Foxfire Jewelers The Creative Custom Jewelry Studio since 1985

2250 North Coast Highway Newport Oregon 97365

(541) 265-RING    (541) 265-7464


This rich green form of the mineral Beryl gets its name from the Latin and Greek term 'Smaragdus.'

Even fine examples often show inclusions, while poorer stones may be completely opaque.
The inclusions cause Emerald to be somewhat on the fragile side. Thought should be given to designing jewelry which protects the stone from harsh wear. As part of the normal fashioning process, most Emeralds are immersed in clear oil to fill minute voids. Emerald is found today primarily in Columbia, Brazil, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, though it has a rich history stretching into ancient times.

The first known Emerald mines were in southern Egypt and show evidence of being worked since 2000 BC. The ancient Egyptians believed Emerald stood for fertility and rebirth.

The stone also was prized in ancient Rome, where many Roman citizens wore Emerald jewelry, some of which has survived to this day. Nero supposedly viewed the gladiators' fights through a lens cut from a large transparent emerald because he found the color calming.

In some legends of King Arthur, the Holy Grail is described as being fashioned from an Emerald. Stories also say that a serpent which gazes upon Emerald is immediately blinded.

Emerald was used in the Middle Ages to foretell the future, and was thought to ward off evil sorcery and cure demonic possession. It was also believed to be a symbol of faith and loyal friendship. The gem was closely associated with love, and with contentment in marriage. Its calming, healing nature in legends is evidentially a result of its soothing color. As such it was thought to be good for eye ailments and irritations.

Emeralds were among the treasures brought back by the conquistadors from the new world. Treasure hunters have found gold ornaments set with Emeralds on sunken galleons. Early stone cutters kept an Emerald on their workbench so as to rest their eyes with a gaze at its soothing color.

The Emerald's use in ancient medicines was widespread and Emerald was thought to cure a wide range of ills, from poor eyesight to infertility. It was believed to ease childbirth, and aid the liver, as well as guard against fits and convulsions. Even today, the powder of poorer quality Emeralds is used in folk medicines in China.
Hardness: 7.5-8
Toughness: Varies poor to good
Birthstone: May