What is the May Birthstone?
The May Birthstone is Emerald.
Emeralds are one of the top two or three colored gemstones in the world rivaled only by sapphires and rubies. This has been the case for thousands of years with historical figures such as Cleopatra and the Emperor Nero among the well known admirers of this gorgeous green gemstone.
The May Birthstone - Emerald Colors
Emeralds are green. Sounds simple, but this green is a particular color found almost exclusively in emeralds. Only an intense pure green that is spread evenly across the gemstone with no obvious blue or yellow undertones will be considered good enough.
The May Birthstone Price - How expensive is Emerald?
Emeralds are one of the most expensive gemstones around. The color is the major factor and a vivid consistent green - not too dark and not too light - is most preferred.
Unlike most gemstones, emeralds will almost certainly have internal flaws or inclusions but in many ways this can add to the charm and give them a soft romantic element missing from their crystal clear sisters and brothers.
It can also be a strong indicator that they are all-natural emeralds and not lab-grown or synthetic.
Large emeralds are very rare so the price per carat can rise exponentially. A 3 carat gem will be about 6 times the price of a single carat stone not just 3 times the price. Smaller carat gemstones can range from $80 - $1500 per carat while large stones over a couple of carats will reach $3500 per carat or higher.
For more details please refer to our full Emerald Info page here
What are the spiritual benefits of Emerald - The May Birthstone?
Emeralds have a reputation for encouraging faithful and deep love as well as representing fertility and new life. Other virtues include:
- Good Luck
- Freshness and Vitality
- Intuition and Prophecy
- Truth and Trust
See our detailed article on Emerald meaning and uses
The May Birthstone - Emerald and the Chakras
The deep green colors of emerald steer this gemstone towards the Heart Chakra where it can be of great benefit both physically and emotionally.
Find more details on Chakra gemstones here
The May Birthstone - Emerald Species
Emeralds are a type of beryl - a very prestigious gemstone family which also includes a few other well-known faces:
- Golden Beryl
The May Birthstone - Emerald Treatments
Emeralds are not heated like many other gemstones to improve their color and clarity but are commonly oiled to fill in minute cracks and fissures - warm oil is forced by pressure into the heart of the emerald to enhance transparency.
It is an accepted practice in the gemstone trade but may need re-oiling if the emerald begins to look a bit dull.
The May Birthstone - Emerald History
The oldest book ever found, 'The Papyrus Prisse', dates back 4000 years and mentions emeralds. Queen Cleopatra supposedly had quite a collection of emeralds and when the Conquistadors landed in South America in the 16th century, they were amazed at the quantity and quality of the emeralds they found. An Inca ruler, Atahualpa, would ride on a palanquin - a sort of stretcher for kings - made of 190 pounds of gold and studded with 100s of emeralds including the 45 carat Atahualpa emerald.
The May Birthstone - Where are Emeralds found?
Colombia is the premier source of high quality emeralds and neighboring Brazil is also noted for its supplies, too. Across the Atlantic, Zambia in Africa produces emeralds that easily rival those from Colombia.
The May Birthstone - What jewelry is Emerald suitable for?
Emeralds are rated a durable 7.5 - 8 on Mohs hardness scale and are considered strong enough for all types of jewelry items. Emeralds are known for their inclusions which can make them susceptible to cracking or breaking under extreme circumstance so they may not be best suited for daily wear.
Emeralds are a very highly esteemed gemstone so any jewelry item made of this gemstone will be much appreciated and cherished. Emeralds can be found in a variety of shapes and come in singles, pairs and lots if matching jewelry sets are needed.
In addition to being the May birthstone, Emeralds are also the traditional gemstones to celebrate the 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries.