May Birthstone – Emerald

Emerald, the birthstone of May, carries the rich green color of Spring and radiates a gorgeous vivid tone. Emerald is suggested as an anniversary gift for the 20th and 35th anniversaries and as an alternate stone for the 55th wedding anniversary.

The History of the Emerald

Some of the earliest emeralds were found in the mines of Cleopatra, located along the Red Sea in Egypt.  The Emerald is derived from the Greek word, “Smaragdos,” which means “green stone.”  The emerald was discovered before her birth and the mining dates back to Ramses II, around 1300 B.C. Emeralds were worn by Egyptian royalty and accompanied them when being buried.  Emeralds have been said to represent immortality, power, and elegance to those born in the month of May.  Emeralds are the rarest of gemstones and are typically mined in Colombia, Brazil, and Zambia with the majority (50-90%) of all emeralds coming from Columbia.  Columbia typically has the best and most expensive emeralds. Colombian emeralds get their color primarily from the trace amounts of the element chromium, which is responsible for some of the purest greens in gemstones. The second largest producer of emeralds is Zambia, and then third comes Brazil.  Brazilian gemstones get their color primarily from small amounts of the element vanadium. Zambian emeralds receive their color from iron.

uncut emerald

Uncut Emerald

Emerald Myths and Legends

  • Emeralds were believed to be able to give people the ability to see the future when the stone was placed under their tongue.
  • Emeralds were believed to hold special powers that protected the wearer from evil spells.
  • It was thought that wearing an emerald could help show the wearer whether their lover’s oath was true or false.
  • Emeralds were meant to give their wearers the power of eloquent speech.

How do you Clean Emerald Jewelry?

The best way to get beautiful results when cleaning your emerald is to bring it to a jeweler. However, you can also clean your emerald jewelry at home.  To clean your emerald, use water that is room temperature. Use a soft toothbrush with a mild soap, or Woolite and carefully cleanse the stone, which should begin to brighten during the cleaning process. Rinse the emerald in warm water and then pat dry. Emeralds are brittle stones and care should be taken when wearing or cleaning them. Never attempt to clean an emerald with an ultrasonic cleaner or steam cleaner.

How do you Care for Emerald Jewelry?

Remove your emerald jewelry when cleaning and don’t wear it near anything that will attract grease. These substances can accumulate on the gemstone and it will begin to lose its brilliance. It is also a good idea not to wear an emerald when doing any strenuous physical activity, as it may scratch the stone.

Do not wear emerald jewelry when working with acetone, as this could potentially damage the stone. Emeralds should also never be exposed to high heat. Avoid any contact with harsh chemicals, dirt, and any substance that could stick to the emerald.


What is the Value of an Emerald Stone?

An emerald is valued similarly to the way a diamond is priced. The 4 C’s are what is used to properly price an emerald. They are color, carat, cut, and clarity. Most jewelers will also look for the size when evaluating the stone and determine where the stone originates from.

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J. Douglas Jewelers offers the highest quality products and specializes in custom designed jewelry. Our attention to detail, original designs, expert workmanship, and personal service will inspire you and invoke your trust. We can custom make engagement rings, wedding rings, pendants, rings, bracelets and almost anything you dream of. To discuss designing a custom piece of jewelry, please call us at (954) 972-1190.

J. Douglas Jewelers is a family owned and operated store located in the Promenade at Coconut Creek. J. Douglas Jewelers specializes in custom jewelry design, fine jewelry including diamond and bridal jewelry and offers a wide selection of watches.