Note from the Nomad: I’m a yogi, not a doctor! Any information provided here about the healing properties of crystals is based on historical or traditional beliefs and is not intended as medical advice; always consult a healthcare professional for medical concerns.
|The Stone of Successful Love
|Benefits and healing properties
|1. Stress Relief - "Soothing green hue" reduces stress and eye strain.
2. Love & Fertility - "Symbol of Venus" enhances love, loyalty, and fertility.
3. Mental Clarity - "Inspires eloquence" improves memory and communication.
|1. Stress - Promotes relaxation, relieves tension
2. Confusion - Enhances mental clarity, decision-making
3. Emotional turmoil - Stabilizes emotions, encourages patience
|Heart Chakra - Promotes love, compassion, emotional balance.
|Associated birth month and zodiac sign
|May (Taurus, Gemini)
|Color: Rich green, bluish-green to pure green
Mineral Class: Beryl
Hardness (Mohs Scale): 7.5 to 8
|Region(s) commonly found in
|Colombia, Brazil, Zambia, Pakistan, Afghanistan
|Alternate spellings & misspellings
|emeral, emerlad, emerold, emrald, emereld
|Where to buy and learn more
|See latest price
The Emerald May birthstone is one of the world’s most beautiful and captivating stones. With its stunning rich green color, this gem had the world falling in love with it for over six thousand years.
As a result, the Emerald has always been one of the most treasured and desirable gemstones, at times even surpassing diamonds in worth.
An Emerald will make the ideal present for everyone born in May, with the Zodiac sign of Taurus and Gemini. However, you can still enjoy these stones even if you are not a May baby.
Carrying the most abundant hue in nature and the power to bring clarity and unconditional love makes the Emerald highly popular among precious gemstone lovers.
- 1 Get Familiar with Emerald Birthstone
- 2 Where does the Green Emerald Color come from?
- 3 Where are Emeralds found?
- 4 Emerald’s “Jardin”
- 5 History, Legends, and Folklore behind Emerald Birthstone
- 6 Famous Emeralds
- 7 The Emerald in Hollywood
- 8 The Emerald’s Many Metaphysical Properties
- 9 Emeralds Benefits for Meditation
- 10 Emeralds in Astrology
- 11 Emerald Jewelry
- 12 Emerald Care
- 13 FAQ
Get Familiar with Emerald Birthstone
May birthstone is worldly famous for its color. The world uses Emerald green to describe something in the deep green color of the crystal. Emerald crystals range from bluish-green to pure green. So naturally, the deeper the color, the more expensive and precious the stone is.
The name comes from an Ancient Greek word, “smaragdus,” which means “green stone.” Rome’s Pliny the Elder had described the May birthstone color as “Nothing greens greener” than an Emerald. In his Natural History, published in the first century AD, the Roman author was the first to describe the color green as therapeutic.
He said the gem cutters had no better method to rest and rejuvenate their strength than by looking at the Emerald. The lush green color was comforting to them and effectively removed their weariness and lassitude. Today, it is scientifically proven that the green color relieves stress and eye strain.
“No color is more delightful in appearance. For although we enjoy looking at plants and leaves, we regard Emeralds with all the more pleasure because compared with them, there is nothing that is more intensely green.”
Pliny, The Elder
According to Leatrice Eiseman of the Pantone Color Institute, the human eye notices more green than any other color in the spectrum. Therefore spending time in nature and looking at natural shades of green in the trees, grass, and water can bring such peace and help us meditate and reach mindfulness.
One more legend relates to the name and color of the May birthstone. According to Indian folklore, the Emerald name was initially taken from the Sanskrit word “marakata,” which in translation means “the green of growing things.”
Where does the Green Emerald Color come from?
Undoubtedly, the essential value factor of the birthstone Emerald is its green color. The gemstone combines the mineral beryl and chromium or vanadium chemicals, creating the recognizable Emerald green color. So the higher the chromium and vanadium, the greener the gem, while more iron means a more blue hue. However, the color is what it takes for a beryl gem to be called Emerald. So if beryl does not have the required amount of chromium or vanadium, the gem will be classified only as light-green beryl.
