From The excellent and pleasant worke of Iulius Solinus Polyhistor, Chap. XXIV, translated by Arthur Golding, Gent. (1587):
In the Asiatik Scythia are rich Lands, but notwithstanding uninhabitable. For wheras they abound in gold and precious stones: the Gryffons possesse all, a most fierce kind of foule, and cruell beyond all cruelnese: whose outragiousnesse is such a stoppe to all commers, that hardlie and seldome arryve any there: for as soone as they see them they teare them in peeces, as creatures made of purpose to punish the rashnesse of covetous folke.
The Arymaspes fight with them to get away theyr precious stones, the natures whereof I wyll not refuse to treate of. Thys Land is the native soyle of the Emerawdes, to which Theophrast gyveth the thyrd place of estimation among precious stones.