A Complete Guide to May Birthstone

If you are born in May, then Emerald is your lucky charm. The May birthstone has been highly prized for thousands of years and considered one of the Big Four Gemstones. The color green represents growth and abundance that can nurture anyone who wears a piece of emerald jewelry.

Both planets, Mercury and Venus, are associated with the stone emerald. May 1 to 20 or under the zodiac Taurus is ruled by Venus, while May 21 to 31, Gemini, is ruled by Mercury. Romans compared the brightness of Venus in the sky like a glowing emerald.

Mining of emeralds happens in most countries such as America, Russia, India, and more. The most famous source of deep green emeralds before is Columbia, but today, Brazil and Zambia lead in producing fine emeralds. Their emeralds are highly prized due to its excellent clarity and color that varies from bluish to yellowish-green.

Table of Contents

What’s The Color of the May Birthstone?


Although emerald came from the beryl family, its color is different from its siblings, aquamarine, goshenite, morganite, etc. The emerald’s color has a variation from bluish-green to yellowish-green. Differentiating emerald from other beryl stones is important because every carat costs thousands of dollars.

For gem dealers and market traders, the hue of the stone is the basis of whether it is an emerald or not. Most likely, emeralds have intense saturation and medium-dark tone, while lighter ones are categorized as beryl. Flawless emerald that has no visible fissures are also graded to reach the maximum profit.

However, finding perfect emeralds are extremely rare. If there is, it is usually filled with a natural oil like cedar to be accepted by gem traders. But those stones that are covered with green-tinted oil to cover some fracture are unacceptable and should be avoided. 

May Birthstone: Emerald Etymology, History, and Folklore

Emerald was called bwyrq by the Egyptians which means to sparkle. To Arabs, it was known as barq, meaning flashing, and baraket or flashing gem to Hebrews. The modern use of the name emerald came from an Indian word marakata that means green growing of things.

Then, the Greeks translated the word and became smaragdos which means green stone. It was adopted by the Latin and was termed as smaralda then passed to a French word, esmaraude. And finally, to an Old English word, emeraude

It was the Egyptian who discovered the gems in Mons Smaragdus or known as the Emerald Mountain around 1500 BCE. The site remained open for the Roman, Byzantine, and Muslim empire until large emerald deposits were found in Columbia. Nothing was left in the mine but ruins which made it unprofitable and has closed eventually.

The mountain was popular for supplying emerald to Queen Cleopatra. She was so passionate about emeralds that she wears them all the time and decorated her palace with it. Cleopatra was known to be responsible for the popularity of the emeralds.

A naturalist and philosopher in Rome, Pliny the Elder, praised the emerald saying that there is “nothing greens greener” than the stone. He emphasized how just by looking at the soft green color gem can ease one’s weariness. The beliefs continued to spread until metaphysical healers used the stone to cure eye strain. 

Ancient people worn emeralds as a talisman to avoid enchantments or evil spells. They also believed that through the stone, they can see the truth and determined the lies. Egyptians offered emeralds to their gods as a symbol of fertility and rebirth.

The Spiritual Meaning of May Birthstone

The color green symbolizes a lot of things like money, nature, and fertility. It is a positive color that helps people to balance their emotions and love one another. Maybe that is the reason why Romans associated emerald to the goddess of love, Venus. 

The stone serves as an inspiration to couples to promote patience, unity, and harmony. It encourages them to find happiness, contentment, and loyalty in their marriage. Emerald stones are usually given as a gift to celebrate a 20th or 35th wedding anniversary. 

The Health Benefits and Healing Properties of the May Birthstone

There are lots of health benefits you can get from gemstones, specifically with emeralds. It is good for internal organs such as the heart, lungs, liver, and so on. The power of the stone is to rejuvenate and revitalize the body to be able to treat common illnesses and conditions.

The Health Benefits and Healing Properties of the May Birthstone

In the old times, the healing property of emerald became an antidote for poisoning. Chinese even use powdered emerald to incorporate in their medicine. It also believed to cure cancer, high blood pressure, asthma, anemia, syphilis, etc. 

Wearing emerald jewelry promotes confidence and an increase in self-esteem. The ability of the stone to cast all your negativity and be replaced with hope, bravery, and success. It can also help you to bring out your inner creativity and recall things easily. 

May birthstone is also known to be “The stone of Successful Love”. The emerald can mend a broken heart and heals them for the future. Generally, the stone opens up your eyes, heart, and mind beyond misfortune.

The Durability of the May Birthstone

Emerald Hardness

All beryl, including emerald, have 7.5 to 8 ratings in the Mohs Hardness Scale which mean it is very durable. However, it is still prone to fissures and fractures so it is advisable to surround emeralds with protective metals. Doing so could prevent the stone from getting hit or rub by hard surfaces.

Emerald Toughness

An emerald is a very expensive stone and you should take extra care to prolong its life. It’s a fairly hard gemstone that is best for jewelry use. By nature, emeralds have impurities which make it prone to chipping or breaking.

