May birthstone ~ Emerald
Emeralds, like aquamarines, are a variety of the mineral beryl. One of the most precious and highly-valued gemstones, fine emeralds are rarer than fine diamonds. This is due in part to the limited geological environments in which they are found; most emeralds were formed in areas where hot lava came into contact with sedimentary rocks.
Emeralds are mentioned in several places in the Bible. First, in the Breastplate of the High Priest in Exodus 28; in a listing of the gems of the King of Tyrus in Ezekiel 28; and (my favorite) as decorating the foundations of the city walls of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21.
With their beautiful green color, it is to be expected that emeralds would be associated with Spring. In many cultures emerald represents immortality. In the Christian tradition, emeralds are a symbol of faith and hope.
See our beautiful selection of gift suggestions for May birthdays, and read more about the origins of symbolic gifts for birthdays and anniversaries.