Emerald: The May Birthstone

The Emerald is a rare and highly coveted gemstone that rivals the value of a diamond. The May birthstone comes in a variety of green shades that makes no two stones alike. It has been sought after for generations due to its clarity and unique appearance.


The Emerald was considered a May birthstone since the 15th century, but it shared its place with Agate stone. Early astrologists also aligned this stone with the star sign of Taurus and Agate with Gemini. In the early 20th century, the American National Association of Jewelers (now known as Jewelers of America) created the modern list of birthstones and named the Emerald the official birthstone of May. Modern astrologists have since swayed away from this official list, but today the Emerald coincides strongly with May birthdays, anniversaries, and marriages.

The Emerald’s history holds relevance in many cultures throughout the world. The first appearance of the Emerald was known to have been Babylonia (2300 B.C) where it was often sold or traded in city marketplaces. Latin countries were known to use this stone as a ritualist totem to bring good fortune to their spring harvest. In India, this stone was noted as a symbol of the celestial body of Mercury. Famous even among western culture, Aristotle attributed the Emerald to increased presence and speech patterns, winning great victories, and even soothing inflamed headaches.

The Emerald was also used as a status piece among royalty and the wealthy throughout history as well: Cleopatra of Egypt had an entire mine of Emeralds dedicated to her personal use. Though her tomb has since been explored, Emeralds were found circling the entrance way. Her personal mine still forms more lower quality Emeralds to this day. Alexander the Great used an Emerald which was set into his girdle. The Russian crown jewels hold many intricate Emerald pieces that were smuggled out of the country during their revolution. The tiara of Irani empress Farah is currently held at the Irani State Treasury.

The Emerald has been a popular choice in engagement rings as well! Elizabeth Taylor was given an entire Emerald Suite created by Bvlgari for her marriage to Richard Burton. This is a complete Emerald set with a necklace/broach combo, a ring, a bracelet, and earrings. Jackie Kennedy’s engagement ring consisted of a 2.88 carat Emerald. One of Victoria Beckham’s 15 engagement rings is an Emerald. More recently, Megan Fox’s engagement ring consists of an Emerald and a Diamond.


The Emerald comes in a variety of shades. The most popular shade is a forestry green that gives the stone a balance between its medium-dark hues. The natural inclusions of the Emerald also create a unique style choice. Many will look at an Emerald and think it is vintage in appearance because of these inclusions. The ‘veins’ of the stone are so varied that it makes it impossible to have two stones be exactly alike! 

The physical look aside, one of the greatest attributes is the Emerald’s ethical origins and mining! These stones are strenuously sourced through suppliers who go to mines, most notably in Australia, to oversee the process of mining this rare stone. The ethical mining procedures create a conflict free setting where the Emeralds can be well distributed.

The physical look and its ethical ways make for an interesting rival to the value of diamonds. Lucky enough, the May birthstone is actually more affordable though! More rare does not always mean expensive and in this case, Emeralds are perfect for the average person.

Special Properties

As a birthstone, the Emerald is said to give good fortune and healing properties to the wearer, especially in the month of May. They are used for calming and balancing energy and can help with anxiety. Astrological cultures believe that wearing this stone during the month of May gives the stone its most powerful properties, creating a stabilization of the mind and body.

Emeralds are known to symbolize fidelity, romance, and love in relationships. An Emerald is a sign of a deep mature love that will bring about a happy, but unique commitment. This is why it has become a very popular engagement ring in more recent years. Not only does the stone symbolize a great commitment, but the color of this stone represents new beginnings in love and in life. The green of the Emerald energies the connection deep between partners.

It is an intense spiritual stone that some say offers closeness to their God. Being in possession of this stone has been described as a religious experience that aids the beholder to a universal plan. It is deeply spiritual and often was the center of rituals in bringing forth good fortune to a community. Many cultures believe that the Emerald is a gateway to seeing the spirit of their divine.

Final Thoughts

Emerald is an incredibly deep gemstone that attributes energy, spirituality, and faithfulness to the wearer. This birthstone is at its highest peak of power during the month of May. Its value carries great weight in ethical mining and uniqueness as well.

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Have more birthstone questions? Check out the blog post here!

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JSL Team :)