May Birthstone – Emerald
The May Birthstone Emerald has been a cherished gemstone for over a thousand years. Its rich, unique color is fitting for the month of May as flowers bloom, grass grows long, and trees sway in the encroaching summer breeze. Like other gemstones, emeralds have a long history influenced by international relations and colonialism. Their beauty is adored around the world.
Wearing emerald stones as jewelry is a practice that dates back to Ancient Greece and Rome, when the stones represented Aphrodite and Venus—both Goddesses of beauty and fertility. The stones were also mined in Egypt around 300 B.C.In fact, Cleopatra took over all of the emerald mines in Egypt to adorn herself in the stones. They became known for their association with her. Over a thousand years later, their renown spread to Europe when in the 16th Century, Spain colonized South America and took the stones from the Incas and Muzo Indians who had treasured them for centuries. After being stolen from South America, the emeralds were traded in Europe and made into Royal jewelry pieces. Additionally, in India around the same time period, Mogul emperors sought out the stones because they believed they would provide the protective power of the Gods.
The Emerald Birthstone is still valued today—perhaps influenced by its history as a treasured gemstone throughout the world. Many believe that it bestows friendship, loyalty, and faithfulness to its owner, and it can allow someone to see into the future and decipher truth. It is also said to protect against sickness and evil and bring love, bliss, and romance. People receive emerald birthstones as gifts and engagement rings because of their beauty and meaning. A large portion of Victorian jewelry also contained emerald stones.
May Birthstone Color
To many, the color emerald represents springtime, renewal, fertility, or rebirth, and it also has symbolic biblical meaning. The richness of the color is central to its intrigue and meaning. Emerald is easily the welknown and popular green gemstone along with Peridot and Sapphire.
May Birthstone History
Throughout history, emerald stones have had many famous admirers. In addition to Cleopatra, Elizabeth Taylor received emeralds from Richard Burton while she was filming Cleopatra in Rome. Both Jackie Kennedy and Wallis Simpson received emerald engagement rings–Simpson receiving hers from King Edward VIII in a controversial love story that shook the Royal Family. In recent times, the stones have been worn by Angelina Jolie, Olivia Wilde, Halle Berry, and Zoe Saldana.
Today, emeralds are mined in Zimbabwe, Columbia, Zambia, and Brazil. The most popular Emeralds come from either Zambia or Colombia. As a birthstone, emerald represents Taurus, or people who were born between April 21st and May 20th. They are said to be most responsive to people who are born under this Zodiac sign. Their timeless beauty has made them a cherished birthstone worn on earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and engagement rings.