May Birthstone Color and Meaning: Emerald

May Birthstone: Emerald Gemstone Meaning
  • Month: May
  • Birthstone: Emerald
  • Color: Green
  • Meanings: Health, Fertility, Faithfulness

The Rise of Emerald

With its roots steeped in ancient history, the emerald has a rich and colorful background. Most prominently known for its dazzling green hue, emerald entices with its viridescent shades. Babylon is credited with discovering this stone in 4000 B.C. They immediately recognized its beauty and value, which inspired them to sell it throughout the city. However, this Mesopotamia civilization was far from the only culture to appreciate emerald.

Worshipped by the Inca Empire

The Incas treasured emerald so much that they worshipped it. By doing so, they thought they’d be made pure. Given how many biblical references there were to emerald, the Incas regarded it as a holy gem. They would travel to sacred sites to give this stone the blessed attention they felt it deserved. This ritual eventually became a part of regular ceremonies.

Aristotle’s Interpretation

According to Aristotle, emerald is a force to be reckoned with. In battle, emerald promises victory. During dark hours, it provides hope. Aristotle propagated these notions in the hopes that emerald would receive widespread recognition. He wanted everyone to reap the benefits of emerald’s mystical powers. Aristotle also wrote that emerald could prevent epilepsy. As an attempt to protect children from this “falling sickness,” Aristotle urged parents to place emeralds around the necks of their kids.

Global Ideologies

According to ancient Egyptians, emerald could combat the rigors of infertility. Meanwhile, the Romans believed that emeralds offered calm amid chaos. In China, Thursday was reserved for wearing emeralds. In their culture, wearing emeralds one day of the week was thought to bring good fortune. In the Islamic religion, an emerald that was engraved with a verse from the Koran was touted as a consecrated vessel.

Promotes Faithfulness

During the Middle Ages, women would wear emeralds to demonstrate their abstinence. They also believed that it would prevent them from giving in to sexual temptations. Emeralds protected innocence and, in turn, made women more desirable. While this phenomenon worked on women, it didn’t have the same impact on men.

Insight Into the Future

For those with a more open mind, emeralds were used to predict the future. The only way to foretell future events was by placing an emerald on the tongue. Some found this odd, so they opted to wear the gem on the left side of their body. At the very least, an emerald could tell you fact from fiction. Those in seek of the truth relied on emerald to bring forth honest answers.

A Warning Sign

Emeralds in their natural state were the antithesis of danger. However, emeralds that turned a darker shade were avoided at all costs. If an emerald changed hues, it was an ominous sign. In essence, it signified impending doom. If someone felt that their life hung in the balance, they used the psychic tricks mentioned above to gain some clarity.

Cleopatra’s Influence

Cleopatra was very vocal about her adoration for emeralds. She treasured this stone so much that it was used in her royal adornments. In addition to the stunning shade, Cleopatra was also fond of the powers it possessed. She believed that it could cure eye diseases and provide eternal youth. Cleopatra’s assortment of emeralds remains the most famous collection of jewels in history.

Stolen and Transported

Emerald was in such high demand that many went to great lengths to acquire this gem. Hernando Cortes was one such individual. Cortes was best known for conquering Mexico, but he’ll also be remembered for a rather embarrassing anecdote. While attempting to bring a stolen supply of emeralds back home, Cortes wrecked his ship. As a result, he lost thousands of emeralds out at sea. His blunder cost him his dignity and copious amounts of money.

Four emerald crystals isolated on white background

A Favorite Among Royals

Emeralds are indicative of wealth. With that said, royals had an affinity for this stone. Not only would they wear emerald jewelry, but they’d also have their face engraved into an emerald. They weren’t subtle about their prosperity, which was evidenced by their display of emeralds. Henry II, Alexander the Great, and Charlemagne were some royal figures who cherished emeralds.

Associated With Venus

Venus, the goddess of love, sex, beauty, and fertility, was one with emerald. In the hopes of summoning Venus, lovers would use emerald to protect their connection. If someone suspected unfaithfulness, emerald was said to prevent betrayal. If a heart was loyal, the gem would radiate a bright green hue. Impure hearts would make emerald lose its sparkle.

Improves Cognizance

Emerald can enhance our perceptions of the past, present, and future. In other words, it provides insight into who we were, who we are, and who we’re destined to be. By improving self-awareness, emeralds heavily influence our mental health. For those who desire to see themselves clearly, consult with the all-knowing emerald. Bear in mind that the outcome may not always be favorable.

Holds Healing Powers

Most notably, emerald’s healing capabilities are linked to the skeletal system. This stone can be used to detoxify the body and restore it to a healthy state. To experience the full effect, some choose to wear emerald. However, gazing into the heart of an emerald is equally effective. Pregnant women would cover themselves in emeralds to avoid complications during childbirth. Simply put, emerald served as a loyal protector.

A Remedy for Poison

Poisonings were common in ancient times. If someone sensed that they’d been poisoned, they’d rely on emerald to save them. Though this may sound like a far-fetched antidote, many thought that it was worth a shot. Rather than die at the hands of a malicious enemy, they found hope in the promises that emerald offered.

Turns Negative Into Positive

When our hopes have been dashed, emerald swoops in to bolster our spirits. Applauded for its stabilizing and soothing abilities, emerald gives us strength even when we don’t believe in ourselves. Even negative experiences can turn positive in the presence of emerald. If you feel like you’re at a crossroads, allow emerald to show you the best course of action to pursue. With emerald, we can find our life purpose with ease.

Encourages Kindness

Leading with kindness is easier said than done. Fortunately, emerald simplifies this seemingly impossible task. With its uplifting essence, emerald inspires us to tackle life with sympathy and understanding. Emerald is a strong believer in karma, which is why it urges us to treat others as we want to be treated. When we choose to be kind, emerald recognizes and commends our noble actions.

Ignites Our Intuition

As previously mentioned, emerald helps us see things clearly. As a result, we become more in tune with our instincts. This bodes well for self-trust. If you don’t fancy yourself an intuitive person, emerald will show you otherwise. You’ll soon learn which hunches are worth entertaining.

Controls Emotions

Temptations surround us. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can be detrimental to those who have an addictive personality. Emerald controls our emotions, which helps us realize when we’re behaving immorally or speaking out of turn. Control freaks don’t always take kindly to emeralds because of its strong impact on our emotions. When we let go of the reins, we allow emerald to work its magic.

Birthstones by Month

If you want to learn more about birthstone colors and their meanings, here’s an overview of birthstones by month.

Emerald gem watercolor illustration