From the experts:
This Portuguese and Spanish version of the jewel-like Emerald has long been popular with Hispanic parents.
In the 1831 Victor Hugo novel Notre-Dame de Paris, aka The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, the Gypsy heroine was born Agnes, but called La Esmeralda in reference to the jewel she wears around her neck. The name Esmeralda got increased visibility via the Disney version of the story.
Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling named their first daughter Esmeralda, inspired by the Victor Hugo novel.
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