September 08, 2023

Emerald is May's green birthstone, symbolizing renewal and growth. Its verdant hues evoke lush springtime and have enthralled royalty across cultures for millennia. Discover emerald's rich history, alluring legends, care tips, and styling inspiration.

What is Emerald?

Emerald is a variety of the mineral beryl that occurs in vivid greens with a hint of blue. Its name derives from the Ancient Greek word for green, "smaragdos."

The most prized emeralds are a rich green color, highly transparent, and free of flaws. Its hardness of 7.5-8 makes emerald suitable for most jewelry with proper care.

For centuries, emerald has been one of the world's most revered gems. It was mined by Egyptian pharaohs and South American emperors. Today, emerald maintains elite status alongside ruby and sapphire.

Learn more key facts about emerald

Emerald History & Lore

Emerald's verdant color symbolizes nature and fertility, evoking lush green landscapes and the vitality of spring.

Legends claim emerald could cure illnesses like cholera and malaria. It was thought to grant the wearer foresight and eloquence, and expose false lovers.

Cleopatra adorned herself with emerald. Ancient Romans believed emerald could soothe tired eyes. In South America, emeralds were treasured by the Inca and Aztec civilizations.

Emerald is also the modern 20th and 35th wedding anniversary gemstone.

Where are Emeralds Found?

The finest emeralds originate from three mines in Colombia, especially the Muzo mine. Other sources include:

  • Brazil - Minas Gerais, Goias
  • Zambia - Kafubu, Lufwanyama
  • Zimbabwe - Sandawana
  • Pakistan - Swat valley
  • Afghanistan - Panjshir Valley
  • Russia - Urals

Colombian emeralds set the standard for quality based on their deep green hues. Zambian emeralds have a bluish-green tint. Brazilian emeralds vary from golden green to bluish green.

Emerald Jewelry Care and Cleaning

Despite good hardness, emerald's cleavage can make it fragile. Avoid knocking or dropping emerald jewelry.

Store emerald separately from harder gems. Clean with mild soap, water, and a soft brush. Avoid ultrasonic and steam cleaners which can damage filler in fractures.

Have emeralds checked annually by a jeweler to ensure settings remain secure with wear.

How to Buy an Emerald

  • Seek a lively green color without a blue or yellow tint
  • Look for high transparency in clean, eye-clean stones
  • Well-cut emeralds accentuate the color intensity
  • Inspect closely under magnification to check for clarity treatments
  • Ask for an independent lab report from a trusted gem lab
  • Pick an emerald that matches your wardrobe and style

Read our emerald buying guide for more expert tips.

Work with a reputable jeweler to find that perfect emerald stone to fit your budget.

Styling the Lively May Birthstone

  • Vintage inspired emerald cuts framed by diamond baguettes
  • Tennis bracelets with square emeralds separated by diamonds
  • Pendants surrounded by halos of white diamonds on yellow gold
  • Stack emerald beads between gold rondelles for boho chic
  • Modern rings with bold emerald slices and asymmetric shapes
  • Earrings featuring pear emeralds for a glamorous statement

Have fun styling gorgeous emerald jewelry as the verdant May birthstone!

Key Facts About the May Birthstone

  • Rich green color ranging from bluish to golden hues
  • One of the world's most valuable and coveted gems
  • Mined for over 4,000 years in Egypt and South America
  • Remains a beloved classic royalty have fought wars over
  • Durable enough for most jewelry with proper care
  • Looks stunning when accented with colorless diamonds
  • Perfect for anyone loving green or born in May

Find your exceptional emerald as the rejuvenating May birthstone!

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