The green colour of emeralds has often been the source of numerous myths and beliefs. Throughout history, emeralds have been believed to cure all kinds of conditions, from depression to insomnia. Many different cultures thought they could cure ailments of the eyes and other parts of the body. The mesmerizing green stones have also been associated with calm, peaceful things, such as love, peace, wisdom, harmony and growth.
The ancient Romans associated green with Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. The Roman emperor Nero famously watched gladiator fights through an emerald, believing the colour was calming. Old legends say that an emerald given to a lover will maintain its vibrant colour as long as the lover is faithful. If the gemstone turns pale, it means that the lover has been unfaithful. Today, emerald is the stone of Spring due to its green colour.
But the mythology surrounding emeralds extends to far more than the colour. The holy Indian Vedas say that emeralds bring good luck and enhance well-being. In India today, the stone symbolizes wealth and well-being. The ancient Egyptians believed the stone was a gift from the God Thoth, and symbolized both spring and eternal youth. They often placed emeralds on the throats of mummies to protect their souls and grant them eternal youth in the afterlife. Emeralds were a particular favourite ornament of Cleopatra. The Incas and Aztecs regarded emeralds as a holy stone and used them in religious ceremonies. Rabbinic legend says that one of the four stones God gave Solomon to endow him with the power of creation was an emerald.