Everything You Need to Know About Emeralds: May’s Birthstone

Once favoured by Cleopatra and revered by the Romans, the Emerald is a truly ancient gemstone that now represents those born in May. But how much do we know about this royal beauty? Like where did Emeralds originate and what do they symbolise? Read on to find out.

Where Are Emeralds Found?

Colombia is seen as the home turf of the emerald having been the main source of this precious gem for more than 500 years. As such, Colombian emeralds are often lauded as the finest in the world and the standard by which all others are measured. Brazil, Zambia, Pakistan and Afghanistan are all also known for producing fine emeralds.

What Exactly Are Emeralds?

The word ‘Emerald’ derives from the Greek word 'smaragdos' which quite literally means 'Green Gemstone'. Like Aquamarine and Morganite, it belongs to the Beryl mineral family and owes its sumptuous green hue to small quantities of chromium or vanadium. It’s normal for natural emeralds to include small surface fissures or imperfections but these are often treated or filled to disguise them before being sold. Which is why a perfect, untouched emerald is extremely valuable and rare.

Emeralds Throughout History.

It’s believed that emeralds have been mined since as early as 330 BC when they were favoured by the Egyptians for their beauty and supposed protective properties. It’s said that Cleopatra loved them so much she even claimed ownership of every emerald mine in the country whilst she was alive.

The Romans were also particularly fond of emeralds – believing them to represent the Goddess of beauty and love herself, Venus. Whilst in the middle ages, people thought they could be used to see into the future if you placed them under your tongue!

What Do Emeralds Symbolise Today?

It’s no accident that emeralds are the official birthstone of May. Their fresh and vibrant green colour has long been associated with the new growth of spring. Emerald stones are also thought to bring the wearer good health, prosperity and improved fertility. They’re also the symbol of unconditional love, fresh starts and peace – which is why they make extremely thoughtful gifts.

Are Emeralds Expensive?

Diamonds are most people’s go-to when it comes to considering rare and expensive gemstones. But it may surprise you to learn that emeralds are actually 20 times rarer than diamonds which means, yes, they can come with a hefty price tag depending on their purity.

But fear not. If you’re looking for a cost-effective alternative to more costly emeralds, we’ve got you covered with our emerald style Swarovski Crystal Hypoallergenic Earrings or Emerald Bezel Set hypoallergenic stud earrings. Both of these stunning sets have the elegance of pure emeralds at a fraction of the cost. And the fact that they’re allergy free makes them perfect for those with sensitive ears too.