May Birthstone: Emeralds
Happy birthday to everyone celebrating in May! Not only is May a wonderful month as it marks the beginning of summer for many people around the country, but it is also a time when school begins to wind down, and many folks begin to plan their summer vacations.
May is also a great month for another reason… May is the month of the emerald birthstone!
Emeralds have been around and worn for centuries, and have always been popular for their deep, rich, green color.
One of the earliest accounts of people wearing emeralds dates all the way back to ancient Egypt, during the reign of Cleopatra. It was said that she regularly adorned herself with emeralds, and the gem was a staple of her rule. In fact, emeralds were quite popular amongst the Egyptian elite of old. Many Egyptians who had wealth and standing were frequently buried with their emeralds once they died. They would either be wearing them or would have them inside of their tombs. Legend has it that they believed wearing emeralds on their necks symbolized and supported eternal youth and beauty, in this life, as well as in the afterlife.
One of the most famous historical artifacts including emeralds was the Crown of the Andes, said to be worn by the last Inca king of Peru, named Atahualpa. It is said that in total, this crown was set with nearly 450 emeralds, weighing about 10 ounces, or 1,523 carats, in total.
While all emeralds are worth quite a bit in terms of monetary value, the most valuable emeralds are the darkest in color, and also have a blueish tint to them. Also, many, if not all emeralds, are found with inclusions. However, despite having inclusions, the value will not decrease or detract from the integrity of the gem as a whole.