Spring is in full bloom, and May has now arrived! Today we take a look at May’s birthstone: the emerald! This gorgeous gemstone has been admired and coveted in many cultures due to its impressive color, and it has been mined from regions of Afghanistan, Austria, Australia, Brazil, Columbia, India, Madagascar, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the United States.

Take a look at our Lotus earrings with emerald beads, and read on to discover the properties of this unique precious stone:

 

May’s birthstone: what does the Emerald represent?

The emerald is a gemstone associated with a green color, which varies from a very light color to a dark and deep hue. The name Emerald actually derives from the Greek word smaragdos, which means green or green stone. Emeralds can also have blue and yellow undertones, and they’re exposed to treatments to improve its clarity. However, when subjected to high temperatures, this precious stone can lose its color completely.

Emeralds were coveted items used by the royalty in places such as Babylon, Egypt and South America. It’s said that Queen Cleopatra used to collect emeralds, and the Moguls of India revered these gemstones, even placing them in their sacred texts. When the conquistadors from Spain arrived to South America, emeralds were amongst the most sought-after jewels which they took back to Europe.

The emerald was believed to represent loyalty, domestic bliss and wisdom, and it was also associated with the goddess Venus, since it was believed to embody and improve fertility and reproduction. For Christians, emeralds were a symbol of the resurrection of Christ.

 

What is the Emerald used for?

May’s birthstone has received different uses throughout its history. The Indians believed that the emerald was an effective amulet against the influence of evil spirits, while during the Middle Ages, people used to believe that these gemstones allowed clairvoyance, making its wearer capable of foretelling the future.

During the Victorian era, this precious stone was related to healing properties which protected its wearer against diseases of the eyes, headaches and fertility problems. According to the birthstone poem:

 

Who first beholds the light of day
in spring’s sweet, flower month of May
and wears an Emerald all her life
shall be a loved and a loving wife”.

 

 

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Sources:
American Gem Society. May birthstone. http://www.americangemsociety.org/may-birthstone
EarthSky. What’s the birthstone for May? http://earthsky.org/earth/may-birthstone-emerald
Birthday Gems. May Birthstone. http://www.birthdaygems.org/may-birthstone.htm
Jewelry information place. Birthstones by moth. http://www.jewelryinfoplace.com/birthstones_by_month.html#5