* * * * * Emerald * * * * *

the fourth, an emerald; . . .

Emerald is one of the stones in the 'Breastplate of Judgement' of Aaron, described in the Bible (Exodus 28:15-30). Emerald is also included in the listing of the gems of the King of Tyrus (Ezekiel 28:13).

One of the earliest writers to associate with the apostles the symbolism of the gems given in Revelations is by Andreas, bishop of Caesurae. He gives a brief description of the stones, which is recounted in George F. Kunz's book The Curious Lore of Precious Stones (1913).
* The Emerald which is of a green color, is nourished with oil that its transparency and beauty may not change; this stone signifies St. John the Evangelist. Emerald: Hebrew name of Nophek. The literal translation of the ancient Hebrew name means glowing coal. *

Emerald - a hard, but brittle gemstone, is the most valuable form of Beryl, which is a silicate of beryllium and aluminum. Colors range from various shades of green, blue green, or yellow green. The green color of the stone is influenced by the amount of chromium in the silicate. Typical crystal structure is hexagonal in nature and has a hardness between 7.5 and 8. The gem is sometimes found in granite, mainly in pegmatites.

Emeralds are rare, ancient emeralds were found in Egypt and Afghanistan, but the largest and finest emeralds now come from Colombia, and that country produces some of the most vivid and brightly colored stones. Other countries supply fine emeralds, too - Zambia, Brazil, Russia, Pakistan and Zimbabwe. Prices for fine quality emeralds can exceed the value of diamonds. A top quality Emerald would contain only a few small inclusions not visible to the naked eye. All emeralds do contain some inclusions, which are caused by mica, pyrite, calcite, or other minerals.

The name emerald comes from the Greek smaragdos meaning "green stone". Emerald boasts a great deal of folklore. It was used as a burnt offering, a symbol of St. John, and supposedly was a poison antidote, a cure for fevers and epilepsy, eye relief (due to the exceptional color), a cure for dysentery and leprosy, a cure for ophthalmia and bleeding, a cure for stomach problems (when laid on the stomach), and a good laxative. For Taurus wearing an emerald will insure loyalty, and improve memory.

It is the symbol for immortality and the symbolization of faith. Emeralds are green, and green is symbolic of Spring, so it was natural that ancient people believed that the emerald symbolized re-birth and love. It is reported to help the wearer deal with emotional disturbances and trauma. It is said that emerald is a major source of healing energy, promotes balance and harmony, as well as increases intellect and creativity. It is still often used to treat cancer as well as support other therapies.

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