In conclusion, May birthstones must have a dominant green color which can be pure, show some blue, or a minor level of yellow. The finest Emerald gemstones will pair the famous green or bluish-green hue with strong or vivid saturation and medium to medium-dark tone.
Where are Emeralds found?
The green gem would take hundreds of millions of years to form naturally. The oldest known Emerald gems are almost 3 billion years old. Interestingly, Emeralds grow hexagonal.
This birthstone for May first used to be mined in Egypt at least 330 BC. The Mons Smaragdus or Cleopatra Mines were the first and oldest mines in ancient times. The next source of the precious gems was discovered in Columbia. For more than 500 years, Columbia has had the finest emeralds. Colombian emeralds are the standard by which all other gemstones are measured.
In the XVIth century, when Spanish explorers invaded the New World, the Columbian Emerald was, in huge amounts, plundered and looted. The Incas had been using the May birthstone in Emerald jewelry and religious ceremonies for over 500 years before the Spanish arrived.
Back then, they were more interested in gold and silver and unaware of their worth, they traded Emerald stones for precious metals. As a result, the same trading opportunities were presented to European and Asian royalty.
The natural Emerald is the rarest of all birthstones, and the first Egyptian mines were heavily exploited and quickly drained by invading Roman and Islamic armies until only ruins remained. So Egypt and India used to be where the gem was found in the past but not anymore.
Today, Columbia continues to be the largest supplier of Emerald birthstones, followed by Brazil and South America. Likewise, the precious gem can be found in Zambia-Africa, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
Lab-created or synthetic Emeralds also increased the distribution of these precious stones. In addition, some lab-grown gems are only called Colombian Emeralds as a measure of quality and grade.
Almost all Emeralds are typically highly included, meaning they have small “imperfections” due to their formation process. Some of these inclusions are often eye-visible. Because of the lush bluish-green color of the birthstone and the mossy look of the inclusions under the microscope, they are collectively referred to as “jardin,” which is French for “garden.”
The Emerald “jardin” are foreign materials trapped within the gem, which make the stones even more unique and eye-catching. The inclusions can also serve as indicators of the gem’s origin. But on the downside, they are also the reason for weak spots in the crystal structure, which is why the Emeralds must be handled with care. Only one sharp hit in the right spot can easily destroy a cut emerald.
Of course, the May birthstone with no or fewer inclusions will be more valuable and priced. However, naturally formed eye-clean emeralds are nearly impossible to find. The ones that are found usually sell for twice or triple the per-carat price of diamonds. That is how rare and valuable these types of Emeralds are.
In addition, the high incidence of inclusions in the stones make the cutting and polishing of an Emerald gem a bit tricky and difficult. Therefore most polished Emeralds are found in the classic Emerald-cut, and only a few can become round stones. May’s birthstone is the only gem whose name is used to describe other gemstone cut styles.
Lab-created Emeralds are surely to come with fewer inclusions, and often the fracture filling is made on the stone. The precious stone “jardin” are treated with cedar oil or a resin filling to increase and improve the stone’s durability. Moreover, almost all standard emeralds, or 90%, go under this procedure that also improves their color and appearance.
However, such treatments lower the price and value of the gems. Therefore, the highest-quality emeralds come with certificates certifying the fact that no such treatments were performed. So when you shop Emerald jewelry, you can inform yourself about whether the piece has been under oil or a resin fracture filling procedure.
History, Legends, and Folklore behind Emerald Birthstone
The Emerald is said to be historical royal jewelry. From Egyptian pharaohs to Inca emperors, the majestic stone has captivated everyone. Cleopatra, one of the most famous women in History, adored and favored May’s birthstone. Even the Emerald mines discovered in Egypt were called “Cleopatra Mines” after her. Egyptians as a nation highly valued and appreciated the stone which was native to them.
