Emerald is the birthstone for the month of May and the 20th and 35th anniversary stone. Emerald is one of the most valuable, and historically one of the most interesting gemstones. Its name comes from the ancient Greek word for green, “smaragdus.”
The first known emerald mines were in Egypt. Cleopatra was known to have a passion for emeralds, and used them in her royal adornments. According to legend, the wearing of emerald not only cured a wide range of ailments, including low I.Q., poor eyesight and infertility, but also enabled the wearer to predict the future.
Even today the color green is known to relieve stress and eye strain. Like aquamarine, emerald is a variety of the mineral beryl. These beautiful green gemstones are mostly mined in Brazil, Colombia, and Zambia. Although emerald is ranked 7 1/2 on Mohs hardness scale it is not a tough stone. Emeralds can easily be scratched and because of their many inclusions can break easily. They should be worn with much care, especially when set in a ring.