Birthstone Series: May’s Emerald

This post is the next in a series of twelve discussing the creation and meaning of the different birthstones. The concept of birthstones dates to the Breastplate of Aaron described in the Bible. The breastplate was a ceremonial religious piece of armor set with twelve gemstones representing the twelve tribes of Israel and corresponding with the twelve months of the year.

The birthstone associated with May is emerald.

Emerald Origin and Meaning

Emerald is a green variety of the mineral beryl. It has a hardness of 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs hardness scale which makes it softer than ruby or sapphire which sit at approximately 9 on the Mohs hardness scale. Diamond, the hardest natural substance that occurs in nature, sits at a 10. Emerald got its name from the Greek word for “green gem”, smaragdos.
In terms of popularity, emerald is one of the most widely-known gems in the world. When one thinks of a green gemstone, emerald is often the first stone to come to mind. Emerald was also famously used by Egyptian pharaohs and Incan emperors alike for adornment purposes.

How To Wear Emerald

Because of its striking, deep green color, emerald is frequently used in statement-piece jewelry. This means that you should not wear overly-mismatched clothing when sporting an emerald piece unless the outfit is strategically designed. The best outfits to wear are simple with clean lines and simple colors.
Whether you’re looking to wear emeralds for an evening out or for a daytime adventure, you’ll find that the deep green color adds to nighttime mystery while also producing a dazzling daytime gleam.


Interested in emeralds? At our Joseph Gann Jewelers Boston, MA location, we feature a beautiful collection of fine jewelry. Have questions? Feel free to stop
by our store or call us at 617-426-4932
. We’d love to chat and answer any questions you might have.