A May Gem


Emerald Isle (Ireland) and Emerald City (from The Wizard of Oz) conjure up images of lush, rich locations, an apt description for a gem that is one of only four precious stones (diamonds, rubies, and sapphires are the other three). Emerald is considered “The Jewel of Kings,” is a symbol of hope, renewal, and growth, and is the birthstone of May.

Emeralds were contained in the breastplate of Aaron as described in Exodus 28:15-20 in the Old Testament of the Bible. There were 12 stones, each one symbolizing the 12 tribes of Israel. The emerald makes another Biblical appearance in Revelations 21:19 as part of the foundational wall of the Holy City, the New Jerusalem. According to the Archbishop Rabanus Maurus of Mainz, the emerald in the foundational wall “expressed the strength of faith in adversity.” 

Emeralds were first mined in Egypt around 1500 BC, and today, Colombia yields the largest number of emeralds, contributing to over 50% of worldwide production. Diamonds are often thought to be the most expensive gemstone, but because emeralds are quite rare, they command a higher price than diamonds.

If you are looking for a “gem” of a present, Designs by Alfreda is ready to create a memorable gift basket for your loved one or client.