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Article: The land of large Colombian emeralds: Gachalá


The land of large Colombian emeralds: Gachalá

Some of the most valuable and famous emeralds in Colombia, known worldwide, have been obtained from the Gachalá mines, as they are the most beautiful and unique gems on the planet.

To talk about the emeralds of this municipality of Cundinamarca, we cannot fail to mention "La Emilia," recognized for being the largest, most beautiful and monumental gem of the whole world, found in this picturesque village.

But, these are not the only characteristics that make the gems of this town the most outstanding in the department of Cundinamarca, stay and we will tell you some details of the gemology of this area.

History of Gachalá

Inhabited until 1700 by the indigenous Chios, Gachalá, who in the muisca language has several meanings such as: Night Narrash, Defeat of the Night, or "Place of the Gachas," is perhaps the only one of the emerald lands of great relevance, which is not found in Boyacá.

Unlike mines such as Muzo, Coscuez and Chivor, the Gachalá region was not considered fertile and optimal land for agriculture, which meant that this territory did not have to be the scene of bloody battles, which were common among the population and the inhabitants of that time.

Apathy for these lands caused significant neglect in terms of their mining potential and therefore the extraction of emeralds became inactive, even after the Spanish colonization.

Just a century after the abandonment of its inhabitants, the Chíos and Father Mariano de Mendoza asked Viceroy Antonio José Amar and Bourbon for the donation of these lands in order to found a population.

When an opportunity for emerald extraction was discovered, the region of just under 6,000 inhabitants became green territory, leading to important finds of veins that have given much to talk about internationally. So much so that in 1967 it found "The Emilia," one of the largest, famous and most valuable emeralds in the world.

The Emilia, named after the "guaquera," or a mining woman who found her in the Vega de San Juan mine in Gachalá, weighs just over 3 pounds, has 7,025 carats and was sold at more than $28.5 million.

Emeralds of Gachalá

Emerald is one of the most valuable precious stones. It is the most famous green gemstone, and its deep green color gives it its unique status. Indisputably, Colombian emeralds are the most beautiful in the world and those of Gachal are the best in size and quality.

Colombian emeralds are really creations of a unique geological process around the world. Commonly, emeralds are formed in igneous rocks, which are the product of the cooling and solidification of lava, but in Colombia, these formations of gems are presented in sedimentary rocks, which allows in their formation process the saline contents of these rocks to eliminate a large amount of impurities.

In particular, the emeralds extracted in Gachal stand out for having a yellow, almost transparent light green color. Although its tone is not so intense, it stands out for being one of the gems of the country that lies with few inclusions.

As for their clarity, these Gachaleñas stones are usually translucent, with almost total absence of notorious carbons, minerals or other impurities typical of the stone.

Gachalá's famous emeralds

  • The Emily

The Emerald Gachalda or Esmeralda Emilia is one of the most valuable and famous emeralds in the world, it was found in 1967, in the mine called Vega de San Juan, located in Gachalá, a municipality of Cundinamarca, located in the Province of Guavio, which is 142 km from Bogotá.

Emilia, weighing a little over 3 pounds, is certainly inside the 5 largest emeralds found so far. This wonderful sample of size and beauty is named after La Emilia by the woman who discovered her in 1969 in the municipality of Gachalá.

Among its most outstanding characteristics are:

  • Form: Emerald.
  • State: raw, unstarted.
  • Color: intense green.
  • Quilates: 858 carats.
  • Weight: 172 grams.
  • Size: 5 centimeters.
  • Year of Extraction: 1967.

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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