Emeralds are the green variety of beryl, a mineral species that also contains other colored stones like aquamarine.
The name “emerald” comes from the Greek word for green.
The first known emerald mines were in Egypt as early as 330 BC. Cleopatra was especially fond of the green gem.
Incas used emeralds in religious ceremonies for centuries. When the Spanish came, they traded the Incas emeralds in exchange for gold and silver. The Spanish bringing back some of their kept emeralds exposed European and Asian nobility to the gems.
Emerald was also believed to be one of the four precious stones given to King Solomon by God in the Bible.
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