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Miracle Power of Gems

Emerald Gemstones

The true striking beauty on an Emerald stone is virtually indescribable. Whether you are looking for stunning Columbian Emeralds, loose Emeralds or natural Emeralds, our vast inventory of AA grade Faceted and Cabochon Emeralds offers a seemingly unlimited array of opportunities to create a magnificent piece of jewelry for you or someone truly special in your life.

Emerald is worn to please Mercury and is regarded as a traditional birthstone for May borns. Interestingly, in some cultures Emerald is the traditional gift for the 55th wedding anniversary, 20th anniversary or 35th anniversary. Emerald gives mental alertness, memory, communication skills and mental control.

• Sun signs: Gemini, Virgo, Taurus and Libra.
• Celestial ruler: Mercury
• Natural occurrence: Columbia, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Russia.
• Cosmic Color: green
• Category: Beryl variety
• Chemical formula: Beryllium aluminum silicate with chromium.

Emeralds from Colombia

A Treatise to the king of Emeralds

Bluish Green Color of Colombian EmeraldsCANUTILLOS!” Shouted a miner, somewhere deep in the Andes of Colombia, the South American country which has the tribute of being the source of world’s finest Emeralds. He was working for several hours on a vein-shaped crack. He encountered innumerable pockets of “moralla” (uncrystallised green Beryl), little of use to him, but knowing that now success was within reach he continued his digging in hope that his hard work was soon going to gift him with a very sweet reward – Canutillos – the Colombian miners’ name for good quality Emerald crystals.
The crystals of emerald which are usually of a blue green colour are unfortunately often shattered owing to various geological events. These crystals are sometimes covered by coating of limonitic red iron oxide which needs to be cleaned off by acid in order to see quality of the Emeralds. However, the transparency and quality of Colombian Emeralds far surpasses the quality of Emeralds from any other area.

Lore & History

Centuries back, it was the native Indians who realized something valuable in the Emeralds which they used for barter with the neighboring tribes. Later, when Pizzaro conquered South America and despoiled Peru, he took from the Incas a colossal quantity of Emeralds, many of them of incredible sizes, and sent them to the Queen of Spain. Gradually, the fame of the incredulous green stone spread throughout Europe. The Emerald mines of Colombia are situated in the eastern range of the Andes lying north-east of Bogotá, the Colombian Capital. Emeralds are mined from two locations, the western zone that contains the Penas Blancas, Cosquez, Muzo and Yacopi mining regions and the eastern zone containing the Chivor/Somondoco and Gachala mining regions.

Emerald in Palm
Magnificent Muzo and Cosquez mines

Despite the history surrounding the Chivor mines, the best quality Emeralds are found from the mine at Muzo which, with the mine at Cosquez, 10 km to the north-north-west, is owned by the Empresa Colombina de Minas (Ecominas) of the Colombian government and leased to private enterprises on a ten year lease basis.
The geology of this area is similar to that of Chivor, but the Emerald-bearing veins contain calcite, quartz, dolomite, and pyrites and rub through a black carbonaceous limestone and shale which form the country rock. In contrast to the Zambian Emeralds which are found in hard schist rocks, the mining in the soft shale is easier and hence blasting techniques are not mandatory for the recovery of Emeralds, this is also the reason for the recovery of larger sized, cleaner Emeralds.
Like the Emeralds from Chivor which are famous for the blue green colour, the Muzo Emerald have a yellowish-green colour and have a warm velvety appearance which is highly prized. The gemological properties of Emeralds from Muzo are nearly similar to that of Chivor in terms of specific gravity and refractive index.

A Colombian Miner at Muzo Mines

A Colombian Emerald miner at Muzo mines

The Charismatic Chivor

Rough Colombian Emeralds from El ChivorWhen Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada conquered Colombia in 1537, the first indication came that the South American country may hold some great Emerald deposits. He was given nine stones by the inhabitants of the town of Guacheta. Although the location of the mines was a well guarded secret by the Indians, a youngster betrayed their trust and gave the whereabouts of the mine at Somondoco, the mines now known best as El Chivor. However, within 100 years the mines were abandoned, the reason may have been the lack of good material or the discovery of finer quality Emeralds at Muzo area, and the mining site gradually covered by vegetation was lost in history.
In 1896, Don Francisco Restrepo, who merely had a note in his pocket written by a friar on Spanish conquest which said “the mines of Chivor are situated on the point of a ridge from which the Ilanos and Orinoco can be seen”, rediscovered the lost mines. He then formed the Chivor Mining Company which mined for over 20 years but not with much success.

The gemological characteristics of Emeralds from Chivor are unique to it, the Emeralds have a specific gravity of 2.69, and they have a median refractive index of 1.579 with birefringence of 0.005-0.006. They also show a fairly red colour under the Chelsea colour filter due to the presence of Chromium. Although some stones are colored by Vanadium which does not show red under the colour filter, the major coloring element is Chromium. Also the Chivor Emeralds are famous for their three phase inclusions (the co-existence of a solid, liquid and gaseous phase inclusion in the Emerald).

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