Therefore it was placed in Pharaohs’ tombs believing it would give eternal life to the soul and protection in the afterlife. They also saw the birthstone for May as a symbol of fertility, motherhood, and good fortune.
Similarly, Ancient Greek and Romans linked the gem with the goddess of love, beauty, fertility, and prosperity, Venus (Aphrodite). May birthstone was also famous in ancient Rome as a symbol of love and loyalty.
The Incas conquered the Andes Mountains, a vast land with tremendous wealth, where an Emerald mine was found. So emperors ruled India, wearing the stone as a symbol of power and strength. One legendary piece originating from there is the “Crown of the Andes.”
According to the legend, the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizzaro took its largest gemstone, now called Atahualpa Emerald, from Inca’s last emperor, Atahualpa.
During the Spanish incursion, a lot of emeralds and gold treasures were brought into the New World. This is how Emerald’s popularity expanded through Europe and Asia. One of the most valuable emerald specimens was recovered from the sunken 17th-century Spanish galleon “Nuestra Señora de Atocha.”
A lot of the legends connect the stone to magical powers. In ancient times it was believed that by wearing Emeralds, one would be able to foretell the future. The ritual was done by placing an Emerald under the tongue, but in the same way, the stone was used to help someone become an eloquent speaker.
As the stone of love, it was also believed it would open a lover’s eyes and reveal the trust or falseness of a partner’s oath. Help them see through deception and lies. Furthermore, they used it to help them uncover the truth and protect them against evil spells.
According to many legends, Emerald’s birthstone was also assumed to help ease exhaustion, especially in travelers, and guard fishermen against the dangers of the sea. Finally, in a religious sense, the stones were believed to give the power to resist the devil and the temptations of the dark side. One of the legends states that the Emerald was one of the four precious stones, along with sapphire and diamond, that God gave to King Solomon.
Emerald Isle and Emerald City
Undeniably, many other gemstones like peridot and tourmaline are green. Nevertheless, only beautiful Emerald is associated with Ireland’s lushest landscapes and abundant greens, for why it is called the Emerald Isle. We also have the Emerald City, which is a synonym for Seattle, in the US state of Washington. The city got its nickname for its lush greenery all year round, making Seattle, Washington, an evergreen state.
You may have also heard of Emerald Buddha. Thailand’s most sacred statue of Buddha, seated in a meditative posture, is carved from one solid piece of green gemstone, which interestingly is not Emerald as the name states, but jade. The figure is 66 centimeters tall, clothed in gold and diamonds, and dates back to the 15th century.
The largest piece of Emerald discovered in Brazil is the Bahia Emerald. It weighs over 750 pounds (350kg) and has over one million carats, which probably makes it one of the world’s most expensive and revered gems. The gem’s price was estimated to be nearly half a billion dollars. However, Bahia Emerald is currently located in Los Angeles due to a legal battle about ownership.
The Emerald in Hollywood
You may recall the Emerald City in “The Wizard of Oz.” It was the capital city of the fictional Land of Oz in L. Frank Baum’s Oz books. The town, its townspeople, and the wizard were all portrayed in the rich green Emerald color.
One more famous Hollywood icon, the actress Elizabeth Taylor brings Emerald birthstone jewelry into the spotlight. The talented and beautiful actress was known for her passion and love for emerald jewelry. On the other hand, her husband, Richard Burton, was known to spoil and pamper his loved one with expensive and beautiful pieces of jewelry. The Taylor’s Bulgari Emerald and Diamonds jewelry set was a gift from Burton while filming the iconic movie “Cleopatra” in Italy. As mentioned, Cleopatra herself was also a big fan of the Emerald.
The Bulgari Emerald Suite included an Emerald Necklace, an Emerald and Diamond Pendant, a matching set of Emerald earrings, an Emerald Ring, and a Bracelet. Elizabeth wore the pendant as a brooch as well.
The Emerald and Diamond brooch was an engagement present, and the necklace was a wedding gift from her beloved Burton. The earrings, a bracelet, and a ring followed. In addition, some pieces of this majestic jewelry were from the Grand Duchess Vladimir in Russia. After Taylor’s death, the complete set was sold for a combined price of roughly $23 million! Impressive!
