I love myths – especially myths that inspire my Writing Muse. For the plot of my Guardians of Aeld series, I started researching gemstone lore. That’s when I stumbled upon a really cool legend about the Emerald, which dates back to Atlantis.
It seems that tens of thousands of years ago, when Atlantis was in its Golden Age, Emeralds were so abundant, that they grew like weeds, jutting out of the earth’s crust. (I’m still trying to wrap my mind around THAT image!)
Atlanteans prized Emeralds as extraordinarily powerful healing stones. Emeralds had the ability to strengthen the immune system, cure wounds, restore eyesight – and lots of other medicinal uses. Supposedly, Emeralds were hundreds of times more powerful in the Golden Age of Atlantis than they are today.
Atlanteans harvested the Emeralds much like apothecaries harvest herbs. Lapidaries and other artisans would shape the stones into amulets, rings, pendants, torcs, and energy-directing tools, such as wands.
In the later years of Atlantis, an ever-growing contingent of powerful individuals learned how to harness energy for selfish purposes (such as controlling another person’s Free Will.) These individuals, who were eventually responsible for the fall of Atlantis, recognized that the Emerald’s power to restore health could be reversed. In other words, Emeralds could drain Life Energy from a body.
These Black Sorcerers started gifting their enemies with tainted stones – Emeralds that were programmed specifically to weaken, sicken, or even kill any government official or ruling priest who wore them.
The White Sorcerers eventually got wind of this heinous crime. An energy war broke out to determine who would achieve mastery over the Emerald.
Eventually, the White Sorcerers got the upper hand. They stopped Emeralds from sucking lives by injecting an energetic barrier into the veins of unharvested crystals. Unfortunately, those energy barriers – the black flecks that you see in Emeralds today — significantly weaken the healing power of the stones.
Nevertheless, you can thank those ancient Atlantean sorcerers. Black flecks may be the bane of modern-day gem appraisers, but you can rest assured that those tiny, dark eyesores are lifesavers!
Note: If you look closely, you can see black flecks in the image of the Emerald at the top of this page.
Source of Legend: Gifts of the Gemstone Guardians by Ginny and Michael Katz