May Birthstone 2021 – Emerald

This Month of May we explore the May birthstone, the emerald. Emerald is also the traditional wedding gift for the 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries. May only has one birthstone but it is a superior gemstone. The various shades that emerald comes in are absolutely breathtaking and I can wait to explore what this magnificent birthstone has to offer. This blogpost dives into what the emerald gemstone is, its history, symbolism, and takes a closer look at some emerald jewelry you can shop from our trusted vendors.




Zambian Green Emerald.
2.30ct Zambian Green Emerald. Image Source: Pinterest

The emerald birthstone is categorized as green beryl. The green of the emerald is caused by chromium and vanadium. Beryl has a hardness of 7.5–8 on the Mohs scale. Most emeralds are highly included, so their toughness (resistance to breakage) is classified as generally poor. Whereas, aquamarine which is also beryl is not as easy to break. Therefore, we don’t recommend wearing an emerald in an engagement ring. Bear in mind that emerald is much easier to chip and break. We recommend you wearing an emerald in a necklace or a pair of earrings. Beryl can go from light green to dark grassy green. When it comes to selecting green for an emerald, the Zambian emerald green color is most desirable.

Emerald gemstones are often treated which is accepted by most gemologists and emerald consumers alike. Emerald gemstones are either heated or boiled in oil. This treatment turns a lighter emerald into a darker richer-looking emerald. One of the positive aspects of the emerald is that if an emerald fades and loses its color over time, it can be retreated to bring the stone back to life.

Emeralds are mined in the South and Central parts of America and in many parts of Africa. Specifically, from the Kagem emerald mine located in Zambia. The Kagem emerald mine is the world’s single largest producer of emeralds and accounts for approximately 25% of global emerald production.

The Kagem Emerald Mine.
The Kagem Emerald Mine, Zambia. Image Source: The Mast Online



Elizabeth Taylor as Pharaoh Cleopatra.
Elizabeth Taylor as Pharaoh Cleopatra who was one of the first avid collectors of Emeralds. Image Source: Bill Hicks Jewellery Design

The name emerald comes from the ancient Greek word for green. The first known emerald mines were in Egypt. Cleopatra VII Philopator who was the last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt loved emeralds.



Image Source: Crystals and Jewellery

Emeralds are thought to represent eternal youth and a lot of the ancient Egyptians were buried with them to take them into the afterlife. It is said that placing an emerald on your tongue is said to make you an eloquent speaker and help you see the future. Furthermore, it is said that wearing an emerald will help you determine whether your lover’s oath is true or false.




Emerald-Cut Emerald and Diamond Pear-Shaped Halo Ring in 18k White Gold.
Emerald-Cut Emerald and Diamond Pear-Shaped Halo Ring in 18k White Gold from Blue Nile.



14K White Gold Oval Emerald and Diamond Stud Earrings with Scalloped Halo.
14K White Gold Oval Emerald and Diamond Stud Earrings with Scalloped Halo from B2C Jewels.


Pendants and Necklaces

Emerald and Diamond Graduated Eternity Necklace in 18k White Gold.
Emerald and Diamond Graduated Eternity Necklace in 18k White Gold from Blue Nile.


Setting Emeralds

Pricing Emeralds

Cutting Emeralds

Birthstones adds a sense of ‘self’. Not only are your birthstones sentimental to you but also the month you were born in.  Are you born in May? Do you own any emerald jewelry? Click the comments button below and let us know.

Written by Bianca Mac Donald 

Scroll to Top