May’s “Gem of Spring” Birthstone, The Emerald: Nothing Greens Greener



May’s birthstone, and the gem of the twentieth and thirty fifth wedding anniversaries. 

This stone is a green to bluish green variety of beryl, a mineral species that also includes aquamarine.  What is the dividing line between emerald and beryl?  GIA has created lab-graded comparison stones to determine if the green color is dark enough and saturated enough for a stone to be called emerald.









It is emerald’s lush green that has soothed souls and excited imaginations since antiquity.  Rome’s Pliny the Elder described emerald in his Natural History, published in the first century AD: “nothing greens greener” was his verdict.  He described the use of emerald by early lapidaries, “its soft, green color comforting and removing their weariness.”

There are other green gems, like tourmaline and peridot, but emerald is the one associated with the lushest landscapes and the richest greens. For example, Ireland is the Emerald Isle. Seattle, is the Emerald City. Thailand’s most sacred religious icon is called the Emerald Buddha.

Legend states that emerald was one of the four precious stones given by God to King Solomon. These four stones were said to have endowed the king with power over all creation.  Its color reflects new spring growth, which makes it the perfect choice of a birthstone for the month of May.

Click HERE to browse emeralds in the Fine Jewelry Collection.


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