The Emerald’s Many Metaphysical Properties
The May birthstone green gem color brims with hope, spring, regeneration, and growth, making it a life-affirming gem. Therefore the beautiful Emerald is the perfect choice for this month. The elegant gem has stood the test of time not only as one of the oldest known gemstones on Earth but also as being loved and revered up to the present time.
People love and respect the gemstone not only for its mesmerizing appearance but also for its powers. The metaphysical properties of the Emerald truly make the gem one of the most magical and mystical of all time.
Over the years, Emeralds were linked to inspiration, patience, revitalization, and rebirth. Whoever wears the striking green crystals is believed to become more intelligent, quick-witted, and outspoken. The gem is acquired to increase confidence and transform its wearer into a great orator.
It has been associated with peace and serenity as it is thought to radiate a calming effect and offers loving energy. Back in Ancient civilizations, Emeralds are viewed as a symbol of immortality, beauty, and power.
Furthermore, the Emerald birthstone is a powerful talisman and good luck charm. According to the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, Emeralds bracelets brought good luck to their wearers, and the green crystals enhanced well-being. The belief is supported by the builder of the Taj Mahal, Shah Jahan, who had sacred text engraved in Emeralds and wore them as amulets.
People wear Emerald rings and other jewelry made from May birthstone to acquire eloquence and self-confidence and to improve their focus and memory. Therefore, Emerald birthstones are lovely gifts for someone who has reached a new milestone in their life, such as a new job, promotion, or graduating.
In addition, the beautiful gem is closely related to power and success. Cleopatra adorned herself and her place with Emeralds to demonstrate Egypt’s power and wealth. It is believed that this special gemstone brings wealth and abundance. As a result, it comes as no surprise that US dollars and other paper money are in the color green.
Emerald green is also linked to luck and opens the chakra of the heart, which supports the popular belief about the stone’s strong connection to love. Moreover, it is associated with Venus, the planet of love. Still, it gives the crystal power to connect its owner to Earth’s energy, helping them ground and feel center. The gem is also known for letting its owner give and receive unconditional love and can wake up one sensuality and passion.
When it comes to its relevance to love, Emeralds probably have more myths and tales than any other gemstone. For example, one ties the gem to Krishna, the deity of love in Hinduism culture. Hinduists believed the Emeralds crystals bring happiness into the marriage and often used them as an aphrodisiac.
Used to calm emotions by providing balance, wisdom, and patience, the glorious crystal also promotes friendships. Moreover, it is believed to have the power to attract loyalty and honesty, making it perfect for business transactions and partnerships.
On the other hand, the gem’s health benefits are also numerous and quite powerful. In the past, the amazing crystals were said to fortify the spirit and help people feel a sense of joy. Emeralds promote health and vigor by eliminating free radicals in the body. Back then, it was used to aid claustrophobia, strengthen and heal the heart and kidneys, improve blood pressure, and neurological function, eliminate nausea, and cure dysentery.
The symbol of the heart, Emeralds are most effective when worn over the heart, on the right arm, or on the little finger or ring finger.
Emeralds Benefits for Meditation
Emeralds are known to be a powerful stone for manifestation, and it is highly appreciated for their powers to eliminate impatience from the body and help you relax, rest, and rejuvenate. Hinduism teaches that this beloved birthstone is connected to the fourth primary chakra, the heart chakra, and is a symbol of Universal love.
Yoga lovers claim the gem has the power to bring subconscious thoughts to the forefront as it promotes self-awareness.
In addition, Emeralds are believed to increase psychic sensitivity and clairvoyance when held over the third-eye chakra. At one time, they were even used by spiritual teachers to gather wisdom from the spiritual realm. Lastly, opening the chakra of the heart indicates the birthstone Emerald has a healing effect on physical and as well on emotional health.
