Birthstones have existed across cultures throughout history. Often, these were attributed to significant aspects of a particular society, such as religion or custom. Modern times reflect these themes as well, as groups have updated these symbolic stones to reflect current tastes, thoughts, and trends. Join us as we examine the nature of emerald, the May birthstone.
Who first beholds the light of day
In Spring’s sweet, flower month of May
And wears an Emerald all her life
Shall be a loved and a loving wife.
– Traditional Birthstone Poem
Modern May Birthstone
Sharing its place as the traditional birthstone with agate, emerald was crowned as the modern birthstone for May in the new list generated in the 20th century. No other stones can come as perfect as emerald for celebrating and symbolizing birthdays in this month. Appreciated for its lively and gorgeous green color, emerald is one of the four classic precious gemstones and is often captured in statement-making jewelry styles!
Similar to aquamarine, emerald is the member of the beryl family. This gemstone made its first appearance as early as 330 BC, making it a prized possession for generations. Emeralds are discovered all around the globe, but none of the specimens have succeeded so far in rivaling the varieties offered by Colombia and Zimbabwe.
Known for its ideal green color, there are two varieties of emerald with distinct characteristics.
Kagem Zambian Emerald: Popular for its transparency and clarity, the color of Zambian emerald is more saturated and bluish-green.
Boyaca Colombian Emerald: Only variety to grow in sedimentary host rock rather than igneous rock. Colombian emeralds are believed to be one of the purest in the world.
Historical May Birthstone
The historical relevance of emeralds can be traced back to bygone days. They were surely the part of the treasures of royalty in Egypt and Babylon. As far as birthstones are considered, historically from 15th to 20th-century emerald and agate were both seen as a May birthstone.
From the two companions, agate is known for its beautiful patterns and is a variety of banded chalcedony belonging to the quartz family. Historically, they are found in artifacts and ornaments. Agate is available in hundreds of types and is available around the world.
The second historical birthstone, emerald, needs no introduction. One of the prized members of the four precious gemstones, emerald is loved for its fascinating and lush hue from antiquity. Although emerald was the traditional May birthstone, it still holds the position on the modern chart. Like other stones, emerald is believed to have mystical powers that go together with its beauty.
May Birthstone Quick Facts
• Emerald is the modern U.S. birthstone.
• The United Kingdom also considers emerald as a modern May birthstone.
• Taurus (4/20-5/20) is assigned emerald as a birthstone.
• Gemini (5/21-6/20) utilizes agate as their stone.
• Emerald and agate are historical May birthstones.
Birthstones were often thought to bestow luck on the wearer. They continue to be an excellent gift for lovers of jewelry and mementos. Whether you prefer tradition or modern sensibilities, birthstones are a unique way to tell a story about yourself. Which would you choose?
Explore our range of May birthstone jewelry today!