Posted on Leave a comment

Birthstones – May

Emerald, that gorgeous glossy green that has been a fan favourite since the dawn of time, and the perfect stone to ease us into the warmer spring season.

May only has one birthstone, and it’s definitely hard to compete again that grassy-green. However, for the months that are lucky enough to have more than a singular birthstone, these are separated into two lists: Modern and Traditional. The more common of the two is the modern birthstones, which were defined in 1912 by the Jewelers of America in an attempt to standardise (and commercialise) birthstones. This was further updated in the 1950s, to include gemstones such as Citrine for November, or Alexandrite for June. Modern stones are based on what’s easier to sell in large quantities (making it the more affordable choice).

BVLA – Flourish Illusion

A massive thank you to Becky at Inkhaus for the above photo!

Just like Aquamarine, Emerald is a form of Beryl – a mineral which can grow up to a foot in length, and with six sides. Typically Emeralds can range from light green to that typical deep and rich green associated with Emeralds. However, there are arguments whether or not these lighter forms are beryl’s are true emeralds! The deeper the green, the more valuable the stone, the rarest emerald gemstone is an intense green-blue colour. And yet again, just like aquamarine, the way the colour presents depends on how well its cut by a skilled gemmologist.

Mining of Emerald dates back to as early as 330BC in Egypt, but some estimate that the oldest emeralds are 2.97 (nearly 3!) billion years old! However old they are though, they have been a long time royal favourite. Cleopatra is one of the most famous historical figures to have an affair with emeralds. During her reign shed actually claimed ownership over all Emerald mines in Egypt.

The green gemstone is now mined all over the world. It has mainly been mined in Colombia for over 500 years, and has actually set the standard at which all other emeralds are now measured at. The Muzo mine in Colombia is actually one of the most noteworthy! They had such hidden and prized mines that it took the Spanish conquistadors nearly 20 years to actually find them.

The May gemstone is also found in Brazil, and one of the most productive emerald mines is the sophisticated Belmont mine. They can also be found in Africa, Pakistan and Afghanistan!

Anatometal – Mini Kandy

David at Talisman tattoo came through with this photo!

Wildly considered the definition of Green, emerald has been loved for thousands of years. It is seen as the perfect stone to welcome spring, and along with that brings the belief that it invokes rebirth and renewal and new beginnings. It is believed that it brings loyalty, wit and intelligence to the wearer! It was also once believed to cure cholera, malaria and other diseases (although I’d still highly recommend checking with a doctor for these before self medicating with a stone). Now a days however, it is used as the stone given for the 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries!

Unlike last months birthstone (Diamond), Emerald only falls at a 7.5-8 on the Moh’s Scale of Hardness, making it more susceptible to scratching. Quite often the stone is treated with methods such as dyeing paler stones, or filling fractured stones with oils/waxes/resins. This is to help improve colour and clarity of the stone.

Emeralds require special care. They should be avoiding exposure to heat and harsh chemicals. They should also never be placed in an ultrasonic. This can cause any filler in the gem to ‘sweat’ out from any fractures. Filled emeralds can also be damaged by hot water. They should only be cleaned with mild and lukewarm soapy water, and a soft bristled brush (a tooth brush designed for babies would be perfect).

Thank you to Jess at The Luna Collective for a photo of this end!

We stock jewellery from brands from across the world, and can source items in all birthstones imaginable! If you would like to treat yourself to some meaningful pieces, just get in contact with us.

Make sure to follow us on social media for regular updates, and keep an eye out as we post new blogs every single Friday!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *