What is the birthstone for May? All the contemporary charts tell that this is Emerald. However, the British list of Birthstones also contains Chrysoprase. The Medieval records also mention Agate as the gemstone appropriate for May. We’d rather use Emerald in the following narrative.
It’s worth mentioning that the ancients applied the term Emerald to all the gemstones of green color, such as Malachite, Jasper, Aquamarine, etc. But also worth mentioning that Emerald of the ancients is indeed a different stone. The authors who describe the Oriental Emerald actually imply green Corundum. Brazilian Emerald, for instance, is supposed to be green Tourmaline found in Brazil. As a result, any buyer must be cautious while purchasing the “indeed” Emeralds from Brazil, India, Sri Lanka or Cambodia. Doing that, you have an excellent chance to acquire a fake. You must take into account that Emerald is a precious variety of Beryl, next to the Diamond in its hardness.
History & Origin
The first mines of the Emeralds were discovered in Ethiopia. However, the first specimens for commercial purposes have arrived at the markets from upper Egypt. This precious stone was found in the wrappings of Egyptian mummies. At the same time, other authors tell us that they found the first references of this gemstone in the sources related to the epoch of the reign of Alexander the Great. In fact, the first deposits of this stone known to us were developed just in 1820. Later, in 1830, the Emerald mines were discovered in the Ural Mountains close to Ekaterinburg, Russia. These stones are of the excellent quality. Thus, Russia is one of the world’s reputable suppliers of Emeralds.
Though, there is a lot of evidence that Spanish conquerors found a lot of Emeralds in Mexico & Peru during their invasion of the American continent. But, once again, in the Middle Ages, each green gemstone got the name Emerald. We must take this fact into account.
But the history knows one fact was found in the diaries of the conquistadores. On March 3, 1537, the Indians presented to the invaders the immense quantity of presumably Emeralds. The native tribes of America also pointed to the place where they obtained these gems. In the latter days, this location, known now as Somondoco, is under the control of one prominent English concern, which developed these mines.
Most of Emerald crystals are generally cloudy and opaque. Therefore, you rarely will able to find a specimen of natural grass-green color. That’s is the reason why these stones are too expensive. It’s naive to assume that you can purchase a genuine Emerald for a little amount of money.
Emerald is a pretty rare stone. Hence, due to its rarity in nature, there is a broad range of inferior stones for a fair price. Also worth mentioning, that the color plays the significant role in the value of this precious stone. Thus, if you want to purchase the genuine natural Emerald, you must be ready to spend a huge sum to get it in your possession. You should be ready that this gemstone is very close to Diamond in its price. All the cheaper specimens are likely fakes. Flawless stones are incredibly expensive. You must take this fact into account.
Magical & Healing Properties
The ancient books tell us that our predecessors considered Emerald as a stone able to cure myopia. So this precious stone has become a first prototype of the modern glasses and microscope. You may discover that Emperor Nero used an eyeglass made of Emerald, to watch the Gladiatorial Games. But there is another version that says that the Emperor used a mirror, made of Emerald, to prevent the possible attack of the assassin. Therefore, there is a widespread opinion that Emerald may serve as a mascot that protects its owner against danger and misfortune. This gemstone apparently first used to create a lens for the microscope.