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May Birthstone: Emerald

May’s birthstone is emerald, a strikingly beautiful green gemstone. Emerald is widely known to be the synonymous with the color green and is given for the 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries. Emerald is also one of the four main precious gemstones, others being diamond, ruby, and sapphire.

Emerald

Emerald has a rich history dating back as far as 330 BC. However, some estimate that some of the oldest emeralds are around 2.97 billion years old.

Emerald also has ties to Egyptian royalty, with Egyptian pharaohs and Cleopatra having prized collections. During Cleopatra’s reign, she claimed ownership of all Egyptian emerald mines and had many royal adornments. Egypt has a long-standing history with this May birthstone, with Egyptians using emeralds both in jewelry and their burials, where they buried emeralds with rulers as symbols of protection. The Incas also treasured emeralds, using the gemstone in their jewelry and religious ceremonies.

Emerald has multiple sources throughout the world, including Colombia, Brazil, and Zambia. However, Egypt is believed to be the original source of emeralds, with emerald mines dating as far back as 330BC. Today, Colombia is a premier source of emerald, and has been for over five centuries.

This birthstone has made its mark on various places across the world. For example, Ireland is also called the Emerald Isle, Seattle, Washington is nicknamed the Emerald City, and Thailand’s most scared religious figure is the Emerald Buddha.

Emerald has been said to have magical properties, like granting the owner foresight and good fortune. Emerald was also thought to have the power to make its wearer more intelligent and quick-witted. Some also believed this gemstone helped cure diseases such as cholera and malaria. Many legends stated that putting an emerald under the tongue gave the person the ability to see the future.

Emerald is seen as a symbol of rebirth, loyalty, peace, and security. This gemstone even was thought to have health benefits, mostly because the color green relieves stress and eye strain.