Historically, the very finest quality emeralds have been found in Colombia, in particular three key mining areas – Muzo, Coscuez and Chivor – which between them have been supplying the world with exceptional gems for many hundreds of years. Stones from these locations are widely regarded to be the most beautiful and intense in colour with a purity of green unmatched by those from any other source. Whilst the earliest record of emerald mining was in Ancient Egypt, indeed Cleopatra loved these gems so much she is reputed to have had her own mine, the beauty of the stones from Colombia could not be rivalled. Since the 16th Century these stones have been widely traded throughout Europe and their superiority in terms of colour and size meant they quickly became the most highly prized emeralds in the world. Mining in these areas continues today and they are still producing exceptional quality gems which are as desirable today as they were to the early Colombians who first discovered them.