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May 2014

May 10, 2014

The Emerald City  


The road to the City of Emeralds is paved with yellow brick.

                                                         — L. Frank Baum

For most of us living today, the emerald conjures up images of a faraway, exotic land, the fantasy world of the Wizard of Oz’s Emerald City.  But the emerald is an ancient stone, its green color associated with rebirth and spring. They are said to boost creativity and open the door to new possibilities —  just like in the Emerald City of Oz, one might say.



Who first beholds the light of day

In spring’s sweet, flower month of May

And wears an Emerald all her life

Shall be a loved and a loving wife.

The traditional birthstone for those born in May, the emerald is the sacred stone of the goddess Venus and was thought to preserve love and act as a symbol of hope. It also is associated with loyalty, faithfulness and friendship. For some, the emerald calms a troubled mind and is said to bring the wearer eloquence, reason and wisdom. Its powers are strongest in spring.



A diamond may be forever, but an emerald is divine.

Cleopatra, Marlene Dietrich, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor – legendary women loved this legendary stone. Ancient records show that the stone was traded in Babylonian markets as early as 4,000 BCE. It made its grand entrance around 4,000 years ago with the discovery of the Cleopatra mines, 440 miles southeast of Cairo. Today, emeralds come from Colombia, Brazil, Zambia and Zimbabwe.



Emerald Legends

Marjorie Merriweather Post brooch,
by Oscar Heyman, 1929
From the Collection of the 
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


The legends of this stone are many and enduring. It is said that:

▪ Emeralds represent true love and are said to change color when the loved one is being unfaithful ▪ Emeralds were also thought to change color to alert the wearer of impending danger. ▪ Besides love, emeralds are a symbol of loyalty, devotion, adoration and friendship 

▪ Emeralds are supernatural and give the wearer the ability to see into the future if the emerald is worn on the left side of the body  Emeralds also serve as protective talismans and guard against enchantments and spells.



The Greeks also believed that apart from giving the owner eloquence, an emerald also made the wearer more intelligent and honest. We can’t argue with that!