Calling all May babies: it’s officially emerald season.

According to the American Gem Society, emerald is the richly ravishing and radiant birthstone for those born in May, complementing the colourful spring and summer seasons with its velvety hue. It’s a stone that has many adorers and admirers, known to celebrate life, vigour, and, most ingeniously, May birthdays.

After all, emeralds are as show-stopping as gemstones may come. The striking colour is not affected by light – meaning that its hue barely changes over time – going insofar that ‘emerald green’ has become a standard description for a type of green in day-to-day lexicon. The stone is also an incredibly hard one at a 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale, topped mainly by diamond at a solid 10. To avoid the susceptibility to scratching this score may cause, jewellers have created a particular kind of gem-cutting in its honour. You’ll know it by the infamous name of ‘emerald cut’.

May birthstone: Graff
Image Credit: Graff

Yet emeralds were prized long before modern gemologists created terms around it. Deriving from the Greek word “smaragdus” (which quite literally means “green”), emeralds are a symbol of rebirth, good fortune, and youth. It is generally believed that the more deeply green an emerald may shine, the higher its value will be. This makes top quality emeralds quite a limited and prized find, and the gemstone is often reserved for statement pieces and special occasions.

From the Ancient Egyptians and the Muzo Indians to Elizabeth Taylor, emeralds hold a special place in history, yet in more recent times took centrestage in pop culture references too. Ever since actress Michelle Yeoh wore that iconic emerald engagement ring in Crazy Rich Asians, the box office hit caught hearts not only for Henry Golding as the leading role, but also the emerald as a regal and stand-out accessory. Regardless of whether you’re more Cleopatra or CRA, we’ve put together five ways you can rock the vivid May birthstone, and celebrate the season in (green) envious style.

Featured image credit: Graff; Hero image credit: Cartier

May birthstone: Van Cleef & Arpels

Van Cleef & Arpels Motifs Triangles Solitaire

Following on a similar tangent to the iconic piece from Crazy Rich Asians, this Van Cleef & Arpels Motifs Triangles Solitaire (approx. THB 2,682,650) combines motif with majesty, combining simple geometrical lines and triangle-cut diamonds to magnify the shine of the central emerald-cut emerald of 2.04 ct. Sophisticated, but by no means boring, the ring makes for a timeless accessory suited to many a time and place.

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May birthstone: Graff

Graff Emerald Cut Emerald and Diamond Bracelet

Whilst Graff is most famously known for its diamonds, there’s no denying that the British jeweller has long had a love affair with emeralds. In this Graff Emerald Cut Emerald and Diamond Bracelet (price on request), the eye almost does not know where to look, bringing together a hypnotic circle of emeralds (at 28.98 ct) and diamonds (37.78 ct). It’s definitely a stand-out piece – but then again those born in May wouldn’t be suited to anything less.

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May birthstone: Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany & Co. Elsa Peretti Colour by the Yard Earrings

Emeralds are often labelled as the most opulent gems in the room, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be worn in a casual manner. For those who would like to infuse their day to day with some royal green, these Tiffany & Co. Elsa Peretti Colour by the Yard Earrings (approx. THB 303,280) are a beautiful pick. The 18k gold earrings feature two round emeralds at a total of 0.62ct, and were designed by the amazing Elsa Peretti. Small, sweet, and simple, yet still sleek.

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May birthstone: Bulgari

Bulgari Serpenti Earrings

The Bulgari Serpenti collection has long been known for its absolutely alluring charm and magnetic sensuality. For those May babies who revel in being a seductress of sparkling style, these earrings (approx. THB 1,302,89) are the perfect pairing for evening soirees and champagne affairs. The 18k white gold earrings are set with pavé diamonds (3.22ct) and two emerald eyes (0.51ct). Powerful and piercing.

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May birthstone: Cartier

Cartier Les Oiseux Libérés Necklace

Following on with an affinity for the animalistic, this Cartier Les Oiseux Libérés Necklace (approx. THB 7,213,920) manages to balance an utter awe for craftsmanship with a charming playfulness in design. The 18k white gold necklace features grey mother-of-pearl, emeralds, dangling emerald beads, and 477 brilliant-cut diamonds in one striking and characterful bird motif. Coy and yet lively, it’s a vibrant tribute to the beautiful stone.

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Lisa Gries
Managing Editor, Bangkok
Lisa loves to travel, and is always on the lookout for the world’s best nap spots. She’s a serious Asian art history nerd, and has a knack for languages and coffee table books. She hopes to publish her own novels one day, one of which will likely be called ‘All The Great Conversations I Had In A Bangkok Speakeasy.’ It’s a work in progress.