The use of emerald in ancient cultures largely surrounds associations of purity in love, youthfulness and perhaps a certain clarity of wisdom. Mines near Cairo were the source for nearly all emeralds of the ancient Mediterranean cultures. These mines were named after Cleopatra, the famous Egyptian queen known for her love of emerald jewellery and they were thought to be guarded by supernatural beings. Aristotle prescribed the wearing of emerald necklaces or emerald rings for public speaking as emeralds would aid the speaker’s eloquence. Emerald was also associated with Aphrodite and it was believed that if the wearer of emerald jewellery was unfaithful, the emeralds would change color and therefore betray their wearer.

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