Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Emerald the May Birthstone

The birthstone for the month of May is the beautiful green Emerald which is from the Beryl family of gemstones. It is also the gemstone for the Zodiac constellation Cancer. The ancient Romans associated this gemstone with fertility and rebirth, and they dedicated this beautiful gemstone to the goddess Venus.

Unlike other Beryl gemstones, all Emeralds contain some degree of "flaws" known as inclusions, within the gemstone itself. However these "flaws" are not looked at as a negative when it comes to the Emerald.

Emeralds have been revered for centuries and have been included in many important jewelry pieces such as crowns for royalty and even one made for Mother Mary called the Crown of Andes, which includes 453 emeralds weighing in at over 1500 carats in emeralds alone.

The Emerald gemstone is considered to be a hard stone but due to the inclusions found within the stones, they have to be handled with care. Knocking them around too much can cause fractures and splintering. They should also be protected from moisture and direct sunlight.

Just like any other semi-precious gemstone they need to be handled with care. When cleaning them you only want to use jewelry cleaning products that are specifically made for cleaning Emeralds. If you can't find one, you can wipe down your Emerald with a soft, clean and slightly dampened cotton cloth.  Never use harsh chemicals to clean your emerald jewelry.

If you notice any splintering or fracturing of your Emerald jewelry pieces you need to take them in immediately to a professional jeweler for repair. Don't let them just sit around as those fractures can become deeper and bigger over time.

Store your Emerald jewelry in a nicely padded jewelry box, never in a ceramic or metal jewelry dish. Do not stack other pieces of jewelry on top as they could cause damage to your Emeralds.

Emeralds are a gorgeous gemstone that looks fabulous in a multitude of settings and styles.

by Gregg Nosaji, Contributing Editor for, online retailer of jewelry boxes, jewelry armoires and jewelry related gifts. Gregg is an event consultant and writes about gift ideas and special occasions.

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