Birthstone: May

by Birgit E. Schürenberg

The glittering green emerald, birthstone for May, is actually a member of the beryl family. Its shades of green vary from light and lustrous to deep and mysterious. The emerald’s deep colour is due to the presence of chromium. In jewellery, the “emerald cut” was created to avoid chipping the corners of the stone, and to help enhance its colour. pictureThe word emerald is derived from a Persian word meaning “green gem”. It changed from Greek to Latin as smaragdus, then to esmaurde, esmralde, and in the 16th century to esmeralde.

Emeralds have graced crown jewels and embellished the thrones of some of the oldest dynasties in history. Babylonians and Indians wore them, and so did Cleopatra. In ancient Egypt, the Egyptians, Romans and Turks worked the Cleopatra mines for thousands of years.

Prized by the Aztecs, Incas and Mayan - emeralds were worn as jewellery or used for their healing properties. The famous healer, Hildegard of Bingen* (1098-1179) also recognised the healing powers of this stone.

The emerald is a symbol of love and good fortune and is used for abundance, hope, growth, peace, harmony, patience, fidelity and honesty. It also helps an individual to attain balance.

It’s an excellent general healer on the physical and emotional level. The stone works most effectively on the heart chakra - to open, activate and to stimulate it.

Emeralds are also recommended for breathing issues such as asthma. They help resolve blood problems, and were considered as a blood detoxifier in ancient times. They strengthen the immune system and are used for imbalances of the thymus and the pancreas (to rebalance blood sugar). They are also used for eyesight problems.

The stones clear negative energy and have been used to foretell events, as they improve psychic and clairvoyant abilities. It’s usually the paler green emeralds that are used for meditation and healing. pictureEmeralds should only worn when the wearer feels the need.

In Feng Shui the emerald is used primarily in the Southeast direction for wealth, in the Southwest direction for relationships.

Emeralds are mined in India, Pakistan, South America, Australia, South Africa, Greece and the United States.

* For more about Hildegard of Bingen and other “Hildegard Stones” see this article.

* For more information about stones and crystals contact Birgit E. Schürenberg (natural therapist, crystal healer, reiki master), General Manager, Ornament Gifts, 205/1 Umm Suqeim Building, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Dubai, telephone: 04 3382433 or 050 7959916, fax 04 8846233, email:

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