May babies have a reason to celebrate – not only does their birth month signify the arrival of warmer weather and blooming flowers, but they also have the privilege of claiming one of the most exquisite birthstones of all time: the emerald.
Symbolizing rebirth and renewal, Emerald is a fitting birthstone for May. Its lush, vibrant hue of green is the very definition of spring, from the poetic description of Ireland as “the Emerald Isle” to the mesmerizing depths of the gemstone.
However, there is much more to this gem than its alluring green hue. Legend has it that the beautiful emerald holds a mysterious power to enhance intelligence and wit, and was even thought to have the ability to heal diseases like cholera and malaria. This precious gem’s remarkable abilities have been whispered about for centuries, inspiring awe and reverence in those who come in contact with it.
In addition to being the birthstone for May, Emerald is also the traditional gemstone for the 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries.
Whether you’re a May baby or simply appreciate the beauty of gemstones, this is a stone worth exploring.
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Emerald Birthstone History
Known as the “stone of successful love” in ancient cultures, emeralds were believed to open the heart. In Greek mythology, emeralds were associated with the goddess Venus and were thought to protect lovers from infidelity.
The Incas and Aztecs believed that emeralds were sacred and had healing properties. They also used emeralds to decorate their royalty and religious figures, emphasizing their high value and importance in society.
Emeralds were used in ancient Egypt as talismans to enhance fertility and were often buried with the deceased for protection in the afterlife. The ancient Romans believed that emeralds could soothe the eyes and prevent epilepsy.
Throughout the Middle Ages, emeralds continued to be valued for their beauty and mystical properties. Royalty wore emerald jewelry as a symbol of power and wealth, and it was also believed that emeralds could protect against evil spirits and enchantments. Some even believed that emeralds could predict the future.
Today, emeralds are still highly valued for their beauty and unique properties.
Emerald Birthstone Meaning
Like the spring, green Emerald brings a renewed freshness and vitality to the spirit, encompassing the life energy of rebirth and creation.
It fosters hope for the future and sparks personal growth and well-being.
Emerald’s invigorating intensity enhances mental clarity and creativity and attracts abundance in all of life’s experiences.
Emerald birthstone Properties
Emeralds are known for their distinct green color, which is caused by the presence of chromium and vanadium in the stone. The hue can range from a light green to a deep, rich green, and the color saturation is what determines the value of the stone.
In addition to their color, emeralds are also known for their visible inclusions, which are often referred to as “jardins” or gardens. These inclusions are a part of the stone’s natural character and can add to its uniqueness and beauty.
Emeralds have a hardness of 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale, which means they are relatively durable and can withstand daily wear in jewelry. However, their brittle nature makes them prone to chips and cracks, so they should be handled with care.
Emerald birthstone Care
To make emeralds look their best, it’s common to enhance them with various techniques that require special care. Emeralds are often dyed for a more vibrant colour or have fillers to cover surface level fractures and enhance clarity.
To protect the gemstone from harm, avoid exposing it to heat and harsh chemicals. Even washing dishes with hot water can put an emerald at risk, so be sure to remove your emerald rings before doing any household cleaning.
Never put an emerald in an ultrasonic cleaner and don’t use steam cleaners or other high-heat cleaning.
To keep your emeralds sparkling like new, soak in a bit of warm, soapy water before brushing with a clean, soft bristled brush.
Store your emerald jewelry in a soft pouch or lined box taking care not to let it rub against harder gemstones such as diamond or ruby.