Emerald is one of the four precious gemstones and is made from green beryl. Its name is derived from the Greek word smaragdus, meaning “green gem.” The stone’s color can range from light green with yellow or blue tones to a deep, dark green.
Legends say that emerald has calming effects and loving energy. Some people use this gem in their daily meditations to help reduce stress. The green color invokes symbols of nature and money, leading many to believe in its ability to bring abundance to the owner.
It has been known as the “Stone of Successful Love,” representing inspiration, patience, and unity. Centuries ago, it was linked to the goddess Venus. Many people have given emerald jewelry as gifts to their romantic partners.
Other folklore has stated that emeralds relieved issues in muscles, eyes, the spine, and the chest area. It was believed to have rejuvenating properties.
“O, the month of May, the merry month of May, So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green!” – Thomas Dekker, Author, (c. 1572–1632).
May is truly the month that really feels like spring, and what better gemstone to have as the birthstone of this blossoming month than an emerald?
Oval emerald studs with diamond double halo, by Uneek Fine Jewelry.
Pear-cut emerald and diamond earrings, by Nash James.
There’s no other stone that can match the lush, vibrant greens of emerald, truly a springtime favorite. In fact, some people believe the emerald symbolizes renewal and goodness, and that it is a stone that will increase a couple’s love for each other.
The color of lovely springtime emerald can vary in all hues of green, sometimes with a tinge of yellow and others leaning towards the blue-greens. These stones can be light and airy, or deep and dark, and everything in between.
Pear shape emerald and diamond ring, by Takat.
Wedding band featuring round emeralds and emerald-cut diamonds, by JB Star.
Not only that, but it can be highly saturated with this earthy color, making it bright and energetic, just like this time of year.
Emeralds have been prized gems throughout history. Egyptians used the stones for many purposes and claimed a magic slab of the gemstone had “all knowledge” engraved on it. In India, there’s a myth that tells of a firefly that crystallized into an emerald. The Aztecs likened the beautiful color to the plumes of god-like birds.
Those of you who own an emerald (or desire to have one!) are in good company; emeralds were Cleopatra’s favorite gemstone.
Emerald and diamond necklace, by Yael Designs.
Cabochon emeralds accented by diamonds, by AG Gems.
Emeralds are to be worn with care since they are a softer gemstone than others. But with proper treatment, these stones will last a lifetime.
Emeralds are mined in many locations around the world, from the famous mines in Colombia to the newer mines in Zambia, to others. The finest Colombian emeralds are delightfully bluish-green, richly saturated and stunningly clear.
This spring, while we watch the flowers bloom and the trees sprout, don’t forget your May babies—or their beautiful birthstone, emerald!
Jewelry images by credentialed AGS members. Visit ags.org/findajeweler to find an AGS jeweler near you.
Isabelle Corvin is an AGS Certified Gemologist (CG) who is the Staff Gemologist at Panowicz Jewelers. Since she was 14-years-old, she knew she wanted to be a gemologist. Ms. Corvin also writes for Panowicz Jewelers’ blog.
“When green is all there is to be, it could make you wonder why, but why wonder? Why wonder, I am green and it’ll do fine, it’s beautiful! And I think it’s what I want to be.” – Kermit the Frog, It’s Not Easy Being Green
The emerald—May’s birthstone—is the most beautiful, radiant and intense shade of green imaginable. Hence the hue: emerald green. Emeralds are also known for their signature, rectangular step-cut. Smaller sized emeralds are found in rounds, ovals, pear shapes and marquise cuts. Because of their rich color, they look spectacular when cut into a smooth-domed cabochon cut. It’s important that an emerald is transparent and isn’t too dark or too light.
Emeralds are typically found with birthmarks, or inclusions, which are often expected and do not detract from the value of the stone. But instead of calling these “imperfections,” the inclusions are often referred to as an internal “jardin,” meaning “garden” in French. Emeralds are durable gemstones with a hardness of 7.5 to 8. However, emeralds with many inclusions should be treated with some care and be protected from blows.
