The name emerald comes from the Greek 'smaragdos' via the Old French 'esmeralde', and really just means 'green gemstone'. Innumerable fantastic stories have grown up around this magnificent gem. The Incas and Aztecs of South America, where the best emeralds are still found today, regarded the emerald as a holy gemstone. However, probably the oldest known finds were once made near the Red Sea in Egypt. Having said that, these gemstone mines, already exploited by Egyptian pharaohs between 3000 and 1500 B.C. and later referred to as 'Cleopatra's Mines', had already been exhausted by the time they were rediscovered in the early 19th century. read more...
Zodiac gemstone for taurus: sapphire
Ancient traditional birthstones:
Guardian angel: amriel
His talismanic stone: carbuncle (garnet)
The custom of wearing birthstones probably first became popular in Poland in the fifteenth or sixteenth century. For more information about the history of birthstones, try The Curious Lore of Precious Stones by George Frederick Kunz , a fascinating compendium of all the powers that have been associated with gemstones through the ages. For example, birthstones originally may have been worn each month by everyone, since the powers of the gemstone were heightened during its month. If that is true, to get the full effect, you need to go out and get a full set of twelve and rotate them each year!