Gemstone of the Month: MAY

Gemstone of the Month: MAY

NAME: Emerald

MEANING: Emerald comes from the word “smaragdus,” which means “green” in Greek.

COMMON SPECIES: Emerald is a variety of beryl.

COLOUR: Light green to a deep rich green.


OPTICAL PROPERTIES: Double refractive.

HISTORY IN JEWELLERY: Cleopatra was known to cherish emeralds, even claiming ownership of all emerald mines in Egypt during her reign.

TREATMENTS AND ENHANCEMENTS: Traditionally Emeralds can be oiled to fill surface cracks and improve clarity. This is a generally accepted treatment so long as the oil is not green tinted which is not an acceptable treatment.

LEGENDS: Emerald was believed to have many mystical powers including the ability to cure stomach problems, control epilepsy and stop bleeding. Perhaps due to its soothing green colour, it was also thought to be able to ward off panic and keep the wearer relaxed.

GIFTING: Emerald is a symbol of loyalty, new beginnings, peace and security, making it not only a beautiful gem to wear, but also a meaningful gemstone to gift to a loved one.

ASSOCIATIONS: Birthstone for May.

SIMILAR GEMSTONES: Some tsavorite, chrome diopside and chrome tourmaline are closest to emerald with respect to colour and fire. Other green gemstones, such as peridot, green sapphire, green spinel, and green zircon lack the intensity and vivid coloration found in very nice emeralds.

CARING FOR EMERALD: Use a soft cloth to remove dirt and accumulated dirt. Lukewarm water and a soft toothbrush can be used for a deeper clean. Never use an ultrasonic cleaner or water that is too hot as it may remove oils within the stone.