Emeralds are a grass-green variety of beryl that are
highly valued as a gemstone. The name comes
indirectly from the Greek smaragdos, a name that
seems to have been given to a number of stones
having little in common except their green color. The
magnificent hue that gives extraordinary value to this
gem is probably due to small amounts of chromium.
Many virtues were formerly ascribed to emeralds.
When worn, the stone was held to be a preventive
measure against epilepsy, and when held in the
mouth it was believed to be a cure for dysentery. It
was supposed to assist women at childbirth, to drive
away evil spirits, and to preserve the chastity of the
wearer. Administered internally, it was reputed to
have great medicinal value. Its refreshing green color
was said to be good for the eyesight