May Birthstone: Emerald

Emeralds are one of the four precious gemstones, along with diamond, ruby and sapphire. They are also considered the rarest of the coloured gemstones. Emeralds are formed when the mineral Beryl is placed under the right pressure and temperature conditions. Beryl is also the original mineral form of Aquamarine and Morganite.

Along with being the official birthstone for May, emeralds are also used to signify 55th wedding anniversaries and are the traditional gemstone for the astrological sign Cancer.

Emeralds have a rich history that can be traced back millennia. The first discovery of emeralds was in Egypt, where the gemstone is believed to have been first mined in 1,500 BC. In ancient Greece and ancient Rome, emerald was the gemstone of the goddess of love and hope, Venus. Nowadays, emeralds are still considered to be a symbol of love and can represent a faithful and long-lasting relationship. The rich emotional meaning behind emeralds is what makes them the perfect anniversary gift.

Like other precious gemstones, emeralds can be rated with the 4 C’s (Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat). However, with emeralds the quality of the Colour is considered the most important rating and has the most influence on the price of the stone. The ideal colour of an emerald is a medium green tone where there is an equal saturation of colour, i.e., it is neither too dark nor too light. This is broken down in the grade scale AAA, AA, A and B.


Emeralds are heavily included stones, therefore their Clarity rating varies slightly to diamonds. A diamonds clarity is based on inclusions visible at 10x magnification, whereas an emeralds clarity is judged by the naked eye. If no inclusions are visible to the naked eye, then the emerald is considered flawless. The inclusions in emeralds have a mossy look that is referred to as “jardin”, the French word for garden. These inclusions can sometimes add a cloudy effect to the stone. Inclusions are the main feature that distinguish the difference between a natural emerald and a lab grown emerald, which do not have inclusions. However, it is important to note that, unlike diamonds, inclusions in an emerald are not considered flaws but rather a natural feature caused by minerals in the gemstone.

While carbon-dating is the only way to tell the difference between natural and lab-grown diamonds, this is not the case with natural emeralds and lab grown emeralds. While both emeralds are identical in their chemical composition, lab grown emeralds differ in colour and have no inclusions. It’s important to note that, despite these differences, lab created emeralds are still real emeralds.

Although emeralds are harder than most gemstones, they are the softest of the four precious gemstones, with a score of 7.5 – 8 on the Mohs scale. For this reason, emerald rings and jewellery require a little extra care when being worn and cleaned.

Emeralds are most popular in their name-sake emerald cut. The open facet style of an emerald cut shows off the colour better while also offering more stability to the soft gem.


Famous for their colour, emeralds add a richness to jewellery. You can shop our gemstone jewellery collection in Commins & Co HERE  and our gemstone ring collection HERE.

Here at Commins and Co, all of our diamond jewellery is designed and created in Dublin. We use the highest quality lab-grown diamonds and ethically sourced gold. When you buy a unique piece of jewellery from us, you are not only getting a beautiful diamond. You also the peace of mind that its high quality is the result of a sustainable process. Best of all, our lab-grown diamonds offer a very competitive price. Ensuring you get the best possible jewellery for the best possible price. As a result, giving you excellent value for money without compromising on quality.