May Birthstones – Emerald, Carnelian, and Chrysophrase
Birthstone jewelry is a reflection of individuality and can promote a sense of style. The birthstone for the month of May is emerald and this traditional green gem has a rich history. From the Egyptians to the Irish, emeralds have been treasured by many ancient and modern societies. Gold and silver necklaces, pendants, rings, bracelets, and earrings encrusted with a May gemstone are the perfect way to accessorize while wearing a piece of jewelry that symbolizes yourself, your family, and people important in your life.
History: Emeralds are believed to have first come from emerald mines belonging to Cleopatra in ancient Egypt, dating back to 330 B.C. The Spanish also prized emeralds and many were brought back from Latin America during the 16th century. Emeralds have a vast history of being a holy stone – in the past and present – and were desired by many cultures, including the Aztecs.
Features: Belonging to the beryl family of gemstones, emeralds have a rating on the Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness of 7.5 to 8, making them ideal for daily wear. Many pieces of May birthstone jewelry are highly scratch-resistant and durable.
Cuts: Emeralds can be cut in a wide range of shapes to show off their vibrancy. Oval, round, pear-shaped, and hearts are popular shapes used in May birthstone jewelry. The emerald cut maintains a high percentage of the original gemstone, making it the perfect keepsake due to the value.
Colors: While emerald green is the traditional hue associated with May birthstones, there are several shades that help to indicate value. The most costly gems consist of a warm green color. Emeralds that appear too dark or have blue or yellow undertones are usually less valuable. May gemstones that contain a blue-green hue tend to be rare and are pricier then the others. When shopping for May birthstone jewelry, select a hue that appeals to your personality.
Alternative May Birthstones
Green is not the only color of May birthstones, as Carnelian and other bright gemstones are available. Chrysophrase and agate are also acceptable May birthstone colors commonly used in birthstone jewelry. Agate gemstones can be found in many colors, including blue, green, white, and grey. Chrysophrase is typically found in apple green and may have traces of jade.
Emerald and alternative colored stones are often incorporated into jewelry and presented as gifts to those born in the Month of May. Ranging in hues from light to deep green, May birthstones are highly fashionable and fit nearly any modern style.
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