While the first emerald mine is often said to have belonged to Cleopatra, emeralds in Egypt actually go back to the beginning of Ptolemaic period, about 300 BC. Emeralds were actively mined there until about 1500, when demand ebbed after Spanish conquistadors appropriated the high-grade beryl mines that were tended by native South Americans in what is now Columbia. Today, mines in Muzo and Chivor, Columbia, continue to be leading sources of...Continue Reading