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Emerald: May's Birthstone


It is hard to compare anything against the lush, vibrant green displayed by an emerald. The stone's color has captured the eyes and hearts of man since the times of antiquity. From the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt to the new-world Incas, the Emerald has always mesmerized us.

So what makes this stone so special?

Emerald is a member of the beryl family. The only beryl that can be considered an emerald will range in the color spectrum from green to greenish blue. This color separates it from other members of the beryl family, such as aquamarine. While there are other “green” beryl, emeralds will mostly be colored green by the element chromium, and must not be too light of a color.

Another aspect of the emerald that makes it special is its flaws. Normally, flaws in a stone are seen as a problem. Not in an emerald! While too much of this is a bad thing, the right amount of imperfections really brings an emerald to life. Referred to as “jardin” or garden, these visible inclusions give the emerald depth and beauty. Many look into an emerald and see a forest full of life.

Where do they come from?

Luckily enough, the rare emerald can find its way from ground to jewelry in many locations around the world. In ancient times, Egyptians operated mines as early as 330 BCE. Mines in the new world have been operated for almost a thousand years! Today, the most sought-after emeralds are mined in Columbia. Emeralds from around the world are measured against the Colombian mined stones. Other notable locations with mines include Brazil, Zambia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Why is it the Birthstone of May?

The month of May (in the Northern Hemisphere at least) is a time of seasonal change. In May, we see birds return, the forest spring back to life, and beautiful flowers bloom. Its a time of renewal and change. Life and the color green go hand in hand, so it is no surprise that the lush and vibrant emerald has found its home as the birthstone for the month of May.

So there you have it; a short dive into the Emerald. A true treasure from nature, the emerald will always have a place in our hearts. And a few of us may be fortunate enough to claim it as our birthstone. And even if you are born in a month other than May, you can still find a place for an emerald in your jewelry box. Do you have one?

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