Year round, Ireland is lauded as the land with forty shades of green. But in May, our favorite shade of green gets the center stage. This is the emerald isle, and emeralds are the birthstone for May. It’s quite fitting really. May is often a gloriously green month in Ireland. Yes, it’s wet, but spring is in full swing and we’re reaping the benefits of all the rain. Gorgeous rolling green fields dotted with wildflowers and sheep.
Many talented people can boast of May birthdays. Northern Irish actor Jamie Dornan will celebrate his 35th birthday on the 1st of May. Singers Adele and Tammy Wynette share a May 5th birthday with Karl Marx. The 10th of May is shared by an unlikely trio – Bono, Sid Vicious and Fred Astaire. Enya celebrates on the 17th, Tina Fey on the 18th and Grace Jones on the 19th. It’s a month for strong, distinctive personalities. Model Naomi Campbell and singer Morrissey share a birthday on the 22nd. Superstar chef Jamie Oliver was born on the 27th. Hollywood icons Colin Farrell, Brooke Shields and Clint Eastwood were all born on the last day of May, along with American football legend Joe Namath and the poet Walt Whitman.
Elegant Emeralds for May Birthdays
Emeralds are part of the beryl family of minerals. They have been mined in South America, Africa and Asia. Emeralds have a MOHS hardness of 8, which means they are pretty strong but you still want to treat them well because they are too beautiful to take any chances. (You could say the same of many people born in May!) Experts don’t all see eye-to-eye on what defines an emerald because it comes down to the precise shade of green. Not all green beryls are emeralds. It’s hard to describe, but experts will know them when they see them.
Eqypt was home to the earliest known emerald mines, and Cleopatra was fond of them. Extremely fond of them. She loved emeralds so much she made herself the owner of all the emerald mines in Egypt and wore them frequently. We can’t blame her. Who could resist in her position? Elizabeth Taylor, who famously played Cleopatra on screen in the 1963 film, once owned the world’s most expensive emerald pendant. It sold in 2011 for $6.5 million. Happily, you can find more reasonably priced options for your leading lady.
Emeralds are also the traditional gift for a 55th wedding anniversary. If you don’t want to wait that long, you might prefer the list of jewelry anniversary gifts by a group of gemological organizations. They list emeralds as the gift for the 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries. We don’t know anyone who could complain about getting emerald jewelry on all three occasions. And who could resist an emerald engagement ring?
If there’s a special someone in your life who loves the Emerald Isle and has a birthday in May, it’s a safe bet that Celtic birthstone jewelry would be a big hit. The only hard part is picking which stunning piece to get her.