Birthstone of the Month: The May Birthstone is Emerald

Birthstone of May EmeraldEmerald. The name emerald comes from the Greek ‘smaragdos’ via the Old French ‘esmeralde’, and really just means ‘green gemstone’. Emeralds are from the “Beryl” family of gems.

The green of the emerald is the color of life and of the springtime, which comes round again and again. But it has also, for centuries, been the color of beauty and of constant love. In ancient Rome, green was the color of Venus, the goddess of beauty and love.

The Incas and Aztecs of South America, where the best emeralds are still found today, regarded the emerald as a holy gemstone. However, probably the oldest known finds were once made near the Red Sea in Egypt. Having said that, these gemstone mines, already exploited by Egyptian pharaohs between 3000 and 1500 B.C..

Color is the most important aspect when considering emeralds. Generally speaking the darker the color the more valuable the emerald. However, just because an emerald is dark green does not make it valuable. A fine emerald will have a dark blue green color while at the same time be translucent and brilliant. There are many dark opaque stones that are inexpensive.

Fine emeralds are also found in other countries, such as Zambia, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Russia. Zambia, Zimbabwe and Brazil in particular have a good reputation for fine emeralds in the international trade.

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