Thursday, April 19, 2007

Emerald


Much like Peridot’s past, that we learned about in the last issue, the ancient history surrounding the Emerald gets very cloudy. Long before geology became a science, gemstones & crystals were classified by color. Almost any gem with a rich green color was therefore considered an Emerald. A Malachite, or even green Jasper could just have easily been called an Emerald as the genuine stone.

In more recent history (the last 200 years or so), some of the more famous Emeralds have have been exposed as Peridots, Tourmalines, Alexandarite, Garnets & occasionally, a real Emerald.

Roman Emperor Nero reputedly had "sunglasses" made of Emerald. More than likely, if they existed, they were glasses made from the paler, more translucent Peridot.

Emeralds are members of the beryl mineral family, a very close cousin, or sibling to Aquamarine.

This ring silicate began crystallizing in one of two ways. Inside cooling magma, forming in pegmatites or through metamorphic changes growing between rocks with deposits of beryllium & chromium.

The crystal also contains inclusions of aluminum, oxygen, lithium, potassium & sodium. The much sought after green colors come from chromium oxidizing during the cooling process.

Perfect uniform coloring & translucency in Emeralds is rare. A faultless Emerald is more valuable than an equally perfect diamond. Most specimens, even those being used for jewelry settings, have inclusions & fissures. Microscopic enclosures of mica are not uncommon either.

The vast majority of Emeralds are opaque (as are Ozark Rock Exchange's) with occasional layers of translucent material.

The very first Emerald mines were in Egypt, dating back to 1650 bc. Queen Cleopatra was fond of engraving impressions of herself into Emeralds & presenting them to guests.

These ancient mines were so well constructed that they were still being worked in the mid 1800's. They are located in a mountain range along the West cost of the Red Sea.

Emeralds found in Pompeii & other Roman cities were believed to come from either the Egyptian mines, or mines located in very dangerous terrain in the Salzburg Alps.

The world’s most exquisite Emeralds, however, were found in South America, near Bogota, in Columbia. Europeans first learned about these perfect specimens when the Spanish invaded the continent in the early 1500’s.

The Ural Mountains of Russia, Australia’s Mount Remarkable, Connecticut & Maine in the United States are other locations where small deposits of Emeralds have been found.

Emerald Crystals are usually six sided prisms forming a basal (flat top) plane. Though sometimes crystals will terminate into points. Again, most of these crystal formations are opaque, with rare (& extremely valuable) translucent crystals occurring sometimes. Specimens are normally found still embedded in the mother rock, either a Mica-Schist or Granite.

Perfect Emeralds can be grown in a lab setting, taking about 12 months for the crystal to form. A fair percentage of commercial jewelry settings come from these types of gemstones. Be sure to ask your jeweler when purchasing Emerald pieces where the stones came from.

Emeralds have a rich history of mystery & magic. Ancient alchemists associated the crystal with Mercury, messenger of the gods & conductor of souls. Central Americans believed it held the energies of the rain. Hermetic lore claims the gem fell from Lucifer’s forehead when he was thrown from Heaven. In India it was used to frighten away Vipers or Cobras.

It also has a long tradition as a psychic stone, considered a source of divine inspiration. Emeralds will help you grow spiritually, clearing your thought patterns, bringing harmony & beauty into your day to day life.

Use this crystal to improve group unity, assist in making your relationship successful or promote domestic bliss. Exchange an Emerald with a friend to strengthen your loyalties & appreciation of each other.

Keep an Emerald in your work space. It improves your memory & increases your mental skills. The gem brings greater focus, allowing you to see the best solutions & motivates you to act. You can eliminate obstacles (mental or physical) that prevent you from succeeding.

Your Heart Chakra can be opened or activated using an Emerald. The gem may also be used in meditation to assist in maintaining your breathe’s rhythm.

The oldest healing use for Emeralds is a treatment for eye disorders. It also provides relief from respiratory inflammations, strengthens the immune system & helps you recover from infections.

Emeralds will stimulate the liver & aid in removing toxins from the body. Your heart, lungs & muscles can all benefit from the healing energies of Emeralds.

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