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Article: Colombian emeralds in the Cathedral of Sal de Zipaquirá


Colombian emeralds in the Cathedral of Sal de Zipaquirá

Colombia, known as the emerald country, is home to one of the most precious natural treasures in the world. These green gems, appreciated for their beauty and rarity, have a long history in Colombian culture.

In this article, we will explore the fascinating connection between Colombian emeralds and the Cathedral of Sal de Zipaquirá, an iconic place that combines the country's geological wealth with its religious heritage.

The History of the Colombian Emeralds

Colombian emeralds are known for their intense green color and exceptional transparency.

These gems have been extracted in Colombia for more than 500 years, with the indigenous Muiscas first valued them as a symbol of power and spirituality. Since then, emeralds have been coveted by collectors and jewellers from around the world.

Emerald mining is an ancient tradition in Colombia and has been carried out by local communities for centuries. These precious gems have become an integral part of the country's cultural and economic heritage.

Zipaquirá: Beyond the Surface

Zipaquirá, a picturesque Colombian village located a few hours from Bogota, is famous for its Cathedral of Salt. This architectural marvel is located 180 meters underground in a disused salt mine.

The cathedral is a testament to human wit and spiritual devotion, but it is also a reminder of the vast geological treasure that lies beneath the feet of Colombians.

Within the Cathedral of Sal de Zipaquirá, visitors can marvel at the way the emeralds have been incorporated into the very structure of the cathedral.

These gems are used as part of the decorations and are strategically illuminated to highlight their unique beauty. The green reflexes emanating from the cathedral walls create a mystical atmosphere that transports visitors to an underground world full of natural wonders.

The Spiritual Significacy of the Emeralds

For the muiscas, the native indigenous people of the region, the emeralds had a profound spiritual meaning. They believed these gems had healing powers and were symbols of fertility and protection. By incorporating the emeralds into the Cathedral of Sal, the builders paid tribute to this ancient spiritual tradition and honored the Colombian people's connection to the land and its natural treasures.

As demand for Colombian emeralds continues to grow worldwide, it is crucial to address the importance of ethical and sustainable mining. Efforts are under way to ensure that local communities benefit from this industry and that the environment is protected.

Preservation of emerald mines is essential to ensure that future generations can appreciate and enjoy these beautiful gems.

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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