Written By: Vahid Moradi
Birthstone jewelry is an exciting way to connect your birth month with rare gemstones. Birthstones are linked to the month a person was born, and they bore a form of mysticism and good fortune in the old times. Today, the stones show up in different types of unique gifts like rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and other forms of jewelry.
Emerald is the birthstone for the month of May. Emerald jewelry makes for a great birthday gift, but the stone itself also holds many beliefs, meanings, and symbols. Here’s a guide to this precious stone and how to select May birthstone jewelry.
What is a birthstone?
Birthstones were initially associated with zodiac signs and religious symbols. They're almost as old as horoscopes. They must have appeared as early as the seventh century, but it was only until the 14th century that they gained widespread recognition.
The American National Association of Jewelers (now called the Jewelers of America) birthed modern-day birthstones currently recognized around the nation. They adopted a list that features over 12 birthstones per month, adding more variations for March, June, August, November, and December. Here's a detailed look at the birthstone list by month.
Birthstone jewelry is a popular birthday gift, or for any occasion really, ranging from birthstone necklace, ring, bracelet, and more.
Why is emerald the birthstone for may?
Emerald jewelry is a perfect gift for people who were born in May. Emeralds are rare gemstones with varying but distinctly green colors. The name originates from the Latin word ésmaralda, which roughly translates to green stone. Beautiful and glamorous, people across the ages have worn the stone to symbolize power and eternal health.
The choice of a green gemstone for May can only be magical because it also happens to be the height of the spring season. Spring is also when the world turns green again after a draining winter. Only two other gemstones can match Emerald in value among collectors worldwide; sapphire and ruby. If you're wondering, "what is sapphire crystal?" or are unfamiliar with it, you can learn more about the significance of this stone on our blog.
Emeralds have a scratch-resistant surface that helps them retain their shiny surfaces for many years. They can be fashioned into various jewelry pieces to suit anyone and any look. A natural emerald ring, emerald necklace, or bracelet also makes the perfect birthday gift for anyone born in the month of May.
Why should you buy emerald jewelry?
Behind the crystallized, green color of emerald is an intense symbol of hope. It is a good reminder that winter (or bad times) doesn't last forever. And there will be more opportunities to open a new chapter in life.
Vedic astrologists believe that emeralds boost intelligence and creativity. It is also thought that the gem manifests natural healing and skin rejuvenation. The Ancient Greeks and Romans believed it connected with romance, while the Incas and Egyptians believed it brought eternal life.
The stone is adored and adorned by leading personalities worldwide, with many calling it the Jewel of Kings. Indeed, spirited collectors are always on the lookout for famous emeralds. It is an entire collection of rare emeralds previously owned by kings, celebrities, popes, and famous entrepreneurs. It is said that Cleopatra claimed ownership of every emerald mined in ancient Egypt during her rule.
Although not the rarest of the gemstones, emerald still ranks high after ruby and holds many beliefs and meanings dating back to centuries ago. If you're wondering just how rare rubies are, we’ve written about this topic in detail.
Who can wear the jewelry?
Emerald jewelry can be perfect gift ideas for friends, husbands, wives, children, and anyone with a good test for accessories. To appreciate the man in your life, you could gift them a class ring embellished with emerald stone. The gems also look good on necklace pendants and promise rings. The rare and precious emerald gemstone can also be used in an engagement ring, holding many meanings.
Get your children a nice pair of emerald earrings or an embellished bracelet. Depending on your friend's preference, you may gift studs, earrings, bracelets, or necklaces. The CJ Charles store has one of the widest selections of May birthstone gift options for your loved one. Contact us for more information.
How to choose emerald jewelry
Selecting May birthstone jewelry is no easy task. Understanding the gemstone plays a big part in choosing the perfect jewelry. This means asking questions like, "how are emeralds formed?", "what are the characteristics of natural emerald stones?" and more.
For instance, many people wouldn't know how to identify a flawless emerald at first glance. Although they might feel hard on the surface, emeralds have inherent flaws that make them susceptible to cracking on impact. You might need someone to hold your hand if selecting jewelry feels more like hunting in the woods.
So, whether you're choosing an emerald birthstone ring or a necklace, there are a few things to look for to find a great gift or jewelry you'll love. Like other precious stones, emeralds are selected based on the 4Cs; color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. Here's how each metric relates to quality by order of importance:
Emeralds are stunning in how they look, but it's easy to be ripped off if you don't know how to check your stones. Often, darker tones come with a higher price tag, but it's good to check if the color is evenly saturated. The emerald may have a bluish-green, pure green, or yellowish-green hue.
Like many precious stones, emeralds are formed below the earth's surface under extreme conditions. Often, they contain varying amounts of imperfections because of fractures, mineral compositions, and the presence of other gases, liquids, and solids. Clarity grades the gems according to the level of imperfections, with the highest going to a stone with fewer imperfections.
Flawless emeralds are extremely rare, and will fetch a higher price tag. Because the stones are not as strong as diamonds, fissures close to the surface may cause them to break when dropped.
The cut quality is the symmetry, shape, width, and depth of the emeralds. Symmetrically cut stones bring out the natural beauty and clarity of a gemstone. Perfect cuts distribute the colors evenly because of uniform light reflections along the edges.
