For those people lucky to be born in the month of May, the emerald is considered to be the traditional May birthstone. Those with the zodiac signs of Taurus, Cancer and some under the sign of Gemini can claim the verdant stone as their own.The Arabic word for emerald means lightning, symbolizing the precious stone’s vivid color, among other attributes. As the emerald belongs to the month of May, the stone represents renewal and rebirth – as the world renews itself during the spring season. Emeralds are also said to stand for wisdom, growth, and patience. Perhaps after patiently enduring a long winter, and having the wisdom to understand the need for the gray rains of April, the welcoming, lush green hues of emeralds are reflected in the new growth of flowers and other plants in May.
Emeralds have been key facets to ancient civilizations throughout history. Egyptians buried their deceased pharaohs with the gems, representative in the culture of eternal youth. Conquistadors thirsted for the emerald treasure upon arriving in the new world. The stone has been searched for, possessed, and lusted after for all of time.
Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but an emerald of the highest quality is actually worth more monetarily. Emerald colors can range anywhere from light green to shades of blue to yellow-green. However, the most sought-after emeralds are those that evoke the deep, classic shade of green named for the gemstone. The clarity of emeralds is judged by eye.
Many of the greatest emeralds have been mined in Colombia. The country boasts such notable gemstones as the Chalk Emerald, a 37.82-carat whopper currently displayed as a ring and housed in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. Though Colombia is head and shoulders above all other emerald producers in the world, Zambia also produces quality gemstones and is the second leading producer on the planet. However, Brazil holds the title of one of the largest emeralds ever discovered. The Bahia Emerald weighs in at 840 pounds. The actual emerald is encased within a rock, and the ownership remains under dispute.
Because emeralds are particularly prone to surface cracks, many stones are treated with oil to lessen the visibility of the imperfections. This is a common and widely accepted practice in the jewel world, but treating the precious stones with green-tinted oil is not an acceptable practice. As the gemstone is brittle, jewelers developed a special cut just for the emerald. Aptly named the emerald cut, the style is often square-shaped with beveled edges.
Some folklore says that the emeralds can help heal maladies of the heart, with its power strongest during the full moon. Other legends tell of the emerald treating fertility issues, diseases of the eyes, spinal problems and aches and pains of the head. Some believe the emerald can bring calm to a turbulent mind.
In conclusion, this particular gemstone color is widely popular and is utilized for several holidays throughout the entire world. For those born in May, the emerald is truly a gemstone worth appreciating.