May's Birthstone: Emerald

Emerald Mining in the U.S.

If you went searching for pure emeralds in Arizona, you wouldn’t be able to find any mines in our state but you could journey to the East coast and North Carolina which is home to the only emerald mine in America. The majority of emeralds worldwide come from Colombia, Zambia, Brazil and Zimbabwe and emeralds, along with rubies and sapphires, come together to form the ‘big three’ of colored stones and generate more revenue in the U.S. than the sales of all other colored gems combined (1).

Brief Emerald History & Background

The oldest emeralds that have been found are over 2.9 billion years old! Ancient civilizations in Asia, Africa and South America all separately discovered emeralds about 5,000 years ago and they have been held in high esteem ever since. Possibly most famous was the Pharaoh Cleopatra of Egypt who made her great passion for emeralds very well known (2). Some cultures believed putting an emerald under the tongue would endow that person with the ability to see the future while others claimed it cured diseases. More recent beliefs lean toward the calming effect of the emerald’s green color. Hopefully you agree, but we think this beautiful green gem looks lovely in jewelry no matter what folklore and history is behind it!

The Color of Emeralds

To even be considered an emerald, the stone must have a rich, distinctly green color. Although the hues may vary between bluish green to deep, dark green to slightly yellowish green, if there is a lighter tone to the gem, it will be considered a ‘green beryl’ which greatly affects the price of a stone. Professionals in the jewelry world have some disagreement on what exactly should be considered an emerald versus ‘green beryl’ since the color hues can vary. This can make it difficult when marketing and pricing the gem so be sure to ask your trusted jeweler the actual classification when you’re buying emerald jewelry.

Color of an Emerald: Deep green
Variations on Color: Bluish green to yellowish green
Birthstone Month: May
Wedding Anniversary Year: 20th & 35th

So if you’re looking to mark a special anniversary year, a May birthday or just love the color green, our Gilbert showroom has many emerald jewelry pieces to choose from so come by anytime or visit our shop online!

1. “Emeralds: The World’s Most Popular Green Gem". Geoscience News and Information, 2013. Web. Retrieved May 9, 2017. <http://geology.com/gemstones/emerald/>

2. “Gem Encyclopedia: Emerald Gemstone”  Gemological Institute of America inc., 2002-2017. Web. Retrieved May 9, 2017. <https://www.gia.edu/emerald>