Emerald: The Vibrant May Birthstone


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Emerald: The Vibrant May Birthstone

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One of the most precious stones on the planet, the beautiful Emerald is revered for its rich green color, regal status, and a symbol of renewal, growth, and vitality. The Emerald is the birthstone of May -  a month of hope, possibility, and pure potential. May can be connected to the Roman mythology of Maia. As the Goddess of Fertility, this also feeds into the themes of growth, new life, new starts, and the seed-like vision of something sprouting. 

Emeralds have been around for over six thousand years, and thanks to their allure, they have a long history of healing and are highly coveted as a status of wealth and wonder. Aristotle was even believed to be so besotted with Emeralds that he said everyone should hang one around their neck to ward off sickness. From adorning crown jewels to birthstone jewelry, the passion for Emerald will never pale. We take a closer look at the Emerald Birthstone. 

The Allure of Emeralds

Mortals have been drawn to the otherworldly beauty of the finest Emeralds for centuries. With their deep green hue that ranges from the light-strewn spectrum of being as green as sunlit grass or as deep and rich as all the shades of nature or even night, Emerald is considered one of the most precious stones in the world. At one point, the worth of an Emerald outweighed the worth of diamonds as it was a special stone that the Incas believed promised eternal life. Color, clarity, and cut all play their part in making the Emerald so prized. The deeper the color and the more evenly distributed these shades, the higher the worth. It is natural for Emeralds to have visible inclusions known as Jardin (French for Garden). Far from disrupting the beauty of the Emerald, these markings add character and depth - making the stone uniquely yours. 

Historical Significance and Lore

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Emerald gems have been around forever and have played a role in Ancient Egypt, South America, European shores, and more. The Egyptian Queen Cleopatra was believed to have been a deep lover of Emeralds and would often adorn herself with the stones and present them to foreign dignitaries to strengthen relationships. The green Emerald continued to be a prize of power and status and was so often used in royal adornments. In the 16th century, the Spanish conquest of South America was partially fueled by the allure of Emeralds as European invaders sought to gain control of the mines and exploit their worth to the New World.  

Emeralds cast their spell even further back. Ancient Greeks and Romans believed that these protective stones were also spiritual stones that could grant vision into the future, heal sickness, and bring eternal youth. They were stones of prophecy, power, and protection. In Medieval Europe, it was also believed that wearing Emeralds could cure sickness and keep evil spirits at bay. From folklore to fable, philosophers to pharaohs, and ancient times to modern moments, the Emerald continues to enchant. 

The Science of Emeralds

Emeralds are similarly born into this world to other gemstones. It takes a geological process that involves time, pressure, extreme heat, and the presence of mineral compositions. Emerald is part of the Beryl family and is a sister stone to other traditional stones like Aquamarine stones and Morganite.  Emerald stones form in hydrothermal veins within metamorphic rocks - where pressure and heat meet. It's the presence of chromium that lends this stone its color green. Despite their popularity and highly prized stone, natural Emeralds are rare. Only a small percentage of Emerald mines meet the criteria for providing a perfect choice of Emeralds with a strong color, cut, and clarity. Emeralds are often treated to enhance their beauty, such as oiling or using heat to bring out the best in the birthstone. 

Major Sources of Emeralds

Emeralds are mined worldwide, but Colombia is still the most significant player in the market. Important mines are also in Brazil and Zambia. Colombian Emeralds are famed for being some of the finest in the world, with a rich, saturated color, exceptional clarity, and few inclusions. The mines of Muzo, Chivor, and Coscuez are especially of note. 

Brazil is another place that mines beautiful Emeralds. These stones come in various colors or shades of green but tend to be a little lighter than the stones found in Colombia. Zambia is known for producing more greenish-blue Emeralds, but these also have high clarity and are popular with gemstone enthusiasts. 

Emeralds in Jewelry

From classic emerald rings that promise everlasting love to emerald necklaces standing out on the red carpet, emerald drop earrings for that fabulous formal event, and classy emerald studs or birthstone earrings, necklaces, and bracelets for daily wear - everyone loves Emerald jewelry. 

