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May - Emerald

May: Emerald

EmeraldThe May birthstone is the highly coveted Emerald.  Emeralds vary from light to dark green hues, each beautiful in their own way.  What stands out about this gem is that even expensive emeralds are allowed to have eye-visible internal inclusions.  Emeralds are formed under such heat and pressure, that the majority of them turn out with inclusions.  Because color matters most, the more vivid the shade of the green, the more highly prized the Emerald.  Of course, an eye-clean and vividly green Emerald would command a very high price.  In fact, carat for carat, very fine Emeralds can be twice as expensive as diamonds.

Emeralds have held the fascination of many cultures for over 6000 years.  Emeralds were worshipped by the Incas and mentioned in Biblical verses concerning the apocalypse.  Aristotle often touted these gems as being able to increase the owner’s importance in presence and speech during business, as well as give victory in trials, help to settle litigation, comfort and soothe eyesight, and prevent epilepsy.  Egyptians believed they stood for fertility and rebirth.  Many cultures considered them “good luck charms.”

Though quite beautiful, these gems are very soft and fragile.  People who are hard on their jewelry may want to consider Emerald earrings or a pendant instead of a ring.  Any way that you wear them, though, they are certain to make a striking addition to your jewelry wardrobe.

Today, most emeralds are mined in Columbia.  Other mines include those in Zambia, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, and Russia.