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Emerald: May’s Birthstone

The emerald is fascinating, both visually and historically. When you understand the lore behind your gem, it adds value to it you can’t price. 

Gemstones usually have a heritage tied to Ancient Egypt as Cleopatra had a love for gems, in particular emerald. The first mines we know of date back to 330BC or 1500BC. The love for the gem comes from its wild green colour making it desirable to the beholder, it is almost faultless. Even its inclusions are called “little gardens” by some dealers.

The Ancient Greeks used Emerald for jewellery crafting after being imported from every location along the Silk Road, which was a network of trade routes connecting the East and West.

How is Emerald formed?

Beryl is a mineral, responsible for creating precious gems. It is the parent of Emerald, Aquamarine, and Morganite. As Beryl is the mother of more than one gem, we differentiate them by their colour. For example, Beryl which is green is named Emerald.

In order for an emerald to form, we need the mineral Beryl to be heated and pressured. It may sound simple, but the chances of all these things happening at once, in the right place, are not so easy. Beryl itself is rare. It needs to be under the Earth’s crust where there is an environment with enough heat, pressure, and elements for it to thrive.

Chromium is a vital element which must be present in Beryl to give it a deep green colour. It is possible to grow emeralds synthetically. Carroll Chatham grew the first synthetic (man-made) emerald in 1935.

One of the reasons emeralds are prized is they can only be found in select locations, mainly: Colombia which yields more than half of the world's emerald production, Zambia, Brazil, and Zimbabwe. The Guinness Emerald Crystal is one of the largest in the world, it is 1759 carats and was discovered in Columbia. Emerald scores 7.5-8 out of 10 on the Mohs Scale which is a test of strength. Clean your emerald in warm water which you can comfortably leave your hand in using a mild detergent. With this care, your emerald will last you for years to come. 

They say our May birthstone brings rebirth, truthfulness, and fertility. A gem reflective of new adventures. Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor and philosopher, he spoke about being true to himself:

"No matter what anyone says or does, my task is to be emerald, my colour undiminished.”

There’s another quote we quite like from Marcus about focusing on yourself, and not letting others negativity change you:

“It’s silly to try to escape other people’s faults. Just try and escape your own”

Daily meditation, tick. When in doubt, become an emerald!

The May birthstone is associated with royalty, as it has been loved by royal families universally. If you’ve always wanted to live like a king or queen, buying an emerald jewellery piece is a good place to start! We can help you with all your royal requests, online and in-store, so treat yourself.