Emeralds symbolize fertility, love, growth, eternity, and new beginnings, making a good alternative choice for those who want a different path than the usual diamond eternity engagement ring. Their undeniable beauty and the fact that the vivid stone color is a head-turner also make Emerald jewelry a popular choice for celebrities. The rich history of the Emerald keeps them firmly set as a stone for royalty and a gemstone that depicts wealth, status, and power. For those born in the month of May, this is your birthstone, and what a birthstone - the vivid saturation of green, the gorgeous cut, and the depth of meaning all make this one of the most special types of birthstones out there. 

Remember the importance of color, cut, and clarity when looking for an Emerald to call your own. Emeralds come in different shades of green, and you can choose from a range of colors until you find the style you like. Darker greens are pricier than lighter greens or those with yellow colors, or Emeralds with a blue-green hue. Remember also that Emeralds naturally have inclusions, which can add to their own personality. However, you may want to ensure that the inclusions are not so strong that they detract from the piece's beauty. Personal style will also play a role; some people may prefer a simpler aesthetic when it comes to Emerald jewelry - like an easy Emerald oval stud in sterling silver whereas others may want a statement piece like Gold Emerald necklaces with a majority of diamonds and a center Emerald to steal the show.

Caring for Emeralds

Emeralds score high on the Moh's hardness scale and come in at 7.5 -8, meaning they are quite durable. However, as they are so precious, you want to care for your Emerald and ensure it doesn't scratch or get damaged. The best way to cleanse your Emerald stones is by using warm water, mild dish detergent, and a soft brush (like a toothbrush) to remove dirt or debris. Always ensure you dry your gemstone, and you can also buff it to a beautiful shine to bring out the depth of that green hue. Avoid using harsh chemicals, such as abrasive or ultrasonic cleaners that may cause damage to the stone. You should also store your Emerald in a soft pouch or jewelry case away from other gemstones to avoid the risk of scratching. Regular checkups with a professional jeweler can also ensure that your emerald birthstone necklaces or other emerald jewelry are in good condition with no loose settings. 

The Modern Appeal of Emeralds

In the contemporary world, Emerald still holds its ancient allure. Celebrated as a truly beautiful and timeless stone, they are captivating in appearance alone, not just because of their association with wealth and status. Emeralds can bring a pop of color, lend a sophisticated edge, and hold their worth as they are truly versatile stones that look good against yellow gold, sterling silver, and white gold. They also make for a more unique choice for those who want to celebrate love and commitment without sticking to the classic choice of diamonds. 

In the modern marketplace, it's important to find ethically sourced jewels and gems, and Emeralds are no exception. If possible, always seek Emeralds from crystal shops or jewelers that can offer transparency when responsibly sourcing their stones. Lab-created Emeralds are also growing in popularity as an eco-friendly and ethically conscious alternative to naturally mined Emeralds. If you love the green vibrant energy of Emerald but want a different stone, Jade crystals can be a great alternative when it comes to finding gemstone bracelets and worry stones


As a May birthstone, the Emerald gem is arguably unmatched in beauty, historical depth, timeless appeal, and rich symbolic meaning. From ancient civilization to modern royalty and celebrity, Emerald continues to make the grade as a gorgeous and highly sought-after stone. With the color of Emerald representing growth and the glory of Spring, you can wear your Emerald birthstone jewelry and let its light shine on you. 


Are there 2 birthstones for May

Emerald is May's traditional birthstone, but Agate is another affordable option. Agate was later added as a birthstone to give consumers alternative choices when celebrating their birth month with a certain stone. 

Is there an alternate birthstone for May

Emerald is one of the primary birthstones for May, and the other is Agate. Emerald is known for its enchanting beauty, its rich color green, and for being a precious gem with a high price tag. Agate can be a more affordable option and is loved for being a protective stone and a spiritual stone, too.

What is a Taurus birthstone

The main birthstone for those born under the Taurus zodiac sign is the Emerald, also May's birthstone. Other gemstones that suit the moods of Taurus include Agate, Malachite, Peridot, Aquamarine, Lapis, and Amethyst. 

What months have 2 birthstones

For people born in March, June, August, October, November, or December, you will have more than one choice regarding which birthstone you choose. 


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