The original Elessar was a green jewel, suffused with power, that was created in Gondolin during the First Age. That jewel was held by Eärendil the Mariner at the time he passed into the West, and so it was taken from Middle-earth before the First Age ended.
Long afterwards, another Elessar appeared in Middle-earth, though its origins are unclear. Some said that it was Eärendil's original stone, brought back across the Sea by Gandalf, while others claimed that it was a replica of the original, still extraordinarily beautiful but not as powerful, made by Celebrimbor in Eregion. Whatever its origins, this second Elessar, set on a silver brooch in the form of an Eagle, passed into the hands of Galadriel.
It was said that Gandalf prophesied that the Elessar would not remain with Galadriel forever, and that eventually one would claim it who would share the name of the stone. Even before this could happen, Galadriel passed the stone on to her daughter Celebrían, and in turn Celebrían gave it to her own daughter Arwen. It was returned to Galadriel, however, in order that it could be finally passed on to Aragorn to fulfil his foretold destiny as the one named Elessar.
Almost exactly a month later, Aragorn entered the city of Minas Tirith where he was greeted as the new King by the people. Seeing the green stone that he wore, they chose the name 'Elfstone' for him, and so he became 'Elessar' to the people of Gondor, as Gandalf had predicted long before. Aragorn took this as his royal title, and after his coronation his proper form of address was 'King Elessar'.
The city of Gondolin was populated for just under four hundred years, from I 116 to I 510; it was within this period that the original Elessar must have been made.
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