Word of the Week: Smaragdine

Lily Holbrook gives us a crystal clear definition of a very green Word of the Week...

Lily Holbrook
23rd December 2020
Credit: Julia Kadel on Unsplash
Olive, sage, lime, sea, army, mint. All of these are shades of green that we're likely very familiar with. But what about the lesser known smaragdine?

Derived from 'Smaragdus,' the Latin word for emerald, smaragdine describes the yellowish green colour associated with these precious stones.

Considered one of the rarest gemstones, emeralds get their green colouring from trace quantities of chromium and sometimes vanadium.

Aside from their spiritual properties, emerald gemstones have an array of distinctive physical characteristics. Derived from the beryl mineral which measures 7.5-8 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, emeralds possess a relatively brittle physical quality.

Despite common associations with the verdant countrysides of Ireland, 'The Emerald Isle' is a far cry from Egyptian mines where the first emeralds were discovered and extracted by humans around 1500 BC.

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AUTHOR: Lily Holbrook
MA Media & Journalism student at Newcastle University and science sub-editor for the 20/21 academic year.

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