May Birthstone – Emeralds
Of all the green gemstones, emeralds are perhaps the most popular and well-known. They are a stunning range of blue-green to green-blue with a stunning intensity of green.
Emeralds are very delicate and fragile stones. They should be treated with great care to prevent cracking or chips. All emeralds have inclusions (flaws) and are typically treated to hide the flaws. It is an industry standard to treat the inclusions with a type of oil though not all emeralds are treated and are valued for their flaws.
The Brilliant Emerald – History
Emerald folklore believes the stone represents rebirth. Some believe the stone has the power to give foresight, youth, and good fortune.
First discovered in Egypt, the Greeks word smaragdus “green”, was used to name the brilliant gemstone. Emeralds are now mined in South America (Columbia and Brazil), Africa (Zambia), and the Middle-East (Afghanistan).
No other green gemstone is as pure and clear as the emerald. Peridot and tourmaline, though beautiful in their own, do not have the same bluish-green that is often used to describe landscapes and foliage. Emerald has become more than a noun but also an adjective describing Ireland, Scotland, fabrics, decor, and cities (Seattle).
Interestingly, many gemstones are referred to in the Bible. Emeralds are written about in Exodus 28:17 referring to the adornments of Aaron and the priests:
And you shall mount on it [breastplate] four rows of stones; the first row shall be a row of ruby, topaz, and emerald; NAS Exodus 28:17
And the stones shall be according to the names of the sons of Israel: twelve, according to their names; they shall be like the engravings of a seal, which according to his name for the twelve tribes. NAS Exodus 28:21