Emeralds are a beautiful green gemstone in the Beryl family. The mineral Beryl comes in a variety of colors, but only the strongly green tones are considered emeralds. The green beryl has been valued for thousands of years around the world, and is said to have been the favorite gem of Cleopatra.

The oldest emerald mines were located in Egypt, but now emeralds are mined all over the world. There are emerald deposits in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa, with the most prolific mines being located in Columbia and Zambia.

The word emerald comes from the greek word smaragdos meaning “green gem.” Along with diamonds, sapphires, and rubies, emeralds are considered precious stones. Emerald is the birthstone for May birthdays.