May Birthstone: Emerald

The birthstone for May is the emerald, a gemstone celebrated for its lush green color and rich history. Emeralds have captivated humanity for centuries, symbolizing rebirth, love, and fertility.

Characteristics and Quality

Emeralds are a variety of the mineral beryl, colored by trace amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium. They range in color from bluish-green to pure green, with vivid saturation being the most prized. Due to their formation process, emeralds often contain inclusions, known as “jardin,” which are accepted as part of their charm. On the Mohs hardness scale, emeralds score 7.5-8, making them durable but requiring care to avoid damage.

History and Lore

Emeralds have been cherished since ancient times. Cleopatra, the Egyptian queen, was known for her love of emeralds, which she used in her royal adornments. In ancient Rome, emeralds were associated with Venus, the goddess of love, and were believed to provide foresight and protection against enchantments. They were also considered a symbol of eternal spring and rebirth.

Symbolism and Healing Properties

Emeralds are often associated with growth, reflection, peace, and balance. They are thought to bring emotional healing, promote mental clarity, and inspire a sense of harmony. In folklore, emeralds were believed to have protective properties, warding off negative energy and enhancing the wearer’s well-being.

Chalk Emerald: photo by

Famous Emeralds

Several famous emeralds have made their mark in history. The Chalk Emerald, weighing 37.82 carats, is one of the finest examples, known for its exceptional color and clarity. Another notable emerald is the Mogul Mughal Emerald, an inscribed gem dating back to 1695, showcasing the gemstone’s historical and cultural significance. Read more about this piece >>

Caring for Emeralds

While emeralds are relatively hard, their inclusions can make them susceptible to damage if not properly cared for. It is recommended to clean emeralds gently with warm soapy water and avoid exposing them to harsh chemicals or extreme temperatures. Regular maintenance and careful handling can help preserve their beauty and longevity.


The emerald, with its captivating green hue and rich history, is a fitting birthstone for May. Whether cherished for its beauty, historical significance, or symbolic meanings, emeralds remain a timeless and treasured gemstone. For those born in May, wearing an emerald is a connection to a legacy of love, rebirth, and enduring elegance.

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