Emerald is the Modern and Traditional birthstone for May. Emerald is the only stone besides Topaz that is listed in all of the ancient birthstone tables. Emerald is the most precious stone in the Beryl group. The name Emerald comes from the Greek "smaragdos" via the Old French "esmeralde", and really just means 'green gemstone.' Emerald's precious green color is caused by trace amounts of chromium and vanadium. Emeralds are considered one of the four Precious Stones; the Sapphire, the Emerald, the Ruby and the Diamond. Emeralds are found in many countries, but Columbia and Brazil are the major producers; Columbia is recognized as the source for the finest stones. They are also found in Pakistan, Russia, Australia, South Africa, India, Norway, and the United States. Incas and Aztecs of South America, where the best emeralds are still found today, regarded the emerald as a holy gemstone. However, probably the oldest known finds were once made near the Red Sea in Egypt. These gemstone mines, already exploited by Egyptian pharaohs between 3000 and 1500 B.C. and later referred to as 'Cleopatra's Mines', had already been exhausted by the time the mines were rediscovered in the early 19th century. Written many centuries ago, the Vedas, the holy scriptures of India, say the emerald enhances the well-being, and are supposed to aid in fertility and abundance. Commonly today, they are closely associated with love and gifts of love.