Home » May Birthstone: Emerald and its Alternative

May Birthstone: Emerald and its Alternative

A rough emerald displayed against a black background. Beneath is the title May Birthstone: Emerald and its alternative. Running down the left side of the picture is a banner with the website address www.craftedbymummy.etsy.comMay is a month that symbolizes new beginnings, growth, and renewal. Those born in May are celebrated with not one but two beautiful birthstones: emerald and chrysoprase. In this article, we will explore the unique features of these stunning stones and provide some considerations when choosing the perfect May birthstone.

Emerald (Traditional May Birthstone) – An Introduction

Emerald is a variety of beryl, a mineral that includes other popular gemstones like aquamarine and morganite. The deep, rich green colour of emerald is caused by the presence of chromium and vanadium in the crystal structure. Therefore, the intensity of the colour depends on the amount of these elements present in the stone. Emeralds are typically found in Colombia, Zambia, Brazil, and Zimbabwe.

Physical Properties

Emeralds are known for their unique physical properties. They have a hardness rating of 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale, which makes them relatively durable and suitable for everyday wear. However, they are susceptible to scratches and chips, especially along their natural cleavage planes. Therefore, it is essential to handle emeralds with care and avoid exposing them to harsh chemicals or extreme temperatures.

In addition to their beauty, emeralds are believed to have spiritual and healing properties. They are said to promote balance and harmony and stimulate the heart chakra, which helps to calm emotions. Emeralds are also believed to impact vision and the immune system positively.

Chrysoprase (May Birthstone Alternative) – An Introduction

Chrysoprase is a variety of chalcedony mineral known for its bright green colour. The green colour is caused by the presence of nickel in the crystal structure. Chrysoprase is typically found in Australia, Brazil, Madagascar, and the United States.

Physical Properties

Chrysoprase has a hardness rating of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, which makes it less durable than emerald. As a result, it is more susceptible to scratches and chips and should be handled with care. Chrysoprase is also sensitive to heat and chemicals and should be cleaned with mild soap and water.

In addition to its beauty, chrysoprase is believed to have spiritual and healing properties. It is said to promote inner peace and increase confidence and creativity. Chrysoprase is also thought to positively impact physical health by boosting the immune system and reducing inflammation.

Comparison of Emerald and Chrysoprase

When choosing between emerald and chrysoprase, there are several factors to consider. Emeralds are generally more durable and have a higher hardness rating than chrysoprase. However, chrysoprase has its own unique beauty and is known for its healing properties.

In terms of appearance, emeralds have a deeper and more intense green colour. In comparison, chrysoprase has a brighter and more vibrant green colour. However, both stones have a unique charm and can make a beautiful addition to any jewellery collection.

It is also worth noting that emerald is the traditional May birthstone, while chrysoprase has become a popular alternative birthstone for this month in recent years. This provides a broader range of options for those looking to celebrate their May birthday with a birthstone that resonates with them personally.

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Emeralds and chrysoprase are stunning gemstones that celebrate the beauty of nature and the promise of growth and renewal. When choosing a May birthstone, it’s essential to consider the unique properties of both stones, including their hardness and durability, colour and appearance, and spiritual and healing properties. With proper care, an emerald or chrysoprase can be a beautiful and meaningful piece of jewellery that lasts a lifetime.

While you’re here, feel free to check out this post on the benefits of wearing copper.


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