Emerald's lush green has soothed souls and excited imaginations since antiquity. Its name comes from the ancient Greek word for green, "smaragdus." Pliny the Elder described emerald in his Natural History, published in the first century AD: "...nothing greens greener" was his verdict. He described the use of emerald by early lapidaries, who "have no better method of restoring their eyes than by looking at the emerald, its soft, green color comforting and removing their weariness and lassitude." Even today the color green is known to relieve stress and eye strain.
Legends gave emerald the power to make its wearer more intelligent and quick-witted. It was once believed to cure diseases like cholera and malaria. Its color reflects new spring growth, which makes perfect choice of a birthstone for the month of May. It's also the gemstone for twentieth and thirty-fifth wedding anniversaries.