Emerald Stability

Unlike other gemstones, emeralds are not exposed to heat treatment to enhance its color. This is because most emeralds have numerous inclusion making it prone to crevices or cracks. To cover those fractures, many used oils such as colorless cedarwood oil to make it look like-new.

The Cost of May Birthstone

Since emeralds are one of the rarest gemstones, their price can be very expensive. It is hard to find fine emeralds with no fissures or fractures that is why the typical cost for 1 carat can range from $30 to almost $10,000. Not to mention the price difference when it comes to the stone sizes which large emerald varies from $300 to almost $100,000 per 5 carats.

Caring and Cleaning May Birthstone

How to Clean Emerald

The safest and easiest way to clean gemstone is using soap and warm water. Using steam or ultrasonic cleaners not only cause new fractures but will worsen an existing one. Therefore, avoid exposing your emerald pieces of jewelry to intense heat, light, and chemicals.

How to Store Emerald

If there are no special occasions, it is better to reserve them for such events. It is better if you separate emerald from other gems and have its box or cloth bag to avoid getting scratch. You can also use parcel or diamond papers and glass jars with foam to store your gemstones.

Emerald Alternative: Secondary May Birthstone



For stability and balance in your life, you need the grounding energy of agate stone. It will help you to build your strength and work with your weaknesses. You can feel a boost in your confidence which will lead you to harmony in everything you do. 


People who find it hard to accept the truth should get energy from Chrysoprase stone. It gives the power of kindness and love which encourages you to face the harsh truth. Also, this stone opens up your heart and mind to be more optimistic and understand whatever is happening in your surroundings.


Known as the gambler’s stone, Aventurine is the perfect stone for adventurous, risk-taker, and daredevils out there. It has the power of thinking positively and assurance when you like to bet your life on luck. A sense of confidence while getting out of your comfort zone is what you will get from this stone.

Tiger’s Eye

Just like a tiger, it has the reputation of being a fierce and powerful animal. This crystal can shift your outlook about life and yourself. Tiger’s eye helps to clear your mind and find the answers to your problems.


A combination of sweet and sour, just like lemons, are the vibes you will get from this stone. Happy, light, and pure joy leads to positivity and endless possibilities. Citrine is one of the few stones that clear the negativity and pour power, confidence, and endurance.


Do you want your inner star to shine? Then have a carnelian close to you. The energy of this stone encourages you to show what you can do to breakthrough. Using the charm and power of Carnelian, you will surely impress anyone.


Considered as the Master Healer, many believe that this stone connects the Earth to heaven. It strengthens your mind and body to widen your understanding of the infinite possibilities of the Universe. Turquoise nurtures a person with wisdom and provides a way to your highest self.


Get reenergize and revitalize using garnet stone. By waking up your body, you attract all the positive vibes and clear any blockages that come along your way. Enjoy and seize the day while the stone recharges you with good health, compassion, and opportunities.

Rose Quartz

The Love Magnet, this stone can give open your heart to all sorts of love. Whether it is self-love, romantic love, and love for family, friends, or humanitarian love, rose quartz will support you. From releasing all the toxic things in your life to forgiveness, happiness, and peace.


One of the highly-prized gemstones, Coral is believed to have the mysterious sacred ability. It symbolizes wisdom, modesty, and immortality. Some of the healing properties of this stone are to eliminate anxiety, gall bladder stones, and intestine spasms.


A birthstone under the zodiac sign, Taurus. Amber has been used as medicine to cure gout, black plague, and asthma. This gemstone is worn as an amulet or burned specifically by sailors to keep them away and safe from sea monsters.


The special power of pearl is its ability to heal the owner’s heart. Goddesses wear these stones that are why people believed that it embodies kindness, love, and wisdom. Pearl also has a calming effect that keeps your life and relationships in balance.


Symbolizes energy and healing, Sapphire is a great stone to keep your focus and things in order. It said to open one’s third eye and gives opportunities to see the inner vision and psychic awareness. The stone assists you to express your true feelings and keep your spiritual path in the track.

Final Thoughts

Thanks to Queen Cleopatra, Emerald is truly the queen of all gemstones. People who are born in May are fortunate to have a stone that will strengthen their vision. It also touches the heart to be open and understanding to love others unconditionally.

Since it is very rare to find flawless emerald, and not to mention very expensive, you can still have jewelry with small emeralds. And not just because you are not born in the month of May that you can’t wear and receive the power of emerald. Get one of this gem in stores near you and experience the positive changes the emerald brings to your life.

Have you experienced the power of an Emerald? Feel free to comment below. Thanks!

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Felicia Eisnnicher

I am the Lead Author and Editor at Gemstagram. I am responsible for creating and editing content about the power of gems and crystals. I also teach about self-knowing, self-understanding and personal empowerment through numerology. My mission is to help people understand the power of gems and crystals, and how they can use that power to improve their lives. I believe that by understanding ourselves better, we can become more empowered individuals who are able to create our own destiny.

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