One of the most beautiful and instantly recognizable gemstones, the emerald has been treasured for its beauty for centuries. Popular with everyone from Queen Cleopatra to Elizabeth Taylor, the emerald is the only gemstone to have a gem cut named after it. The emerald cut is a rectangular outline step-cut whose large facets give a clear, striking view of the emerald's rich color. The emerald is the birthstone for May and has long been considered symbolic of rebirth and spring. Emeralds are found throughout the world, with the most plentiful and high quality sources being found in South America. The Spanish spent years searching for the source of the large and fine emeralds used by the Incas and finally found it in what is now Colombia. Today these same mines are among the most plentiful emerald mines in the world, along with mines in Brazil, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.