May’s birthstone is the emerald. The green color of the emerald is a sign of spring, which is most likely why it was chosen as May’s birthstone. I don’t own one of these green and fiery gems but wish I did. Every gem seems to have myths attached to it so I did a little research on emeralds.
The word emerald comes from the Ancient Greek word for green, “smaragdus.” The Ancient Romans, including the Emperor Nero, used emeralds as looking glasses because the green was soothing to the eyes. Even now, many sunglasses have green lenses. The first known emerald mines were in Egypt dating from at least 330 BC to the 1700’s. Cleopatra had a passion for emeralds.
|Peter Ustinov as Nero in the movie, Quo Vadis.|
The Inca’s had been using emeralds in their jewelry and religious ceremonies for 500 years before the Spanish invaders plundered the emerald mines in the sixteenth century. Legend says that emerald was one of the four precious stones given by God to King Solomon, and that the four stones were said to endow the king with power over all creation. Another legend is that an emerald placed under the tongue gives a person the ability to foresee the future.
[Note: the above is from www.gia.edu]
It’s said that the emerald dampens lust. Hmm! As a romance author, maybe I should rethink using emeralds in a story. Hindu legends from India state that if one made offerings of emerald to the god Krishna, they would be rewarded with Knowledge of the Soul and the Eternal. The emerald in Hindu teaching is associated with the planet Mercury, while in Western culture, it’s associated with Venus.
An emerald the size of an ostrich egg was worshipped as a goddess in the Peruvian city of Manta during the Spanish conquest.
[Note: the above is from www.gemsociety.org]
Emeralds were first known and sold in the markets of Babylon around 4000 BC. Aristotle advised hanging an emerald from the neck to ward off epilepsy.
Colombian emeralds are the most expensive, followed by those from Brazil and Zambia. Emeralds are believed to hold physical and mental healing powers. It’s believed they can lift depression, cure insomnia (if only I’d known during my six years of severe insomnia during the 1990’s), cure ailments of the heart, eyes, pancreas, backbones, kidneys, and intestines. All that and they’re beautiful too.
Emeralds are associated with love and fidelity (A contradiction. See “dampen lust” above). They are also said to provide wisdom, harmony, patience and peace. An all-around good gem to have.
Now I want to go out and by an emerald. How about you?
Another theme this month is “questions I wish I’d asked my mother.” Unfortunately, my mother and I weren’t close and I can’t recall ever having a serious discussion with her. We were so different and I believe she didn’t know what to do with me. My mom died in 2010, in her mid-80’s, from Parkinson’s and dementia. Even though we weren’t close, I do miss her at times. She gave me a precious gift I will always cherish: she instilled in me a love of books. She was a high-school dropout who I never saw read a book for herself. Yet when I was a toddler I remember going to the library with my mother. We’d check out books and she’d read them to me. Those are my best memories of her.
Since we’re on the subject of emeralds, an emerald engagement ring figures in my novel A Groom for Christmas. My heroine, Graceann, is a jewelry designer. The book's cover shows her wearing an emerald and diamond ring.
For a Christmas treat in May, here’s a glimpse of this award-winning sexy, sweet, story.
A GROOM FOR CHRISTMAS is a new twist on the classic Hallmark Christmas movie full of family, humor, love, and a little bit of redemption.
Family pressure just might make her do something crazy...
When a young woman hires her hometown’s former bad boy to be her pretend fiancé for the holidays, she finds she can’t wrap up her feelings as easily as a Christmas gift.
New York jewelry designer Graceann Palmer has two days to find a fiancé to bring home to Pennsylvania for the holidays so her matchmaking mama will quit fixing her up with jerks. The Falcon, a motorcycle-riding, leather-clad former high school crush, helped her out once before. Maybe he'll do it again.
Jake Falco, man of many mysteries, is back in town on a mission—one the people of Spirit Lake most likely won't appreciate. When Graceann presents him with her crazy scheme, it gives him something he's always wanted—a chance to get to know Graceann. It also gives him the perfect opportunity to add fuel to his project of revenge.
But as Jake and Graceann grow closer, their engagement-of-convenience begins to feel like the real deal—until Jake’s secrets are revealed.
Can a relationship that began with lies and secrets bloom like a rare Christmas rose into happily-ever-after?
Sign up for my newsletter, Food, Film & Fiction, at www.caramarsi.com