Emeralds in Astrology
Hindu teaching and Vedic Astrology associate the May birthstone Emerald with Mercury, the planet of communication and Gemini’s ruling planet. Therefore, it is considered the crystal to enhance communication and help one reveal the truth and find clarity.
On the other hand, in Western Astrology, the Emerald is connected to Venus, the planet of beauty and Taurus’ ruling planet. As a result, the stone is highly coupled with love themes and meanings.
When it comes to the Zodiac Wheel, Emeralds are birthstones for Taurus and Gemini, which both share May’s birthdays. But since Taurus is more predominant, Emeralds typically are thought to be very helpful for balancing Taurus’ infamous stubbornness. Nevertheless, for the Twins, the gem offers a strike of inspiration and inventiveness and enhances their creative personality.
With a unique appeal, it is no wonder why royalties from all over the world were and still are captivated by May birthstone Emerald. People everywhere, in the past and still today, spend fortunes to have a piece of these magical gems and continue to grow their jewelry collections.
Precious Emeralds are often used in jewelry as a centerpiece in Emerald bracelets, rings, earrings, and necklaces. Sometimes they even add more beauty and glamor to watches and other types of jewels.
The stone of the heart is a popular choice when it comes to engagement rings, and it is traditionally given as a present for the 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries. Likewise, Emerald birthstone rings make a perfect gift for people born in this month.
The May birthstone rarely appears alone but is often combined with diamonds. The diamonds act as a halo or supporting element to the slightly softer gem. On the Mohs hardness scale, the Emerald is 7.5 to 8, compared to the diamond, which is 10. However, the final result of this union is an incredible contrast that brings out the enchanting color of the May birthstone and much higher quality. For example, Emeralds and clusters of round diamonds make elegant and timeless pieces of precious jewelry.
Emeralds were often seen in Victorian jewelry, and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth was often spotted wearing some of the finest Emerald jewels, including a stunning Emerald necklace and tiara.
In modern times, the luxurious brand Hammerman Brothers Jewelry presented a pair of ear clips made from Colombian emerald, diamond, platinum, and gold. The exquisite pieces were sold on auction in May 2014 for $74,000. At the same auction, there was also a perfect Columbian Emerald and diamond gold and platinum ring from Tiffany & Co., which was sold for an impressive $206,500.
Emeralds need to be tended to with care and attention. Problems come with the May birthstone being quite fragile due to its inclusions. So, if you hit the green gem with a sharp object where the inclusions are, you risk destroying it. Therefore, it is best to avoid prolonged and daily wear. Instead, better keep it for your special occasions. In addition, be careful with your jewelry when traveling by air. Exposure to a sudden change in atmospheric pressure can also cause damage to the heavily included Emeralds.
The emerald stone has a hardness of 7.5 to 8.0 on the Mohs hardness scale, making it almost as hard as the other famous two birthstones, Blue Topaz (8) and Sapphire (9), but still much more fragile than the diamond (10). Still, with proper care, your favorite piece can be quite durable and scratch-resistant.
When it comes to cleaning the stone and returning its ravishing glare, avoid ultrasonic cleaners, steamers, hot water, and harsh chemicals. This is definitely not a piece of jewelry you like to wear while doing cleaning chores around the house. So, just use mild water, mild soap, and a soft brush. Leave the gem in the soapy water for up to 10 minutes but not longer, pat dry with a lint-free cloth, and let air dry naturally for an hour or two.
What are the 2 birthstones for May?
Official May’s birthstone is the Emerald. However, being a bit pricey and not affordable to everyone resulted in Agate as an alternative gem. This wasn’t a coincidence, as the crystal used to be a traditional birthstone for May back in the days of the ancient Romans and Greeks. It is said to rebalance and harmonize the body, mind, and soul.
What is May birthstone and flower?
Emerald is May’s birthstone, while the birth flower is the “Lily of the Valley,” also known as the Mayflower. It is said to represent joy and happiness, and its presence brings purity, good news, and good luck. Therefore, the Lily of the Valley is one of the favorite flowers used as decoration for weddings and other important celebrations.