May Birthstone

Emerald Overview

Emerald’s name is derived from the Greek word smaragdus, meaning “green gem.”

Like aquamarine, emerald is a variety of beryl, a mineral that grows with six sides and up to a foot in length. Emerald color can range from light green (though there is some argument whether these very light beryls are truly emeralds) to a deep, rich green. Emeralds are also like aquamarine in that the way the color presents itself in jewelry depends on a good cut by a skilled gemologist.

The deeper or more green an emerald is, the more valuable it is. The rarest emerald gemstones will appear to be an intense green-blue color.

Emerald gems are found all over the world, including Colombia, Brazil, Afghanistan, and Zambia. The availability of high-quality emerald is limited; consequently, treatments to improve clarity are performed regularly.

Find a Jeweler

Search for an American Gem Society member jewelry store