The emerald cut is a rectangular symmetry that is highly preferred because it enhances durability and minimizes the amount of rough wastage. Cutting methods have advanced ever since the emerald was first discovered, and it's now common to find round cuts, pear-shaped, oval-shaped, and heart-shaped emeralds. The fancy cuts are rare and pricier since more rough is wasted during production.
The carat measurement is a weighty subject for many reasons. Generally, a heavier stone will fetch a hefty price. But carat weight should not always be a key consideration in the price tag because bigger is not always better.
Indeed, many experts agree that weight should be the least determining factor when buying an emerald.
Here are more considerations:
- Emerald setting: Setting refers to the placement of the stone in jewelry. Some settings are designed to be more visually appealing, while others protect the emerald from damage.
- Treatments: Many emeralds are treated with oils to enhance their clarity. However, some malicious vendors use dyed oils to mask poor-quality gems. Under the US Federal Commission regulations, emerald vendors should disclose if treatment was used on a piece.
- Pricing: Pricing depends on the overall grading of the 4Cs and the rarity of a piece. All factors considered, your choice of emerald jewelry will depend on the amount you're willing to spend.
- Synthetics and imitations: Imitations are fakes made to look like real emeralds, while synthetics are lab-created emeralds with the same mineral composition and physical properties as their natural counterparts. Synthetic emeralds are cheaper than natural ones.
We recommend buying your emeralds from credible jewelers like CJ Charles. You're guaranteed better quality because they've already done much of the heavy lifting when selecting their pieces.
Caring for emerald jewelry
As with any other stone, jewelry care for an emerald is important. It takes a little common sense and dedication to maintain the luster in your emerald jewelry. And to ensure that you can pass it on to the next generation. For instance, common sense dictates that you shouldn't wear your jewelry when involved in intense activities like sports and housework.
Here's what else you could do:
- Steam and ultrasonic cleaners destroy the treatment oils and weaken the stones. A good wipe with warm, soapy water is what you need. But avoid strong detergents that may dilute the oil.
- Do not expose the jewelry to extreme temperatures or excessive sunlight as it also interferes with the oiling.
- Emeralds are not as tough as diamonds, and they might fracture from physical shocks. Handle the emeralds with extra care and store them in a place where they won't knock against other jewelry.
May birthstone jewelry ideas
If you're looking to buy a May birthstone for a loved one or yourself, CJ Charles Jewelers has what you need. We have an inexhaustive collection of emerald jewelry ranging from contemporary designs to vintage, antique, and estate jewelry. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
14K WHITE GOLD EMERALD AND DIAMOND ART DECO DESIGN NECKLACE
The pendant necklace never runs out of style, and it's more evident in this classical piece. Drawing inspiration from the Art Deco era, the lovely pendant features an emerald-cut emerald surrounded by 18 round brilliant-cut diamonds weighing 0.17 carats. The rest of the necklace is made from 14-karat white gold.
18K WHITE GOLD 0.18CT EMERALD AND 0.10CT DIAMOND ART DECO RING
The 0.18-carat Asscher-cut emerald is surrounded by 0.10 carats of 22 beautifully arranged diamonds. The colors blend perfectly with the 18-karat white gold on the shank. If you're looking for the perfect May birthstone jewelry to celebrate a loved one's birthday or an anniversary, look no further than this.
18K WHITE GOLD DIAMOND AND EMERALD STAR OF DAVID EVIL EYE PENDANT NECKLACE
The eye-catching necklace features a stunning green, eye-shaped pendant dropping from a beautifully crafted Star of David pendant. 56 round brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 0.16 carats have been used all around the chain.
14K WHITE GOLD DIAMOND EMERALD SQUARE FILIGREE ART DECO NECKLACE
The white-colored gold necklace has a motif pendant with eight brilliant-cut round diamonds. The 0.14-carat emerald finishes off the glistering, artsy look, making this one of the best ways to appreciate the women in your life.
18KT WHITE GOLD 0.65CT ZAMBIA EMERALD AND DIAMOND HALO RING
This beautiful Halo ring features a 0.65 carats emerald encircled by 14 brilliant-cut diamonds weighing 0.17 carats. The shank is crafted from 18-K white gold for an exquisite finish.
14KT YELLOW GOLD DIAMOND, SAPPHIRE, EMERALD & RUBY BRACELET
The bracelet is a beautiful motif of flowing gold punctuated by green, red, and blue hues of emerald, ruby, and sapphire. Approximately 0.22 carats of round brilliant-cut diamonds are spread across either end of the gemstone patterns. It's a nice, subtle May birthstone gift for a dear one.
18K WHITE GOLD 0.95CTW EMERALD AND DIAMOND HALF BAND
Three emerald-cut emeralds are neatly arranged to alternate with four round brilliant-cut diamonds weighing 0.36 carats. The rest of the ring is crafted in 18-karat gold. This piece is a great birthstone gift for loved ones celebrating their birthdays in May.
Written By: Vahid Morai
Vahid Moradi’s lifelong passion, dedication, and commitment for the jewelry industry led him to become the respected owner of CJ Charles Jewelers in 1988. From that moment, Moradi’s single focus in business was to become recognized as the pinnacle of value and world-class quality in the his Community. Over 34 years later, CJ Charles continues to grow and thrive as a successful, family-owned business that consistently provides exceptional service to all their clientele.