I am May

Updated: Sep 11

Nothing greens greener”.

That's right, this quote was written in the year 50 AD by Pliny the Elder, a Roman naturalist and philosopher, referencing the timeless beauty of the Emerald.

Emerald, showcased in the Birthstone Wall Art Collection, is the traditional birthstone for May birthdays and the 20th and 35th anniversary stone.

Bringing to mind Spring’s lush forests, fields of grass, and plush gardens, the verdantly shaded emerald rivals diamonds, rubies, and sapphires as one of the most valuable and sought-after gemstones in the world.

The first excavation of emerald was said to have taken place in Egypt, around 1500 BC. Its name is derived from the Latin word “smaragdus”, meaning “green” in Greek.

Often found in sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks, emerald is the green variety of the beryl family. The lux green hues can be attributed to the chemical reaction triggered when chromium, iron, and vanadium mix within the mineral beryl.

The shade and intensity of green is primarily dependent on the traces of vanadium and chromium.

Colors can vary from light green (although many question whether very light beryl gemstones are actually emeralds) to bluish green; slightly yellowish green to the deeply rich green we’re all familiar with - depicted in “I am May”.

Unlike April’s diamond, ranking a 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, emerald has a rating of 7.5 - 9. The leading producers of fine emeralds include Zambia, Brazil, and Colombia.

Not only is the fiercely green color of emerald alluring, so is its history and folklore.

According to lore, Queen Cleopatra adored and surrounded herself with emeralds. From wearing them as ornaments and decorating her palace to gifting them to foreign dignitaries, Cleopatra is said to have popularized the gemstone.

Other Egyptians wore May’s stone as a talisman for bringing protection and offered them to their gods as a symbol for rebirth.

Romans favored emeralds, too. They associated the stone with the ‘goddess of love’, Venus, believing it would satisfy the goddess. In return, she would ensure they experienced love, friendship, luck, and fertility.

Numerous healers claimed emeralds could improve memory, treat ailments of the liver, lungs, kidneys, gallbladder, and pancreas, as well as the musculoskeletal system.

From ancient civilizations to today, emerald remains one of the most mesmerizing and intriguing gemstones - why not add “I am May” to your wall art collection, even if you already own the gemstone?