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May Birthstone: Emerald Color, Meaning & More

Emerald: May Birthstone Quick Facts

Emerald Color: Medium green to dark green

Emerald Mohs Hardness Scale Rating: 7.5-8

Emerald Symbolism & Meaning: Hope, love, rebirth, and renewal

Emerald Zodiac Signs:  Taurus and Gemini

Other Recognitions: Traditional gift for the 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries

emerald gemstone

What is Emerald?

Emerald is a radiant gemstone featuring a vibrant shade of green that’s reminiscent of the lushness of the spring season, making it the perfect birthstone to represent the month of May. The most precious stone in the beryl group, its rich green color comes from the presence of trace amounts of chromium or vanadium. 

Emerald Colors, Characteristics & Value

The emerald is treasured for its brilliant, lush green color and is often favored by the rich and famous to wear as statement pieces for big events. While an emerald’s color can range from light green to a deep, rich green, the more vivid the green color, the more valuable the stone. The rarest emerald gemstones will appear to be an intense green-blue color. Emerald gems without visible inclusions are scarce, making this another determining factor of a stone’s value.

emerald gemstone ring

Emerald History

As previously mentioned, emerald is a member of the beryl family and is formed by metamorphism and hydrothermal processes associated with magma. The first known emeralds were mined in Egypt, where the gemstone flourished. Emeralds were known to be popular with Cleopatra and are still favored today amongst royalty all over the world. The gem’s appeal spread around the 1500s after Spanish invaders brought emeralds to Europe from South America.

Today, emeralds can be found all over the world but are mined mainly in Columbia, Brazil, and Zimbabwe. Colombia is the world’s largest producer and has been sourcing some of the most beautiful emeralds for more than five centuries.  

Garnet Care & Cleaning

Emeralds need to handled with care, or they can begin to show wear in the form of scratches and chips. The emerald jewel is a 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, which makes it more susceptible to scratching than a diamond, ruby, or sapphire. Inclusions, or internal birthmarks, are common in emeralds and can often be seen with the naked eye. Emeralds are often treated to improve their color and clarity in order to minimize the appearance of inclusions. Standard treatment methods include dyeing and fracture filling, in which oils, waxes, and resins are used to fill fractures or other faults. 

Emeralds require special care when it comes to cleaning, so it is best to use only mild soap and warm water. You should never put your emerald in an ultrasonic cleaner as the vibrations and heat could cause the stone to crack. We recommend having your emerald jewelry professionally cleaned and checked three to four times a year. When not being worn, emerald jewelry should be wrapped in a soft cloth and kept separate from other jewelry to help protect it from scratches and other damage.

Garnet Jewelry & Gift Ideas

Whether you are shopping for yourself or someone else, Borsheims has an extensive selection of emerald jewelry in various styles. Emerald is a popular gift option for those celebrating May birthdays and those commemorating their 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries. If you need help picking out the perfect piece of emerald jewelry, one of our experts would be happy to assist you. Stop into our store or text or call 402.391.0400 during store hours to speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable sales associates.