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The Merry Month of May’s Birthstones and Birth Flowers

What are the lucky birthstones and birth flowers for those born in the merry month of May? Read on to find out more about the meanings behind each of these unique birth gems and birth flowers for the fifth month of the year!

emerald and diamond ring

Hey, John!

Are there birthstones and/or birth flowers for the month of May? I understand having those gems or flowers around you is a wish for good luck.

If so, do any of them have any interesting meanings?

I’d like to surprise my partner, Laura (who was born in May), by bringing them into our wedding if it’s possible.


–Cameron in Cannon Beach, Oregon

Hey, Cameron!

That’s a great question! The answer is “yes!”

The birthstones or birth gems for May are emerald and agate.

The birth flowers are Lily of the Valley and the hawthorn. Let’s dive a little deeper.

Lily of the Valley
emerald necklace

May’s Birthstones:

Emerald and Agate



To the ancients, there were four unbelievably valuable, precious gems: diamond, ruby, sapphire, and emerald.


Quick facts:


  • An emerald symbolizes hope, wellbeing, good luck, renewal, truth, and love.

  • A gem quality emerald is 20x rarer than a diamond.

  • An emerald is in the beryl family of gems which includes aquamarine (March’s birthstone) and morganite (the Zodiac gemstone for Libra).

diamond and emerald ring
Wallis Simpson and her emerald engagement ring
  • While a beryl is without color, the emerald gets its green color when there is chromium in the beryl.

  • The name emerald is derived from the Old French word, “esmeralde.”

  • An emerald was the center stone in Wallis Simpson’s engagement ring. (See photo.)

  • When John F. Kennedy proposed to Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, the ring featured a gorgeous emerald. He was later president of the United States and she was First Lady.


The Ancient Greeks and Romans organized time differently. While we think of a person’s birth month, they thought of the astrological sign under which the person was born. Thus, birthstones—and the luck associated with each gem—were assigned to each astrological sign (e.g., Capricorn or Pisces). As the birthstone for Gemini, the agate became a birthstone for the month of May.

slices of blue and green agates set on necklaces
a collection of agate rings in different colors and patterns

Quick facts:

  • An agate symbolizes protection, strength, and courage.

  • It is believed that the agate brings good luck and fortune.

  • An agate is in the chalcedony family in nearly every color. It often has spots of color (and look freckled) or has bands of colors which look like stripes.

  • Mined over 3,000 years ago from the Achates River in Sicily, it is thought that river gave the agate its name.

How could you incorporate either the emerald or the agate (or both) into your engagement and marriage?

You could add either to an engagement ring or create a new piece of jewelry with either or both gemstones.


May’s Birth Flowers: Lily of the Valley and Hawthorn.


Lily of the Valley


The Lily of the Valley is a beautiful, diminutive white or pink flower suspended from the arch of a deep green stem. It is often found in wedding bouquets and floral arrangements.

Quick facts:

  • The Lily of the Valley symbolizes sweetness, joy, happiness, purity, modesty, innocence, and good luck.

  • According to the Christian legend, the tears of the Virgin Mary turned into Lily of the Valley flowers.


Lily of the Valley
Lily of the Valley
  • According to  some, St. Leonard fought a forest dragon; Lily of the Valley bloomed where his blood fell.

  • It is a popular design on vases and plates. 

  • Lily of the Valley is the national flower of Finland.

We’ll “finish” up with that! 😊


The hawthorn has white or pink flowers and small, red fruit.

Quick facts:

  • Hawthorn symbolizes happiness, hope, faith, beauty, and longevity.



white hawthorn flowers
fairy from
  • The Celts associated the hawthorn with the realm of the fairies because the hawthorn protects the fairy kingdom from evil spirits.

  • On May Day (May 1), boughs of hawthorn are hung in homes and public areas to welcome in the warmth of summer.

  • Hawthorn fruit is used to make wine, teas, and jams!

Either or both flowers could be added to wedding bouquets and floral arrangements.

How could you add these flowers to your wedding?

Either or both flowers could be added to wedding bouquets and floral arrangements.

If you have any additional questions, please reach out to me!

Your friend in the wedding business,

John Shyne


Images courtesy of and Images below here are from the Ainsworth House & Gardens Wedding Gallery on this website.

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