May Birthstone - Emerald
The Emerald, derived from the Greek word “Smaragdos” meaning “green stone” is so called due to its rich green color. Emeralds occur in hues ranging from yellow-green to blue-green, with the primary hue being green. Only gems that are medium to dark in tone are considered emeralds. Light-toned green gems are called by their species name, green beryl. Today, most of the world’s emeralds are mined in Colombia, Brazil, Afghanistan, and Zambia which Colombia being the world's largest producer of emeralds, constituting 50-95% of the world’s emeralds. True Emeralds are highly desired and by weight, the emerald is the most valuable gemstone today. It is among the rarest of gemstones and availability of high quality emeralds is limited. Therefore treatments to improve clarity are common. Birthmarks, known as inclusions, are regularly found in Emeralds and do not detract from the value of the stone as much as with other precious gemstones.
The Emerald, since ancient times was considered a stone of royalty. Emeralds were popularly used in jewelry for royals during the Victorian period. The Ancient Romans dedicated the Emerald to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. It is known that this striking green gemstone was one of Cleopatra’s favorite. The Emerald, being the color of Spring, is associated with rebirth, growth and patience.