Like dewdrops on freshly-grown petals, emeralds glisten with the deep green energy of spring.
The emerald, May’s intensely green birthstone, evokes mystery, luck and magic. Writings from more than 5,500 years ago refer to “good words more difficult to find than the emerald” because the gem is so scarce. Yet every spring, as if by magic, the May birthstone seems to shine anew.
In fact, some say when you slip an emerald ring onto your finger, you’ll feel a burst of ancient pleasure from deep within your emerald-green heart. There’s just something mystical about emeralds.
Ancient and Rare Pedigree
Since the early days of their discovery, emeralds become an enduring favorite of royalty. The Cleopatra Mines, a lost-and-found icon of ancient Egypt, contain some of the world’s earliest-discovered emeralds. To Egyptians, they symbolize extreme rarity and luxury because they are so difficult to extract from deep within the mines.
Many ancient cultures place a high value on emeralds, including the Incas, Aztecs, Indian Shahs and bearers of the Russian crown jewels. Then and now, emeralds are usually displayed as large, faceted stones on exquisite tiaras, crowns, rings, necklaces and bracelets.
Roman scholar Pliny the Elder studies emeralds for decades and concludes correctly -in the year AD 77, modern scientists say- that they are members of the beryl family of gems. Mixing science with a bit of poetic phrasing, Pliny almost gushes about his beloved emeralds:
“Indeed, no stone has a color that is more delightful to the eye, for, whereas the sight fixes itself with avidity upon the green grass and the foliage of the trees, we have all the more pleasure in looking upon the emerald, there being no gem in existence more intense than this.”
Not to take anything away from other gems, obviously.
Even the emerald’s name has complex origins. It starts with a Persian word meaning “green gem.” Over time as it moves from Greek to Latin, it changes from “smaragdus” to “esmaurde,” and “esmralde.” The name Esmeralda, often associated with gypsies and witches, means “emerald woman.”
Legends hold that the emerald has many powers:
- Ancient lore says that if you wear an emerald under the tongue, you’ll gain the ability to foresee the future, reveal truths and be immune to evil spells.
- During periods of widespread epidemics, it is believed that an emerald could cure diseases like malaria and cholera.
- Lovers have sometimes worn emeralds as tokens against cheating and false oaths by the object of their affections.
- Emeralds have a long history as protective and powerful objects. The emerald is thought to be one of four precious stones God gives King Solomon for power over all creation.
- In modern times, emeralds and the color green are still viewed as lucky charms.
- It’s also beloved by couples who grow old together, serving as the official gemstone of both the 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries.
As the birthstone of May, the emerald represents renewal, growth and the vigor of spring. Worthy of celebrating, for sure.
Indy Facets – Everyone’s Private Jeweler
Indy Facets seamlessly blends the expertise and full service of a traditional jewelry store with the value and convenience of a personal jeweler experience. We give you the face-to-face interaction with an expert that you deserve, in a private setting where you can relax and feel comfortable. Owner/Designer Shaun Goodyear and his team have earned an excellent reputation as everyone’s private jeweler for engagement rings, custom design, investment grade diamonds, luxury Swiss timepieces, estate jewelry, jewelry repair and the highest level of customer service, available to you from an onsite, state-of-the-art Custom Design Studio and Gemological Laboratory by private appointment only. You are guaranteed a unique, fun and exciting experience without the hype, pressure, judgment or uncertainty associated with other jewelry shopping options. We schedule appointments at your convenience, and are usually available evenings and weekends, too. Call (317) 296-6273 for your private appointment or schedule online, indyfacets.com/schedule.