Emerald - May

Watercolour emerald gemstone


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You are known as;

Sharp ♦ Dreamer ♦ Imaginative ♦ Hardworking ♦ Understanding ♦ Restless

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May Birthstone ♦ 55th Anniversary ♦ Thursday Daystone ♦ Zodiac sign associations for Taurus and Gemini ♦ Planet association is Mercury ♦ Earth Element

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Varying shades of green to colourless ♦ Hexagonal crystal system ♦ 7.5 - 8.0 on Mohs' hardness scale ♦ Transparent to opaque ♦ Vitreous luster ♦ Variety of beryl along with Aquamarine

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Heart Chakra ♦ Loyalty ♦ Compassion ♦ Healing ♦ Friendship ♦ Wisdom ♦ Love


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The origin of the name 'emerald', unfortunately, does not do this precious gem any justice at all. The French word 'esmeralde' was derived from the Greek 'smaragdos' which rather unimaginatively means 'green stone'. But at least, as far as words go, it does exactly what it says on the tin.  

The Guardians of the Colombian Emerald Mines

This ancient Colombian legend is my interpretation of a number of sources that I have read. And as with most myth and legend there are many variations but this (I feel) is the most romantic.

*Spoiler Alert* it reads more like a Greek Tragedy than a Maeve Binchy, but at its roots, we can see why emerald is known as a stone of loyalty, compassion, healing and love.

"Are", a Muzo God, created the Colombian mountains, valleys and rivers. When he had finished, he realised that he needed someone to take care of the beauty he had created, and he made two immortal humans, a man named Tena and a woman named Fura. Their immortality was bound by their faithfulness to each other, and should they fail they would begin to age and eventually die.

For many years, Tena and Fura lived and loved in the paradise that Ares had created. But one day, a mysterious stranger came onto their lands, apparently seeking a rare flower that could heal. Fura watched his futile search and in her curiosity and compassion for his dedicated but ongoing failure, she joined him on his journey. Tragically, they fell in love and she broke her vow of fidelity.

Rio Mineria valley Tena and Fura crags

Almost immediately she felt regret and sadness for her adultery and went back to Tena to seek forgiveness. By the time she arrived home she had aged, and with just one look at her Tena realised what had happened.

His grief was immeasurable.Not wanting to live without her or watch her slow aging decent to death, he killed himself.

As his blood and life ran into the river, Fura wept relentlessly at her mistake and loss. For days she crouched by Tena's body, weeping and screaming her anguish.

It is said that her tears turned to emeralds and her cries burst into the beautiful butterflies that are common in that region.

Seeing the tragedy, Tena's devotion to Fura, and Fura's remorse, the creator God Ares eventually took pity on them both and turned them into the two large crags that can still be seen in the Rio Mineria valley region today. 

They are the guardians of the emeralds that they created out of their tragic love. Fura's tears becoming symbols and reminders of loyalty, compassion, healing and love.

I hope you enjoyed this story. It is a combination of many different versions, so I apologise to any experts that disagree with my interpretation. :0)  


I have some super emeralds in my collection, from Zambia, Brazil and Colombia. Have a look in my shop and grab yourself one of the most popular gemstones ever.

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The inclusions found in emeralds (known as jardin, the French for garden), are like fingerprints and can be used to identify where the stone was mined.

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This absolutely beautiful artwork of the Tena Fura Crags in Colombia was created by flannery and illustrates the Guardians of the Emeralds. If you would like anything illustrated please click the link above or e-mail.

And a huge thank you to Graphicbug for the watercolour gemstone images on each birthstone page. So talented!