Emerald was adopted by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912 as the birthstone for May. Emerald is is listed as the birthstone for the Zodiac signs for Taurus and Cancer and is suggested as an anniversary gift for the 20th and 35th anniversaries and sometimes as an alternate stone for the 55th wedding anniversary.
The name Emerald is originates from the French “esmeraude” and the Greek word “smaragdos” which means ‘green gemstone’. Emerald is the name given the green variety of beryl and ranges between 7.5 and 8 on the Mohs scale. The finest quality emeralds are a deep vivid green with a slightly bluish hue, and lesser quality stones display lighter shades of green and with hints of yellow.
Emeralds are found in many countries, with Columbia and Brazil as the major producers and the finest stones have most often been discovered in Columbia. They are also found in Pakistan, Russia, Australia, South Africa, India, Norway, and the United States.
Due to the internal imprefections, Emeralds can be fragile stones stones and care should be taken when wearing or cleaning them. They should never be immersed in an ultrasonic or subjected to steam cleaning.
Emeralds have been highly sought since ancient times, with notable figures such as Cleopatra who prized emeralds above all other gems. Emeralds were used as amulets to ward off epilepsy in children and thought to cure diseases of the eye. Folklore suggests that these stones will improve memory, intelligence, and enhance clairvoyance thus helping to predict future events. They are also worn to enhance love and contentment.