Its name probably originates from the Greek word "smaragdos" (green stone). It is the most precious of all green gemstones and is considered a "gemstone of eternal spring". According to the legend, Cleopatra tried to achieve everlasting youth and beauty through the appearance of the most precious emeralds on her skin. In ancient India Maharaja and Maharani precipitated coffers with emeralds in the hope of happiness and well-being. For the ancient Egyptians, the green gem was a remedy for ailments, antidotes for all kinds of poisons and obstetricians. Even today, some Arab and North African doctors wear an emerald to support their healing.
The emerald is the noblest stone of the beryll group, which is also the blue aquamarine. It is formed in tectonic disturbance zones and is found in pegmatite veins, more rarely also in river soaps.
Its crystals, usually only a few centimeters in size, have a Moh hardness of 7.5 to 8. The first emeralds were mined about 3000 to 1500 BC. Chr. In the Egyptian "emerald mines of Cleopatra", but they are exhausted for a long time. In the 16th century. Encountered Spanish conquerors in South America on the emerald mines of the Incas and Aztecs, and today comes the finest emeralds from Colombia. Other important deposits are found in Brazil, the Urals and southern Africa.
Emeralds are rarely lupenrein and frequently show cracks and inclusions of foreign crystals. As long as the color is not impaired, this does not reduce its value. Delicate fissures and drawings are often lovingly referred to as "Jardin" (garden) and give the stone its special character. Sometimes rare and valuable varieties emerge, such as the emerald cat's eye or the emerald emerald, whose star-shaped waxes remind one of a cartwheel with spokes. In order to take account of its sensitiveness, a special staircut has been developed, in which the corners of the mostly rectangular or square-shaped stone are blunted by facets. Its characteristic green color owes the smaragd to small amounts of chromium. There are emeralds in all shades of light to dark green, but the most coveted is the strong emerald green.
Such colored stones sometimes obtain higher prices than a diamond of the same size. Particularly valuable specimens can be admired in the treasuries of Vienna and Dresden, where emerald jewelery sets of Maria Theresia and August the Strong are kept. The church in Bogota houses a golden monstrance, 1485 fine stones, and the Topkapi Serail in Istanbul shows the world's largest emerald with 16,300 carats. The likewise impressive Mogul emerald from the year 1695 (217.80 ct), the prayer engravings engraved on one side, on the other hand magnificent floral ornaments, is in private ownership.