The Birthstone Guide

Birthstone List


A Brief Guide to May Birthstones

May is one of those on-the-cusp months, with everyone either looking forward to, or dreading the beginning of summer. For many, it is a time to bring the bathing suits out of mothballs and begin enjoying the months of the year when fun and activity can be had out in the full view of the sun. For others, May is a time of doing a top-to-bottom house cleaning, clearing out the dust of Winter and Spring and preparing the home for another year of happiness and warmth. May is home to Memorial Day, when Americans celebrate and remember those brave soldiers who died in combat to protect our freedoms. Here is a look at the birthstones of May.

May Modern and Traditional Birthstone: Emerald

May Birthstone EmeraldConjuring thoughts of the beautiful city at the end of the yellow brick road, the emerald is one of the most elegant and beautiful of all the gems. With its green color and exceptional sparkle, the emerald has taken its place as one of the top three or four most popular jewels on earth. People as far back as ancient Egypt were known to use the beautiful emerald in their ceremonies and burials. They were even known to engrave these jewels with symbols of foliage to make a full representation of the color green and its reminiscence of the new rebirth and renewal for the earth, and for an individual. Cleopatra was particularly fond of the emerald, and claimed the Egyptian emerald mines for herself during her reign. She adorned herself with the jewels whenever possible and even gave them as gifts to visiting royalty from other lands. Agate is also sometimes used as the traditional birthstone of May.

May Alternate Birthstone: Chrysoprase

With a creamier, cloudier green than its cousin the emerald, chrysoprase has made a splendid, less expensive alternative for the April birthstone of choice. Like many of the alternative birthstones, it is a member of the quartz family, and is known for its apple green color, given to it by its high quantities of the mineral nickel. Like the emerald, its history is rich, and it was known to be used in jewelry and ceremony by the ancient Egyptians, as well as the Greeks and the Romans. Because of their similar colors, it is not uncommon for the chrysoprase to be confused with Imperial jadeite.