What is the birthstone for May? It's emerald. It's a bright green gem that may seem unobtainable. Emeralds are very expensive & the quality of the gems aren't the best. Nick Lachey even bought Jessica Simpson a 12 carat emerald ring on the show Newlyweds as a Christmas present. Here is how to get the May birthstone even if you aren't married to a celebrity.

Embrace flaws. Emeralds are one of the few gemstones where the industry standard accepts natural inclusions. When you think of the May birthstone color you probably think of a deep, clear, dark green sparkling rock. When you actually hit the jewelry stores, you'll be in for a shock. Many of these gems lack clarity & they may have visible inclusions or black spots. Learn to accept this as part of the reality of emeralds. Each flaw just makes your birthstone ring that much more unique. Just make sure you aren't paying too much for it.

Be prepared to spend money. Emeralds are one of the more expensive birthstones out there. It may take you a few years to buy your first emerald piece. Even then you may only own one in your lifetime. Set a goal & put away a certain amount of money every month. This way it will be an accomplishment when you finally get the jewelry & you'll treasure it that much more.

Love yellow gold. Emeralds are often set in yellow gold to really contrast the green color. White gold only became popular a few years ago & since emeralds are such a traditional gem, the trends haven't really followed yet. Yellow gold is being seen a lot more on the runways, so it shouldn't disappoint.

Watch out for created stones. When you are on ebay, or even at the jewelry store, keep your eyes open. If you see a clear, dark green emerald for just a few hundred dollars or less, be skeptical. Look for hints on the tag such as l/c which means lab created. This is a more affordable way to get these birthstones:  May can get expensive. However, you might want a ring that actually came from the Earth. Either way, know what you are really buying so you aren't disappointed later on.

Look for a three stone ring. You'll often see emeralds set in a past present & future style. This setting is traditional & unusual at the same time. It may have personal meaning for you. Plus, the ring will seem more substantial than a solitaire, even if it's set with small stones.

Make it last. Buying a faceted emerald stone is a big investment. Since it's your birthstone, & your signature piece, you'll want to be able to wear it for years to come. Pick a setting that can easily be resized later on. Also, go more traditional with your emerald so it won't go out of style.

Find emerald rough. Venture into a jewelry making store. They probably won't have a lot of the traditional birthstones for May. However, they often have strands of gemstone chips. You can buy one of these & turn it into a funky bracelet or necklace. Granted, it doesn't have sophisticated sparkle but it's very much part of the trend in the jewelry world right now. You can still own your birthstone even if you are on a budget.

Let emeralds take a back seat. Since emeralds are so expensive, it might not seem like you'll ever get to own the May birthstone. It doesn't have to be the center stone of your piece. Look for jewelry that uses emeralds as an accent stone. This way you'll still get the bright green color without paying all of that green. Plus, the stones will look & be of a better quality because they are smaller. You might even be able to find a freshwater pearl ring accented with emerald chips for under $100.