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  • Writer's pictureOlivine Moss

Emerald Myths Legends Poetry and Uses

Updated: Dec 2, 2023









Myths and Legends

The emerald was said to be gifted to King Solomon along with three other stones that gave King Solomon power over all creation.

Cleopatra was known to have a preference for the gem emerald and had emerald mines in Egypt during her reign and dating back to 330 B.C.

Gave the wearer the ability to speak more eloquently and wearing the emerald was believed to reveal the truth.

The emerald gave the ability to see the future when placed under the tongue.

The emerald kept away evil spirits when worn.

Worn by queens, kings, and priests in ancient Egypt, Europe, and by Incas for religious ceremonies.

Incas, Aztecs, Toltecs, and Mayans used emeralds in worship, jewelry, and religious ceremonies.

Indigenous peoples of Columbia named Musica were known to mine emeralds and gold. They believed the Emerald to be a symbol of fertility or that the gem represented an important ancestor of their tribe. The following story was from the Musica according to Peter T. Furst.

“In ancient times it was announced that the sun would fertilize a maiden from the town of Guachetá and the fruit of her womb would be the true child of the sun king. Hoping for this happening of such grandeur, the chief’s daughters often went to the hills near the town in the mornings hoping to be the chosen one, as did occur. After the term of her pregnancy, [one] princess gave birth to an emerald, which she kept in her bosom, [and which] eventually turned into a beautiful boy whom she named Goranchacha.

He stayed with his mother until [he was] 24 years old. When he was a grown man, he traveled to the sacred lands of Ramiriquí and Sogamoso to take charge of the tribe. He started to build a temple to the sun god Tunja, but the task was interrupted with news of the arrival of the Spanish on the coast and then this legendary person disappears altogether.”

During the Spanish conquest and colonization of Columbia and Mexico, Jewels and gold were stolen or mined from the Aboriginal people, and their lands were shipped back to the Spanish crown. There were recorded ships filled with jewels worth billions of dollars today.

Two of the shipwrecks were recently found. One was found off the coast of Columbia. The San Jose Galleon was found containing Emeralds, gold bars, and silver with a value in the billions by today's value. According to historical documentation, the ship was sunk by the British navy in 1708.

The second shipwreck was discovered off the coast of Florida. A Spanish ship named the Nuestra Senora de Atocha sank in a hurricane carrying 6.25-carat emerald, The ship was discovered by Mel Fisher. The ship was carrying a billion dollars worth of emeralds, silver and gold bars.


Medical Uses throughout History

Used throughout history to treat malaria, dysentery, and cholera as well as eliminate free radicals in the body and helps heal and strengthen the kidneys and the heart.

Believed to prevent miscarriages when worn around the neck.

Improves memory and calms the soul.


Historical Uses

Gem-quality Beryl was mostly used for jewelry and ceremonial purposes. In industry, it can be used to create a non-corrosive metal from beryllium.



"Of all green things which bounteous earth supplies, Nothing in greenness with the Emerald vies ."

Twelfth century Latin

When I entered into the cave, I received the tablet zaradi, which was inscribed, from between the hands of Hermes, in which I discovered these words:

1) True, without falsehood, certain, most certain.

2) What is above is like what is below, and what is below is like that which is above. To make the miracle of the one thing.

3) And as all things were made from contemplation of one, so all things were born from one adaptation.

4) Its father is the Sun, its mother is the Moon.

5) The wind carried it in its womb, the earth breast fed it.

6) It is the father of all ‘works of wonder' (Telesmi) in the world.

6a) Its power is complete (integra).

7) If cast to (turned towards- versa fuerit) earth,

7a) it will separate earth from fire, the subtile from the gross.

8) With great capacity it ascends from earth to heaven. Again it descends to earth, and takes back the power of the above and the below.

9) Thus you will receive the glory of the distinctiveness of the world. All obscurity will flee from you.

10) This is the whole most strong strength of all strength, for it overcomes all subtle things, and penetrates all solid things.

11a) Thus was the world created.

12) From this comes marvelous adaptions of which this is the proceedure.

13) Therefore I am called Hermes, because I have three parts of the wisdom of the whole world.

14) And complete is what I had to say about the work of the Sun, from the book of Galieni Alfachimi.

[From Latin in Steele and Singer 1928: 492.]



More Reading and Resources

South American Emerald Legends – A Guide to Legendary Emerald Origins | The Natural Emerald Company. (2022, May 5).

Peter T. Furst(1981)Sweat of the Sun, Tears of the Moon: Gold and Emerald Treasures of Colombia, Issue 16845

Emerald History - Usage in Magic and New Age Metaphysics | The Natural Emerald Company. (2021, May 15).

Crystal Vaults. (2021, November 16). Emerald Meaning and Uses.

Feldman, E. (2022, November 4). Rare Emerald Discovered in 300-Year-Old Shipwreck Could Sell for $70,000. Smithsonian Magazine.

Photos show a centuries-old shipwreck found off Colombia’s coast carrying lost treasure worth billions of dollars, including gold coins and emeralds. (2022, June 19). Business Insider.


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