106 PRECIOUS STONES
from America, in 1587, carried two chests, each of which contained one hundred weight of emeralds.
temples of Peru held many beautiful stones, the natives believing,
probably through the teaching of their priests, that they were
peculiarly acceptable to the gods. These fell into the hands of the
Spanish conquerors, who destroyed many by their ignorant tests.
until the seventeenth century emeralds were mined in Africa somewhere
on the borders of Egypt. Many evidences of ancient workings remain
The Aztecs cut them into fantastic forms, shaping them after the fashion of flowers, insects, fishes, etc.
best emeralds of modern times have been taken from mines in the
republic of Colombia. They are situated in a wild mountainous country
among the passes of the Andes. Those of Mugo, on the banks of the
Minero, about eighty miles north-northwest of Santa Fe de Bogota, were
discovered in 1555 and worked by the Spaniards in 1558. These mines
were worked under a government concession to a French syndicate for
some years, but, owing to a disagreement over the rental, have been
practically idle for some time. The emeralds are found in veins of
white calcite and iron pyrites, embedded, or loose in cavities.
associated with chrysoberyl, phenacite, etc., are found on the right
bank of the Tokowoia, east of Ekaterinburg, on the Asiatic side of the
Ural Mountains. They were first discovered there by a charcoal-burner
in 1830. Some large crystals have been taken from the mines there, but
they are generally badly flawed and of a very pale color. The yield of
late years has been small. They occur in a matrix of mica-schist.
emeralds are also found in a dark mica-schist in the Heubachthal of the
Salzburg Alps, Austria. Some also, valueless as gems, are found near
Snarum in Norway.
Some pale emeralds, associated with topaz, fluorspar, and