The oldest emeralds are approximately 2.97 million years old, and the first emeralds were mined around 1500 B.C. in Egypt. In fact, the lush green gemstone was Cleopatra’s favorite! Today, most of the world’s emeralds are mined in Colombia, Brazil, Afghanistan, and Zambia. The availability of high-quality emerald is limited; consequently, treatments to improve clarity are performed regularly.
The exquisite emerald symbolizes rebirth, wisdom, growth and patience. It is believed to grant the wearer foresight, good fortune and youth.
We’d like to wish all May babies a very happy birthday! If you’re looking for emerald jewelry, visit our Find a Jeweler search for an AGS credentialed jeweler near you. In the meantime, let these beautiful designs inspire you!
Are you the kind of person who likes to express your holiday spirit with jewelry? Does the jewelry you wear often reflect the mood and occasion of a party you’re attending? If you answer yes to either of these, then maybe you’ve been thinking about how you’re going to capture the Cinco de Mayo spirit with your jewelry.
Never fear! The American Gem Society is here to help you accessorize so you can walk into the party not having to wonder, “Is that salsa hotter than my outfit?”
We’ve taken the colors of Cinco de Mayo and paired them with some beautiful jewelry pieces that are ¡Muy Caliente!
First off, what would a fiesta be without a perfect bowl of pico de gallo?
And, if you didn’t think we could bring out the gorgeous essence of this dish into a piece of jewelry, well, just check out this stunning opal from Spark Creations.
Ring from Spark Creations
Speaking of food, Cinco de Mayo would be nothing without the traditional chilies of Mexico.
It’s a rainbow of amazing color and flavor, just like these two stunning rings from Yael Designs.
Ring from Yael Designs
Ring from Yael Designs
Now that we have the food portion covered, let’s bring in the drinks! The perfect drink of Cinco de Mayo you ask? A frosty margarita of course!
Show of your margarita-matched peridot ring from Parlé Jewelry Designs and leave your friends in awe!
Ring from Parlé Jewelry Designs
Ok, food and drink? Check!
Now onto that outfit of yours. We’re assuming you already have a sombrero, so you’ll need to pull that from your closet and brush off the dust from last year.
Many sombreros have a striped fabric trim, like the one pictured here, which inspires us to reach for our most stackable jewelry items.
Bracelets from Hurdle’s Jewelry
Rings from Erica Courtney Jewelry
Your headgear is all set, now onto the rest of your outfit. A perfect, traditional Mexican poncho is essential for the festive and fun look of Cinco de Mayo.
Though not all ponchos are alike and they vary in all types of color schemes; we wanted to show you an example of how we pulled colors from this poncho and paired it perfectly with a piece of fine jewelry.
Ring from Suna Bros.
And last but certainly not least, it’s time to party! Ready to break that piñata?
In the spirit of the perfect piñata, we found the perfect pair of Cinco de Mayo earrings to match. Just make sure the kids remember to go after the piñata and not your ears!
Earrings from Yael Designs
Now that we’ve covered all the bases for the perfect Cinco de Mayo celebration, we hope we have inspired you (and your outfit) to find the fun in accessorizing! Have a happy and safe holiday!
As the birthstone for May, the emerald, a symbol of rebirth, is believed to grant the owner foresight, good fortune, and youth.
Emerald and diamond ring from Omi Privé
According to Almanac.com, “The emerald, was one of Cleopatra’s favorite gems. It has long been associated with fertility, rebirth, and love. Ancient Romans went so far as to dedicate this stone to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. Today, it is thought that emeralds signify wisdom, growth, and patience.”
Emerald and diamond ring from Suna Bros.
Emerald, derived from the word smaragdus, meaning “green” in Greek, was mined in Egypt as early as 330 B.C. Today, most of the world’s emeralds are mined in Colombia, Brazil, Afghanistan, and Zambia. The availability of high-quality emerald is limited; consequently, treatments to improve clarity are performed regularly.
Emerald earrings from AG Gems
So enjoy your birthday, May babies! And enjoy the rich and beautiful Emerald gemstone all year round!