The birthstone for the month of May is the magnificent emerald. Along with ruby and sapphire, it makes a part of the big three of all gems around the world. Emeralds are usually deep green in color and people born under the influence of this stone are committed, victorious, and lucky.
May Birthstone – Emerald Meaning and Powers
The word emerald comes from the Greek word smaragdus, which literally translates to green.
Emerald is considered far and wide as a gem that cured many diseases and conditions. This included epilepsy, which is also known as the falling sickness and is most commonly associated with being cured by emeralds. Other conditions that emeralds help with include dysentery and internal bleeding. The calming, soothing green of an emerald is said to sooth the eyes and help them rest.
The emerald gem is also known to symbolize fidelity and commitment. It is gifted by men to their ladies as a sign that they will always remain committed to them. It is also given by friends of the couple to them as a charm that will protect their relationship.
Emeralds are especially kind to chaste women. It is said that the emerald bestows virgin women with extraordinary beauty and a way with words.
There are also many other characteristics of the emerald which benefit the wearer. For example, emeralds are said to provide protection from evil.
When an emerald is placed on the tongue, it is known to predict the future.
Another widely known benefit of the emerald gem is that it brings good luck to the wearer. So you must keep your emerald jewelry on when embarking on a difficult mission!
Emeralds also bring creativity to the wearer. So artists could walk around with emeralds in their pockets to inspire themselves with new ideas too.
A unique characteristic of the emerald gem is that it helps with legal matters. The wearer gets higher chances of victory in their trials. They also provide clarity in matters of litigation.
History of Emerald – Birthstone For May
Emeralds have held value for many thousands of years. In fact, the earliest records of emeralds holding value are from 4000 BC.
Aristotle himself was quite taken with the gem. He suggested that wearing emeralds increased the influence of the wearer over his community and that it soothes the eyes.
Aristotle also encouraged noblemen to adorn their children with emerald jewels so they can be safe from epilepsy.
Cleopatra, the ruler of Egypt, claimed that emeralds are her favorite gem. In fact, in her times, she had claimed ownership of all the emerald mines in Egypt. These emerald mines were some of the earliest known sources of emeralds in the world.
Ptolemy, another famous ruler of Egypt had a portrait of Lucillus, the ruler of Rome, engraved on an emerald. He presented this as a gift of peace to the ruler.
For Egyptians, emeralds signified rebirth and fertility. They also use emeralds in the burials of important personalities. Egyptians are known to bury emeralds with dead monarchs, as protection from the evils of the afterlife.
In Rome, Nero used to watch gladiator fights through a clear emerald. He claimed to do this because it calmed him. Other Romans believed that emeralds bring good fortune in businesses. They also thought that emeralds had to be ripened and that they darkened as they matured.
The significance of emeralds bringing luck was elaborated by the Chinese. They believed that wearing emeralds on Thursdays bring good luck to the wearer.
In the Middle Ages, the emerald was used to help keep women chaste.
The Mughals in India had divine texts inscribed in emeralds. They were very taken with emeralds, especially ruler Shah Jahan, who had it used in the construction of the Taj Mahal.
Emeralds hold a lot of religious significance as well. For example, it is a known fact that the Holy Grail was carved out of an emerald. In Christianity, emeralds also symbolized the return of Jesus.
The Hindus believed that emeralds brought good luck to the wearer. It is also one of the gems mentioned in the Quran for Muslims.
May Birthstone Emerald Characteristics
Emerald is a type of beryl, like aquamarine. Emeralds are always green but remember that not all green beryl is an emerald.
Emeralds range from bright to deep greens. The green color of the emerald is said to come from chromium or vanadium. The rarest emeralds are blue-green. Heating emeralds make the lose their color.
The best quality emeralds are mined in Columbia. Other than that, emeralds are found all over the world, more notably in USA, Russia, Zambia, Brazil, Madagascar, and India.
Synthetic emeralds are also made in laboratories to meet the rising demand for emeralds.
On the Mohs scale of hardness, an emerald ranges from 7.5-8, which makes it excellent as an ornament.
Emeralds are quite delicate, which is why you should keep them with care and not expose them to rough and harsh conditions. Emeralds do tend to deteriorate over time as well, so they need touch-ups.
Cleaning Emerald Jewelry
Since emeralds are very delicate, you must be sure to keep them away from harsh chemicals and substances with extreme pH values.
Emerald jewelry must also not undergo ultrasonic treatment since that can get rid of the waxes and oils that have fixed the fractures in the gem.
The best way to clean emeralds is with warm water and a mild soap.