What is the Birthstone for May?

When you think of the month of May, what do you think of? May is towards the end of spring when the sun is shining bright, the flowers are still blooming and the earth is as colorful as can be. It's only appropriate that the birthstone to represent this month be just as radiant and full of life. 

A strong representation of hope and love, the emerald birthstone embodies renewal, growth, unity, and compassion. With so many amazing qualities, it's no wonder the May birthstone represents so many powerful attributes.

History of the Emerald Birthstone 

The emerald gemstone has been around longer than we have. The oldest emeralds are about 2.9 billion years old, and the first known emeralds were mined in Egypt.

Modern history holds that the emerald birthstone was the first gemstone traded in markets in Babylon around 4000 BC, giving the May birthstone an even richer history. We can see evidence of this trade in the origins of the modern name for the May birthstone. The emerald name originated from the Greek word "smaragdos," which means "green stone".


The May birthstone flourished in ancient Egypt. Contemporaries of the time considered the emerald birthstone a symbol of eternal life. Even the infamously beautiful and cunning Queen Cleopatra favored this radiant gem.

To this day, the May birthstone endures as a favorite amongst royalty. For instance, the emerald birthstone continues to adorn countless crowns and other royal treasures. In October 2018 Princess Eugenie donned a beautiful family heirloom featuring emeralds to her wedding. The emerald Greville Kokoshnik Tiara is made of rose cut diamonds set in platinum with six emeralds on either side and a large emerald on the front. The tiara was given to Queen Elizabeth in 1942. 

Caring For Emeralds

Only use mild soap and warm water to clean emeralds, and not techniques involving steam, chemicals or high heat, because they can cause the gem to fracture. Emeralds are often treated with cedar oil to minimize the appearance of their inclusions.

It is best to avoid exposure to heat, harsh chemicals and sudden changes in air pressure. As such, you should never put your emerald in an ultrasonic cleaner. The vibrations and heat from the cleaner can cause the stone to crack or even break apart. This is partly because emeralds are often treated with dyes or fillers to correct imperfections.

Shop Emerald Birthstones

Emeralds dazzle in all sorts of jewelry styles. From May birthstone necklace and emerald bracelets to more traditional options like three stone rings or gemstone necklaces, the emerald birthstone stands out from the crowd. Explore all of the  birthstone options from Enjoylifecreative!