(CNN) - Cleopatra wore them. Elizabeth Taylor loved them. Egyptians believed they could bring eternal life.
Though diamonds enjoy the reputation of being a girl's best friend, emeralds in fact are more rare -- and more valuable.
"Sought after for their rich color, regal history and identifiable look, emeralds are one of the most iconic gemstones in the jewelry industry," Amanda Gizzi, a spokesperson for Jewelers of America, a New York-based trade association, said in an email.