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Article: Colombian emeralds in the European and Asian market


Colombian emeralds in the European and Asian market

For the emerald guild and even for the connoisseurs of buying and selling this green gem, it is no secret that the largest investors of Colombian natural emeralds are Asians and Europeans.

Perhaps this great interest of foreign markets is due to the fact that today Colombia is one of the main producers of high quality emeralds in the world. To say, in 2020 the mining sector accounted for 25 per cent of Colombian exports worth $7.7 billion and the emerald sector accounted for 1 per cent of mining exports.

Then we will talk a little about these two markets, the European and the Asian and we will delve a little deeper into their interests in the purchase of emeralds.

Larger buyers of Colombian emeralds

Defining the percentage of tourists who travel day by day to Colombia exclusively to acquiring Colombian emeralds is uncertain, as many of them seek to buy emeralds mounted in jewelry and even seek no more than simple tourism.

However, according to the Colombian Federation of Emeralds, by 2021 some nationalities were established for those who buy or destinations to which large quantities of Colombian emeralds are exported, among them are:

  • Asians: the purchase of emeralds predominates in countries such as China, India and Thailand. In China, 80% of Colombian emeralds are bought, some of these gems end up in cities such as Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.

As for India and Thailand, these account for only 6% of Colombian natural emerald purchases.

  • Americans: Another of the destinations and nationalities in search of Colombian emeralds is the United States, which takes 8% of the country's green gem sales.
  • Europeans: last and although they are declining after the recent COVID 19 pandemic, European countries and nationalities acquire by 6% Colombian emeralds.

Colombian emerald market

In Europe, there is a significant demand for Colombian emeralds, especially in countries such as Spain, Italy and France, where there is a long tradition of fine jewelry and high fashion.

Colombian emeralds are often used in the manufacture of high-quality jewelry, such as rings, earrings and necklaces, and can be highly valued by collectors and lovers of precious stones.

However, demand may be affected by economic and political factors, as well as market trends, which, as mentioned above, were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Asian market and Colombian emeralds

Colombian emeralds also have a presence in the Asian market, although to a lesser extent than in the European and US market.

In countries such as Japan, South Korea and China, there is growing demand for Colombian emeralds, especially among middle- and upper-class consumers looking for high-quality and exclusive jewelry.

Of all Asian countries, however, China must be highlighted in the Colombian emerald market. Demand for Colombian emeralds in China has grown significantly, especially among some Chinese designers and jewellers who have begun using Colombian emeralds in their designs due to their beauty and rarity.

Despite this, competition in the Asian market is high due to the presence of other gemstones such as jade and sapphire, which are highly valued in Asian culture, especially in China and India.

Still, Colombian emeralds have a good reputation in Asia and are known as the best quality in the world.

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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