May Birthstone Story

When you think of the month of May, what do you think of? May is towards the end of spring when the sun is shining bright, the flowers are still blooming and the earth is as colorful as can be. It's only appropriate that the birthstone to represent this month be just as radiant and full of life.

A strong representation of hope and love, the emerald birthstone embodies renewal, growth, unity, and compassion. With so many amazing qualities, it's no wonder the May birthstone represents so many powerful attributes.

What Birthstone is May?

The May birthstone is the beautiful emerald. The emerald birthstone is a symbol of hope and renewal. Interestingly enough, emerald is the only stone with a cut named after it. For many years, people believed that the May birthstone gave insight into future events and revealed truths. Ancient folklore suggests that putting an emerald under your tongue allows you to see into the future. Emerald birthstones are also said to enhance brain power, memory, communication skills, and speech, making them excellent gifts for students or for the workplace.

History of the Emerald Birthstone

The emerald gemstone has been around longer than we have. The oldest emeralds are about 2.9 billion years old, and the first known emeralds were mined in Egypt.

Modern history holds that the emerald birthstone was the first gemstone traded in markets in Babylon around 4000 BC, giving the May birthstone an even richer history. We can see evidence of this trade in the origins of the modern name for the May birthstone. The emerald name originated from the Greek word "smaragdos," which means "green stone".

The May birthstone flourished in ancient Egypt. Contemporaries of the time considered the emerald birthstone a symbol of eternal life. Even the infamously beautiful and cunning Queen Cleopatra favored this radiant gem.

To this day, the May birthstone endures as a favorite amongst royalty. For instance, the emerald birthstone continues to adorn countless crowns and other royal treasures. In October 2018 Princess Eugenie donned a beautiful family heirloom featuring emeralds to her wedding. The emerald Greville Kokoshnik Tiara is made of rose cut diamonds set in platinum with six emeralds on either side and a large emerald on the front. The tiara was given to Queen Elizabeth in 1942.

The Beautiful Hue of May Birthstones

The emerald birthstone is a popular gift choice for various reasons. These reasons include its overall value, hardness, and eye-catching hue. As one of the four recognized precious gemstones, the May birthstone color is one of the most desirable.

Just like diamonds, experts use the four Cs to determine an emerald's value. The May birthstone color is usually the most important of these factors.

The most desirable emerald birthstone colors are bluish-green to pure green hues. Furthermore, the most sought-after emerald birthstones are highly-transparent. Where does this luxurious color come from you ask? Emerald is made from beryl. The rich green colors and the spectrum of emerald hues come from trace amounts of chromium and/or vanadium.

May Birthstone Care

The emerald birthstone is around an eight on the Mohs scale of hardness, so it is more likely to be scratched or damaged. Therefore, the May birthstone does require some special care.

It is best to avoid exposure to heat, harsh chemicals and sudden changes in air pressure. As such, you should never put your emerald in an ultrasonic cleaner. The vibrations and heat from the cleaner can cause the stone to crack or even break apart. This is partly because emeralds are often treated with dyes or fillers to correct imperfections.

Shop Emerald Birthstones

From the red carpet to business casual and everything in-between, the May birthstone is a sight to behold. This sumptuous stone is a favorite amongst celebrities and fashion influencers. Plus, it adds an air of elegance and beauty to any look.

Emeralds dazzle in all sorts of jewelry styles. From May birthstone rings and emerald bolo bracelets to more traditional options like three stone rings or gemstone necklaces, this gemstone stands out from the crowd. Explore all of the emerald birthstone options from Zales.