composed of but two strata, of which the one that forms the ground is
of the finest sard, while the other, which is the relievo, is
chalcedony, it may be said to be, if not the finest, at least amongst
the most rare of the true antiques which have great artistic merit. It
is 0 187 m. long and 0-217 wide. It belonged to Philip the Fair, King
of France, who gave it as a gift to the monastery of Poissy, whence it
was stolen, during the religious wars that devastated France in the
last century, and taken to Germany ; Rodolph II. there purchased it
for the sum of 12,000 gold ducats, and placed it in the imperial
cabinet. It represents, with twenty figures, the apotheosis of the
This is a splendid and transparent gem, of a green colour, from the lightest to the darkest shade.
It appears that its name has the same root in many languages; as in Arab it is zamarut; in Chaldaic, isma-ragdon; in Greek, smaragdos; in Latin, smaragdus ; in Spanish, esmeraldo ; and in French, êmeraude.
It is said to be derived from the Sanscrit smarahato, which means green ; or from the Greek word άμαρνσσω, tο shine or lighten.
emerald, like other gems, is divided into Oriental and Western. The
most rare Oriental emerald is nothing but a clear green corundum.