The most sought-after beryl variety is the highly regarded emerald. This gem ranges from light to very dark green to a very strong bluish green. It is the May birthstone and gifted on both the 20th and 35th wedding anniversary. Rarely flawless, the best quality emeralds hail from Colombia. It can also be found in Africa, Russia, Afghanistan, Australia, and Brazil. Emeralds are one of the oldest gemstones found on Earth. Evidence of Egyptian mining go as far back as 4,000 years ago. Many legends and tales have circulated since. One common belief is that emerald is a great source of protection. It wards off evil and brings good fortune to its wearer. It is also a symbol of hope and balance.