Emeralds are a valuable precious stone, typically encountered already faceted and set in jewelry. Raw emeralds have their place, too — they’re highly sought after by crystal healers and practitioners of magic.
Ever since antiquity, this crystal has been prized for its healing and metaphysical properties just as much as its brilliant green color.
Emerald is a kind of beryl, colored with tiny amounts of vanadium and chromium. Few emeralds are gem quality — most of them have a lot of inclusions, which adversely impacts their hardness, resistance to damage, and value.
Traditionally, only chromium-containing emeralds were considered “true emeralds.” The gem industry in the United States expanded the definition of emerald to include specimens vanadium-bearing beryl. As a result, some stones sold as emeralds in the U.S. are not considered genuine emeralds outside of the country.
Like diamonds, emeralds are valued based on the four Cs: color, cut, clarity, and carat weight. The most valuable emeralds are brilliant green, faceted, free of inclusions and other flaws, and large.
See also: Check out Emerald stones here.
Emerald Healing Properties & Benefits
Emeralds are considered supreme emotional healers. It’s said to instill feelings of hope, gentleness, and emotional strength.
This stone is excellent for heartbreak, since its energy is said to help with regeneration and renewal. It allows the user to refresh themselves, move past their emotional pain, and release negative thought patterns.
Physically, emerald’s regeneration energy extends to the body. Crystal healers often use it to help combat the symptoms of aging, stimulating and renewing tired organs — especially the heart.
It’s also regarded as an excellent stone for soothing tired eyes, and is said to help with eye-related illnesses. Some healers use it for fertility problems, childbirth, and skin-related issues, as well.
See also: Check out Emerald jewelry here.
Emerald Magical Properties
Magically, emeralds are used to attract domestic bliss. They’re said to be a great stone for drawing one’s ideal partner, and instilling feelings of loyalty and fidelity.
This crystal is also said to help the user uncover the deepest desires of their heart, opening doors for their highest good and attracting the people and situations needed to achieve it.
Emeralds are also said to help with focus, memory, and discernment. This makes it a wonderful stone for students or anyone else whose life path relies on retaining information and making informed decisions.
As a beryl, emeralds are related to the stones said to be used by the ancient Druids for divinatory purposes. Since this stone also aids focus and introspection, it can be a valuable ally during meditation and certain types of divination.
Some practitioners use it for help in legal matters. It can be worn as jewelry or carried in a charm pouch when going to court.
As a green stone, emeralds are tied to all forms of green color magic. This is associated with prosperity, abundance, fertility, growth, and beauty. Emeralds may be infused in gem elixirs for beauty, placed in charm bags for abundance, worn for fertility, or used in any other way associated with growth and rejuvenation.
For those who work with chakras, emeralds are strongly tied to the heart chakra, Anahata. This energy center governs all things related to giving, receiving, and feeling love, as well as the healthy expression of these emotions.
When it’s blocked, it may manifest as difficulty with self-compassion or love for others, pursuing relationships with toxic or emotionally unavailable people, and other unhealthy behavior. Wearing or meditating with emeralds near this area is said to help open and balance Anahata, restoring it to health.
Emerald History & Folklore
The word “emerald” derives from the Greek “smaragdus,” meaning “green gemstone.”
It’s said that Cleopatra adorned herself and her palace with emeralds, and gave them as gifts to foreign dignitaries.
Ancient Arabian, Spanish, and Indian physicians used emeralds as a treatment for poison and infection.
Emeralds feature heavily in tales of legendary cities. Many stories of lost cities of gold feature gardens filled with emeralds and rubies. India, in particular, was said to hold secret cities of unimaginable wealth. It’s thought that when colonizers found the New World, they believed they had stumbled on one of these cities of legend.
16th century historian Pierre de Bourdeille wrote a story about one of the emeralds stolen by Cortez and brought to Europe. On one of the finest, he had engraved a passage from the Bible. Pierre de Bourdeille thought that marring a work of nature by engraving it was sacrilegious, and credited this act with the loss of a valuable pearl and the death King Charles IX of France.
How to Cleanse Emerald
Gem-quality emeralds are pretty hard, at 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale of the hardness. Rough emeralds may be much less so, due to inclusions and other impurities. Emeralds are also a gem that may fade if exposed to intense sunlight. With this in mind, here are some safe ways to cleanse your emerald.
Some methods for cleansing Emerald include:
- Bathe the stone in fresh, clean water. Natural sources of water are best for this.
- Bathe it in an infusion of cleansing herbs. Steep your favorite cleansing herbs in hot water, the way you’d make a tea. Allow it to cool, strain the herbs out, and use the liquid to cleanse your crystals and tools.
- Set it in the light of the full moon.
- Bury it in soil. Emeralds are very valuable, so be careful if you do this — use the soil of a potted plant, or, if you bury it in a yard or garden, bury it in a small basket and mark the area well.
- Place it at the base of a plant.
- Fumigate it with cleansing herbs or incense smoke.
- Use your personal energy.
- Play music, chimes, bells, or singing bowls. If you use singing bowls, avoid placing the stone directly in the bowl itself. The vibration may cause it to shatter.
Getting Started With Emerald
Emerald is a tricky stone to start with. Its properties make it great for healers and magical practitioners of all levels, but acquiring the stone may be challenging. Even rough emeralds tend to be pricey and difficult to find. As a very valuable stone, emeralds may be unethically harvested or even faked.
Before purchasing any crystal, be sure you trust the source. Any good crystal or metaphysical shop should be willing to stand behind their suppliers, and know exactly where their stones come from. Avoid purchasing from any seller who isn’t willing or able to vouch for the ethics of their products.
Synthetic emeralds aren’t truly “fake” emeralds, since they have the same structure and chemical composition. They’re made in a lab, however, and are generally considerably cheaper than natural emeralds.
If an emerald is suspiciously perfect, it may be lab-created — they tend to lack the tiny natural flaws a mined emerald has. Lab emeralds are ethical, but some practitioners may only wish to work with natural stones. The choice is yours.
Some natural emeralds are laminated with glass or plastic to make them look bigger. These layers may be dyed to intensify the color, as well. Observe the emerald from every angle — if it appears to be made up of layers, it’s actually a much smaller stone coated in another material.
That aside, other, less expensive natural stones are frequently sold as emeralds. Peridot and green garnet, in particular, may be sold as emeralds with inflated price tags. Your best defense here is to familiarize yourself with the colors, hardness, and other physical characteristics of these crystals. They aren’t “fake,” so most tests for fakery won’t be helpful here.
Once you’ve found a source of ethically mined, genuine emeralds, try to choose your stone in person. Pick it up in your non-dominant hand, and close your eyes. Ask yourself how it feels — is the energy smooth, or spiky? Does it make you feel at peace, or anxious? Does the stone itself feel tingly, buzzy, warm, or cold? There are no rules here. Generally speaking, as long as a stone feels pleasant to hold, it’s a good stone for you.
After taking your emerald home, you’ll probably want to cleanse it. This helps it get back to its natural energetic baseline. All crystals have their own energy, but this energy can be altered by what they’ve gone through and the many people who’ve handled them on their journey. Cleansing removes these influences, giving you a clearer energy to work with.
At this point, you’re ready to begin working with your stone. You can meditate with it, place it on your altar, include it in a charm bag, make an elixir with it, or enchant it for whatever use you desire.
Emeralds are beautiful stones beloved by ancient doctors, explorers, and royalty. If you’re able to obtain one for yourself, treat it well. It’s a stone of growth and abundance, and it will repay its treatment many times over.
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