, the precise intellectual attributions and what they relate to changes over time.


Heart Chakra

Chakras -In keeping with being the gem of love, emeralds are associated with the heart chakra. They promote emotional healing, and physical well-being in turn. A calm mind promotes physical health after all. A more harmonious emotional state also enables greater concentration and better spiritual intuition.

Symbolism of the Green Color – The green color is associated with lots of themes from nature like growth, renewal, healing, and hope. Ideal greens are also famous for relieving stressed eyes, with more contemporary studies backing this up too. The green of nature is a therapeutic color for the eyes and the soul.

Everyone Loves Green – Historical figures such as Cleopatra adored green. She was famous for wearing emeralds, though her emerald mines might have actually been peridot mines. Remember, the original meaning of emerald was “green gem” and that was how all green gems were treated historically, regardless of whether they were a green garnet, peridot, or an emerald.

Protective Amulets

Emeralds are also attributed with the ability to protect the wearer from spells, and have been used in a few different ways.


Navaratna Pendant

Navaratna – A navaratna is widely recognized across Asia and various religions and customs. It is universally regarded as sacred, though the exact attribution of each gem does vary from deities to planetary bodies, including everything in between. The emerald represents the planet mercury in vedic astrology. Its specific location in the amulet is important, though there are various adaptations to arrangement of the 9 sacred gems including bracelets, rings, and even a flag emblem.


Navaratna as a Bracelet, Photo by Metropolitan Museum of Art

Mogul Mughal Emerald

Not all Emeralds are Faceted – Some emeralds are carved, as is the case of the Mogul Mughal emerald (one of the most expensive emeralds ever). It is far from being the only emerald carved like this, but it is unique in the fact that it bears a date. Most art in antiquity lacks a date, much less carved items where visual space is worth more than gold. Carved into one side is a floral pattern, and the other an Islamic prayer in delicate script to match the flowers. The side with the prayer was made to be used as a stamp.

Emeralds in the Bible


Priestly Breastplate

Emerald was one of four sacred gems given to Solomon by God in the bible. These were said to have granted the owner power over all creation. The figure of Solomon in this text is synonymous with wisdom, making the theme of emeralds and intelligence follow closely.

Another instance is when God dictates the creation of the priestly breastplate in the book of Exodus, and orders it to be made with various precious gems including emerald-green gems. This breastplate was meant to indicate the will of God.

As mentioned above, the exact gems used vary between translations of the original text. In older texts the term smaragdus, literally meaning green gem, is used. Emeralds of the mineral species beryl may not have been the actual gem, but the color is so distinctive and appealing that they definitely would have been used if available.

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