Emeralds, May’s Birthstone, Bring Love and Hope
“That must be the City of Emeralds!” said Dorothy to her companions.
The emerald is a symbol of rebirth and nature—perfect for its role as May’s birthstone. This lush, deep green gem represents good fortune, youth, balance, and growth. Along with rubies, sapphires, and diamonds, the emerald is one of the four recognized precious stones.
Think rubies are the symbols of love? Nope. The Romans believed that the emerald represented Venus, bringer of love and hope. The oldest emeralds are around 2.97 billion years old, but the first known ones were mined in Egypt in about 1500 BC—they were Cleopatra’s favorite and part of her royal adornments.
Discovering the “jardin”
There are very few unflawed emeralds—most have imperfections and inclusions that can look like thin, mossy vines in the crystal. But unlike other gemstones, instead of lowering an emerald’s value, they actually increase it! Experts refer to them as “jardin” (French for garden).
- A highly saturated emerald with jardin can be valued more than a less-saturated emerald that doesn’t have any.
- A truly unflawed, natural emerald is so rare that one may be worth more than a top-quality diamond of the same weight.
Famous celebrity emeralds
- Elizabeth Taylor’s emerald necklace by Bulgari has more than 60 carats of stones—16 rectangular-cut and square-cut emeralds, each within a circular-cut diamond surround. The center stone, all 24 carats of it, is actually a detachable brooch. It went for $6.5 million at auction in 2011.
2. Angelina Jolie’s emerald earrings by Lorraine Schwartz at the 2009 Oscars were pear-shaped emerald drops. They were made with 115-carat Colombian emeralds and valued at around $2.5 million.
3. Jackie Kennedy’s engagement ring was designed by Van Cleef & Arpels, featuring a 2.84-carat emerald and a 2.88-carat diamond. She later had it enlarged and it’s currently on display in the JFK Museum in Boston.
- Some believe that the emerald enhances psychic abilities (like telling the future) and clairvoyance. It strengthens memory and helps clear thinking. It inspires a deep inner knowing, promoting truth and discernment.
- Emeralds are also associated with creativity and inspiration, which is why it’s been a favorite for artistic types.
- They’re supposed to help with truth-seeking—one folktale says that whoever puts an emerald under their tongue will speak only the truth.