Emeralds are a mineral that has been sought-after for centuries across Aloria, first by the Allorn Empire for its green color and later by Ailor nobility and upperclassmen for the prestige that could be brought from owning a piece. Emeralds are often paired with Silver in jewelry; more substantial pieces like statuettes made entirely out of Emeralds would be far too expensive to produce, save for those artisans of the Dread Empire in the Far West. In recent years, Emerald mines have gradually dried up in Daen and in Corontium, the island of Eriu-Innis has also reported that their veins are beginning to become depleted. This has started a buying frenzy as well as plans being made to survey Eriu-Innis more extensively for Emeralds. Without any more Emerald mines, a significant source of revenue for the Regalian Empire will be lost and many wealthy individuals over the world will be without one of their most favorite gemstones.
Emeralds have a long history with Aloria since the rise of the Allorn Empire. Due to their worship of Estel and her Pantheon, the green material was heavily prized in early Altalar society. Some have argued that this was partly the reason for the Altalar to invade the ancient Varran as Emeralds were known even in that old time to be found in Ithania. Thus, when their nation fell, many Varran were soon put to work mining the mineral. Unfortunately, these deposits proved quite limited and ran out before Empress Talea even passed away. During the Consolidation that followed her reign, other veins were uncovered and mined such as on Arvost, but none were deeper and richer than those in the Far West, which were extensively mined over the next two millennia. Sadly, by that time, the Far West went dark from the rest of the Empire as the future Kathar formed there and came to dominate the region utterly. When the Wildering rocked Daen most mines immediately collapsed, either from environmental factors such as the landmass changing or because of the mass revolt of slaves that followed the loss of Magic by their Altalar masters. In the wake of this event, Arvost and a scarce few other places in Daen were, for almost 200 years, the only places to acquire Emeralds as the Dread Empire maintained the monopoly on their sources, not trading them with outsiders. When Arvost ran out shortly before 200 AC, some thought that it was only a matter of time until the Void Elves were alone in possessing new pieces of the verdant gemstone.
But that is when Ériu-Innis entered the scene. Isolated for centuries on the fringes of Corontium, a Regalian vessel landed on the islands to the shock and fear of the locals. This fear was soon quelled, and when the Regalian Empire made more official visits, they did not fail to notice the Emerald jewelry worn by their society’s elite. While it took time, eventually the Regalian Empire did gain access to the rich veins of Emerald located on the island. Over the next decade, they mined the material extensively, earning the Empire a very handsome profit from their sale abroad. But in the last few years, the veins have begun to peter out and so, extensive, and some would say invasive, surveys of the local terrain are underway by the Regalians to try and find new veins of Emerald. The local Ériunin themselves are split on the issue, largely because they feel seeking out more Emeralds will ruin the landscape. Meanwhile, to the east, the mines of Daen remain depleted and limited in number to the point that being an Emerald miner is a very well-paid, prestigious role in the community. As for the Dread Empire, they still horde the material, and so Emeralds will remain a rare and valuable gemstone in Aloria for the foreseeable future.
Emeralds appear as green and jagged pieces of gemstone when in its natural state. Once it has been refined, they are bright, deep green translucent gems.
Emeralds serve as decoration, as their beautiful green surface is highly captivating. It is often paired with Silver, and the jewelry pieces that result from this range from the small and simple to the extravagant and expensive. Emeralds are not often carved in statuary items, though this practice is common in the Dread Empire as the material still hauled up from the deep mines of the region exists in large enough chunks to allow this.
- Some believe that Emeralds hold the ability to make future offspring green-eyed since the Ériunin universally possess green eyes. As a result, some salesmen discreetly tell noble women the gemstone has this power, though in reality it is nothing more than an urban legend.
- Some pieces of Emerald jewelry go back millennia. The oldest piece known to exist is “Estel’s Leaf”, a cloak clasp with a piece of Emerald carved in the shape of a three-pointed leaf held in a Silver frame. The piece has been meticulously guarded by the Ithanian Sovereignty for generations.
- By comparison, rumors circulate of a very recent Emerald statuette carved by the impressive craftsmen of the Kathar in the Dread Empire. The carved gemstone is said to depict the Void Prefect of Control.