May's Birthstone: Emerald
May’s birthstone Emerald has been a staple of the jewelry industry for hundreds of years. The word Emerald derives from the word “smaragdus” which means green. The gem represents love, fertility and rebirth. Its green hues and distinct tones set it apart as natures beauty at work. The stone is believed to grant the owner foresight, good fortune and youthfulness.
Emerald like aquamarine is a form of beryl, a mineral that grows with six sides and up to 1 feet in length. The color of Emerald ranges from light green (although these types are thought to not be pure emeralds) to deep, rich green emerald which is considered to be the most valuable form. The rarest emeralds are the green-blue varieties. The way Emerald presents itself in a piece of jewelry depends on how well cut it is by a skilled gemologist.
History of the Emerald
As with most birthstones. The darker the color, the richer and more valuable is the stone and the emerald is no different. The prices for emerald ranges on the dark green color to the iconic dark green with a tint of blue. The gem is formed from chromium, vanadium and iron and the varying amounts of these 3 elements gives it its range of colors. Iron is responsible for a blueish tint, and the other two give it its deep green color. The cut, color and clarity are the other factors that determine the quality and value of the stone.
Emeralds like most gemstones naturally have inclusions in them, though it’s more expected with emeralds because of the way they are crystallized. The jewelry industry finds this gem to be exceptionally rare because of their tolerance to inclusions. The gem is valued by many cultures from the ancient Romans and Nero, to Cleopatra and the Egyptians. The stone was highly priced by the ancient Egyptians and they even had some of the first emerald mines. They prized it so much that mummies were buried with the stone to represent ‘eternal youth’ and protect them. The Muzo Indians of Columbia amassed a treasure clove of emeralds which was well-hidden, and so hidden were the mines that the Spanish explorers took nearly 7 years to find them. Emerald was mined in Egypt as early as 330BC but according to some estimates, the oldest emeralds are more than 2 billion years old. Today, emeralds are found all over the world, from Colombia to Brazil, Afghanistan and Zambia. High-quality emeralds are rare and most are treated to improve clarity.
Why Emerald is for May?
One can recognize the importance of this birthstone from its rarity and value even from ancient time. But why is this the birthstone for May? It is probably because it has represented life and spring-time in many cultures of the world, from the emerald isles of Ireland to Seattle’s ‘Emerald City’. This gem has been used to describe the lush and life of green nature.
May birthday celebrants are really in luck because it is one of the months when the winter comes to an end and the final school month before summer arrives. Emerald is one of the most iconic of all birthstones. Here, 12 emerald engagement rings you'll envy–until one of them becomes yours.
Pear Emerald Wedding Ring Set Rose Gold
Split shank Emerald engagement Ring
14k white gold Emerald cut
floral design-6x8mm Oval shape Emerald
6.5mm round emerald with marquise band
1.25 Carat diamond Pave Set Emerald ring
7mm art deco cushion emerald Engagement Ring
8x12 pear emerald Engagement Ring split
2.5 Carat Emerald Engagement Ring three stone set
Princess Cut Emerald Ring
Natural Emerald Engagement Ring yellow gold
6x8mm Oval floral diamond Emerald ring