What is the Birthstone for May?
May Birthstone Emerald
What is the birthstone for May? The May birthstone is emerald. May, the month when Spring is at it greenest. Green, the colour symbolizing the new freshness of Spring, renewal and awakening of nature around us, only the emerald can embody all of this.
How is Emerald Formed?
Natural emeralds are formed in pegmatite deposits and hydrothermal veins which form when hydrothermal fluids escape from magma deep within the Earth’s crust.
If the fluid contains magma, the gemstones start to form as the liquid cools.
Where are Emeralds Found?
Emeralds are amongst the rarest gemstones. They are found all over the world. They are more difficult to find than diamonds.
The major producers of emeralds are Zambia, Zimbabwe, Brazil, and Columbia. Lesser quantities are mined in Nigeria, Madagascar, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Canada, and Ethiopia.
What Colour is an Emerald?
Emeralds are from the same Beryl family as Aquamarines and come in different shades of green. The colour green is created by chromium, vanadium, and iron trace elements within the Beryl. Emerald shades range from deep dark green to a faint opaque shade.
If an emerald is found to be too pale in colour to be classified, it is known as a Green Beryl.
Unlike diamonds, imperfections in emeralds can improve the value of the gemstone. The internal fissures create a pattern which increases the value.
The deeper green the more valuable the gemstone is. The rarest emeralds have a green-blue colour.
Columbian emeralds have vivid colour saturation of bluish-green to intense green. Zambian emeralds have a cooler bluish-green. These hues however, are not necessarily exclusive to the area where they are found.
How Much is an Emerald Worth per Carat?
As with the majority of gemstones, the price per carat is valued on size, colour, clarity, and quality.
Bluish-green with a vivid colour saturation is the most desirable colour emerald.
Emeralds are larger than Diamonds. A 2ct Diamond is smaller than a 2ct Emerald.
An emerald’s clarity can be determined by the naked eye whereas for example, determining the clarity of a Diamond requires a 10x magnification to be evaluated.
Do Emeralds Scratch Easily?
With a pretty good score of 7.5-8.0 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, the emerald doesn’t scratch easily, however, because emeralds have natural minute breaks and inclusions, they are prone to chipping and breaking when exposed to hard knocks.
Filling treatments cover these flaws to give the emeralds a better look but these treatments are just cosmetic. Emeralds have a high risk of chipping and breaking.
Wear your emerald jewellery with great care!
How do I Clean my Emerald Jewellery?
The emerald is a porous and often brittle gemstone so great care should be taken when wearing and cleaning.
Emeralds should not be steam cleaned or cleaned in ultrasonic cleaning equipment.
Clean your emerald jewellery with lukewarm soapy water.
Only use a very mild soap. Dry and polish with a soft cloth.
Can an Emerald be used in an Engagement Ring?
As beautiful as an emerald is, it’s not an ideal gemstone for a ring which is usually worn 24/7. Most serious jewellers are not keen on creating emerald engagement rings which are worn continually.
An occasional ring set with an emerald must be worn very carefully to avoid hard knocks whilst doing hard work.
It’s probably best to stay clear of emerald engagement rings.
Fun Facts, Myths and Legends
The name emerald comes from the Greek “Smaradgu” meaning green.
The German word for Emerald is Smaragd.
Although Mostly found in Columbia, Brazil, Afghanistan, and Zambia the first Emeralds were mined in Egypt as early as 1300 BC.
Cleopatra claimed ownership of emerald mines during her reign.
Emeralds were used by the Egyptians in jewellery and sophisticated burials by being placed in the tombs.
Emeralds were also adored by the Romans and the Greeks.
The Romans associated the emerald with the goddess Venus who symbolizes fertility, goodness, and beauty.
The Greeks honoured Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty, love, and fertility with Emeralds.
Many ancient cultures used Emeralds as sacred stones, the most well-known being the Munzo Indians of Columbia, the Aztecs, and Incas.
South America was identified as the source of high-quality emeralds when the Spanish looted the Munzo Indians.
As with other birthstones the emerald is believed by some people to have healing powers. It is believed emerald cures stomach problems, controls epilepsy, heals diseases of the eyes, headaches, and diseases of the spine.
For many cultures, the emerald symbolizes re-birth and is believed to grant the wearer good fortune, youth, and foresight.
Placing an emerald under the tongue supposedly gifts the wearer the ability to see into the future.
May birthstone emerald is also believed to protect the wearer from evil spells and grants the powers of eloquent speech.
The emerald is not only deep in colour but also beliefs and meaning.
The emerald symbolizes loyalty, new beginnings, peace, and security.
Emeralds have bee the chosen gemstones of Royalty and the wealthy for hundreds of years.
Emeralds were a favourite gemstone used in Victorian jewellery.
Richard Burton gifted Elizabeth Taylor a beautiful emerald necklace, adding it to complete a BVLGARI suite with earrings and a bracelet.
Jackie Kennedy had an emerald and diamonds engagement ring.
Wallis Simpson was given an emerald and diamonds engagement ring from Cartier by Prince Edward.
Here is an interesting post about amazing and beautiful emeralds sold by the auction house Christies.
The famous Emerald Cut was created especially for emeralds.
Most emeralds today are treated by immersing them in oil to improve the colour.
May birthstone emerald is not only the anniversary stone for the 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries it is also the alternate stone for 55th wedding anniversary.