Emerald was well chosen centuries ago as the birthstone for May. With hues ranging from yellow green to blue green and from shades of deep forest to that of bright sunlit grass, emerald displays all the lively green colors of springtime in full bloom. Also typical of emerald are “gardens” of internal inclusions, telling stories of the dynamic ways in which nature formed each unique crystalline gemstone deep inside the earth millions of years ago.

Revered since antiquity as a gem suitable for nobility, emerald was first mined in ancient Egypt and was a prized possession of the pharaohs and their queens, who believed them gifts from Thoth, god of wisdom and magic. The maharajas and maharanis of India treasured emeralds as well, their Vedic scriptures associating them with good luck and well-being. And in South America, where most emeralds are found today, the Incas and Aztecs believed the gemstones to be sacred.

As the May birthstone, emerald is associated with the astrological signs of Taurus and Gemini. Long regarded a symbol of undying love, it is also the gift traditionally given to celebrate the 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries. In Victorian times a gift of emerald to a young girl was thought to insure she would enjoy a long and happy marriage.