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Article: A ancestral Colombian emeralds


A ancestral Colombian emeralds

Colombian emeralds are recognized all over the world for their exceptional beauty and quality. However, these precious gems are not only luxurious objects, but also ancestral treasures that have been valued throughout history.

Colombian emeralds have captivated various cultures for millennia, being used in rituals, ceremonies and even in the locker rooms of many of these civilizations.

In this article, we explore the fascinating world of ancestral emeralds, discovering their cultural significance, their presence in ancient civilizations and the mysteries that surround them.

Mystical origins of Colombian emeralds

The origin of Colombian emeralds is wrapped in a mystical aura. According to indigenous legends, these green gems are born from the heart of Mother Earth, where fire and water are joined to create a unique energy.

These ancestral beliefs connect emeralds to fertility, healing and spiritual connection with nature. For many pre-Columbian cultures, emeralds were more than just ornaments, they were sacred objects that embodied the power of the earth.

For thousands of years, Colombian emeralds have fascinated various civilizations, including:

  • Muisca culture: inhabited the Colombian territory before the arrival of the Spanish conquerors, considered the emeralds a divine manifestation. These gems were used in religious rituals and important ceremonies, and they were given the power to communicate with the gods and ensure the prosperity of their people.
  • The Incas: they also valued emeralds and considered them a form of connection with the spiritual realm. These gems were used in ritual objects and jewelry that adorned the Inca elite. In addition, the Incas used emeralds as a symbol of status and power, since only the rulers and priests had access to them.

Oldest emeralds in Colombia

Colombia's oldest emeralds date back thousands of years, and their antiquity is based on archaeological finds. Although it is difficult to determine precisely which are the oldest emeralds, because many have been extracted and marketed over time, emeralds have been discovered in archaeological contexts dating back to pre-Columbian civilizations.

One of the most outstanding findings is the treasure of the tomb of the Zipa chief, dating from the Muisca period in Colombia. This archaeological discovery revealed a large number of emeralds in the tomb of an indigenous ruler, which shows that emeralds were already appreciated and valued at that time.

Another notable example is the tomb of Atahualpa, the last Inca ruler, located in Ecuador. Although it is not in Colombian territory, it is relevant to mention it because of its importance in the history of emeralds. Emeralds were found embedded in jewelry and ritual objects in this tomb, indicating that the Incas also valued these gems and considered them valuable.

These archaeological findings demonstrate the antiquity and importance of emeralds in the pre-Columbian cultures of the region. These archaeological discoveries provide us with an invaluable insight into how these gems have been valued and appreciated over time in the Andean region.

Colombian emeralds in archaeology

Colombian emeralds have been discovered in tombs and archaeological sites, leaving palpable traces of their appreciation in the past. These discoveries show the importance given to emeralds as valuable objects and symbols of power and status in ancient civilizations.

In addition to their aesthetic value, Colombian emeralds had a wide range of uses in ancient cultures. These gems were believed to have healing and protective properties, and were used in amulets and jewelry to remove diseases and bad spirits. They were also given the ability to provide spiritual vision and wisdom to those who possessed them.

In Inca culture, emeralds were especially valued for their intense green colour, which symbolized fertility and connection to nature. In addition, the Incas considered them sacred and used them in their religious rituals, believing that they were a direct link to the gods.

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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