Emerald is the name given the green variety of beryl (beryllium aluminum cyclosilicate, colored by small amounts of chromium and occasionally vanadium) and ranges between 7.5 and 8 on the Mohs hardness scale.  Its hexagonal crystals range from very small to several meters in length, though terminated crystals are fairly rare.  The name is derived from the French “esmeraude” and the Greek root “smaragdos” which means ‘green gemstone’.  They’re found in many countries, including Colombia, Brazil, Pakistan, Russia, Australia, South Africa, India, Norway, and the United States.

Metaphysical:  Emerald is the birthstone for May, as well as for the Zodiac signs Taurus and Cancer.  This gem is suggested as an anniversary gift for the 20th and 35th anniversaries and as an alternate stone for the 55th wedding anniversary.  The ancients associated it with the Greek goddess Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, it and was said to protect lovers from unfaithfulness. Like many green stones, it’s aligned with the 4th or heart chakra and with the element earth.