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Enigmatic Emeralds – The Birthstone of May

May 12, 2020

Why May’s Birthstone Should Be on Your Jewellery Bucket List?

While Ireland is known around the world as the “Emerald Isle” due to the gorgeous greens that carpet our home, Emeralds don’t originate on our shores, but have a fascinating and exotic past.

Sold in the markets of Babylon, worshiped by the Incas, and first mined in the sultry heat of Egypt to satisfy Cleopatra’s fascination with these gorgeous gems, Emeralds remain the most popular green stone on the market.

Emeralds also happen to be the birthstone of the month of May and we can’t think of any gem more fitting to represent that fresh bloom of spring than the rich, deep green Emeralds bring.

But how do you go about choosing an Emerald and what sort of setting does justice to this glorious stone?

Natural vs Synthetic Emeralds

Natural Emeralds form in pegmatite deposits or hydrothermal veins in metamorphic environments often resulting in flaws in the gem that can make them brittle if not carefully cut and cared for.

Synthetic Emeralds were first “grown” in a laboratory in the 1800s with commercial operations beginning in in the 1930s. Synthetic Emeralds have the same crystal structure as natural stones but have a superior clarity which can make them more aesthetically pleasing depending on your tastes.
Whether you choose a natural or synthetic stone, the illustrious depths of Emeralds cannot be denied

Clarity vs Inclusions

The second consideration when choosing the perfect Emerald is whether you prize clarity or inclusions. Emeralds with high clarity draw the eye into a seemingly infinite pool of faceted green.

Emeralds with inclusions can have a sultry mistiness to them or, in some very rare and prized stones, there are shards of the black shale matrix in which the Emerald grew in a six-sided, zoned morphology that is exquisite.

One of the most exciting parts of choosing the perfect Emerald for you is the variety of colour and clarity available in these beautiful stones.

Colour Intensity Grading

Unlike diamonds, Emeralds need not be clear to be breath-taking. In fact, many modern jewellery pieces are designed to show off a milky Emerald stone to perfection.

We grade Emeralds from AAA which is the most intense depth of colour to a grade B which is a paler, more translucent colour. The fabulous thing about Emeralds is that it really is taste dependent, so you can choose not only a unique setting but a unique stone to go with it.

Choosing the Setting

Whether part of a necklace and earrings set, or a ring or bracelet, the best settings for Emeralds are ones that facilitate natural light to flood the stone and set off the extraordinary depths within the stone.

Emeralds are beautiful in a white or yellow gold setting and are complimented with diamonds, sapphires or a variety of Emerald stones in differing sizes and shades.


The myriad of greens found in Emerald stones offer choice and variety which, like the foregone Emerald connoisseurs of antiquity, could just be the spice you need in your life.

Whether your birthday is in May or not, Emeralds are the stones to consider for your jewellery purchases this month and Martin Gear Jewellers are waiting to help you make your Emerald dream a reality.

Contact us or come by our jewellery workshop on 5 Mary Street, Dublin City Centre, to find out more about emeralds and how we use them in our jeweller.

© Martin Gear Jewellers 2021 
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