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Article: 4 Steps to buy a Colombian Emerald


4 Steps to buy a Colombian Emerald

As we have said in many of our previous entries, emeralds are one of the most analyzed and unique precious stones in the world. Perhaps that is the main reason why thousands of buyers and tourists arrive annually in Colombia in the hope of acquiring the most beautiful emeralds in the world.

While this is not an easy-to-sell or buy gem because of the multiple features that make there not one emerald equal to another, you are looking to market or acquire a quality precious stone anyway.

To do this, it is important to know the elements that contribute to their value and here we will give you all the necessary guidelines so that you can find the perfect emerald.

1. Where to go to buy emeralds?

Each city in the country has a specific area, neighborhood or locality destined for the purchase and sale of 100% Colombian emeralds. If you wish to make a secure purchase at a jewelry store or trade office you must ensure that it has a register endorsed by RUCOM (Single Mineral Marketing Record), as this document certifies the authenticity of the emeralds and the legality of their marketing.

In the city of Bogotá is the Emerald Area a place located in front of the station of Transmilenio Museo del Oro, near the University of the Rosario. There, you'll find the famous commissioners, men and women in charge of marketing this precious gem.

However, if you want it for safety you can also buy or sell emeralds directly in the mines with the certainty that they were removed directly from your site.

In the northwestern area of the department of Boyacá, it is where the largest emerald deposits are concentrated, there are the mines of Muzo, Borbur, Coscuez, Chivor, Peñas Blancas, La Pita and Quípama. Gachetá and Gachalá, located in the northeast of Cundinamarca, complete the most important area of emerald exploitation in the country.

2. Find the perfect emerald

Once you have decided on the safe place to buy or sell your emeralds, it is time to look at them in detail, here some tips so as not to fail in the attempt:

  1. Shape: Define what size or cuts you want to acquire is. I mean, you want a round emerald, square, emerald carving, trapiche, oval, heart, cabin, etc. This will be important to define the value of the gem.
  1. Size: Like most gemstones, emeralds can be presented in a wide variety of sizes, ranging from 0.02 to 0.5 carats to gemstones of 1 to 5 carat gemstones.


While it is true that larger gemstones are more valuable than smaller stones, quality is as important as size, and larger emeralds are more likely to have large or visible inclusions that can affect their clarity and value.

  1. Check the color: emeralds come in a wide range of colors. Color is one of the most important factors in determining the value of an emerald. The difference in the color of the emeralds is due to the different amounts of chrome, vanadium and iron in the environment in which they formed, so you must establish if you want a crystalline emerald (clear, transparent foe) or an emerald of good color (green bluish or intense green).
  1. Look for inclusions. The inclusions are all material (such as gas bubbles or tiny crystals) that has been trapped inside a precious stone during its formation. An emerald with excessive inclusions that diminish its transparency or clarity is worth less than an emerald with less inclusions.

TIP: Be cautious about the inclusions that reach the surface of the precious stone, as they can cause it to fracture in the future.

3. Treatments and certification

  1. Treatments: Due to the fact that emeralds often have notorious inclusions, it is well known that some emeralds and jewelers choose to apply treatments with oil, acids or other substances to be applied to stones so that emeralds light up purer.

Therefore, you should keep in mind that when a stone is treated its value decreases at the same time as it is . Likewise, the less treatment you will be the more appealous, therefore, the more expensive.

  1. Certify your emeralds: In order to properly assess the value of an emerald you consider buying, you can request a report from a gemological laboratory. This will identify the type, size, cutting, clarity, color and origin of the emerald.

This assessment will give you a degree of confidence in the quality and value of the precious stone, even before you get the quote from a third party.

4. Final tips for acquiring emeralds

Make sure you find out if the emerald you're going to acquire is a natural stone or a synthetic one. Very clear gemstones and a very vivid green almost without inclusions can be too perfect, which indicates that it is a synthetic emerald.

Whether before or shortly after buying it, have another jeweler or a commissioner assess whether its value is the same one in which they sold it to you. If they sold it to you with false information about quality, go back to the jewelry store for a refund or a change.

Paula A. Bonilla 

Social communicator and journalist from Sergio Arboleda University in Colombia. She is also a jeweler and is passionate about constantly learning about precious gems and national high jewelry.

Currently, she is working for one of Bogotá's most important jewelry stores, Emerald by Love. This jewelry store has over 40 years of experience and has 2 physical branches in the capital city of Colombia, located in the city center.

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