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Article: What are the main mines of Colombian Emeralds?


What are the main mines of Colombian Emeralds?

Boyacá and Cundinamarca are the emerald areas of Colombia. For each of these areas there are 6 to 10 main mines in which the veins of the most famous emeralds in the world are located.

In each of the mines that we will mention below are the Colombian emeralds of excellent quality and a distinctive color. Therefore, below we will talk about the main mines of the country and some of the characteristics of the emeralds that occur in each region and municipality

Minas Boyacá

Muzo, in the northwestern part of the department of Boyacá, is one of the most recognized mines in Colombia in the world, and where the largest deposits of this precious stone are concentrated.

However, among other mines in this department are the mines of Borbur, Coscuez, Chivor, Peñas Blancas, La Pita and Chiípama. Here are some of his particularities:

  • Muzo:

Next to the mines of Coscuez, in Boyacá, Muzo completes one of the most important emerald deposits in this area of the center-east of the country. In this mine, from which 70% of the world's emeralds are extracted, some of the best quality Colombian emeralds have been found.

The journey to get to Muzo takes approximately six or seven hours from Bogotá. The crossing begins with the northern exit of the Colombian capital. Once traveled 60 miles and encounter a region of cold cliffs that give way to jungle valleys, you will have found the deposits of the world's finest emeralds.

Muzo's areas are usually between 800 and 1000 metres above sea level. It is estimated that the deposits of the deposits of the mine deposits have a training period of 32 million years.

The extraction of the emeralds has been carried out for several years in tunnels, of these tunnels located at the Muzo site have been found the best quality emeralds in the world called oil drip.

This is due to its impressive combination of intense green colour, its purity given by the calcite that brings the characteristic aspect of this type of emerald, its vibrant fire and its almost perfect geometry.

  • The Pita:

La Pita is an emerald mine located in the western belt of the Colombian emerald mining area in the department of Boyacá. Currently, the Colombian company Zuliana De Esmeraldas Ltda operates in it.

Known as one of Colombia's largest emerald mines, La Pita has become one of the most renowned sites in the Boyacá department. From its veins, the largest and highest quality emeralds in Colombia are extracted.

This mine, famous for containing the highest intensity of greens in emeralds, is located between the mines of Muzo and Coscuez in the mining district of Maripi, Boyacá, also delimiting the so-called Mining River or Río Minas.

  • Borbur:

Its extension is 178 square kilometers and being located in the eastern mountain range of the Andes, it presents a topography with elevations ranging from 500 to 1,500 meters.

Among its orographic accidents are the heights of La Chapa and Calutero. Along with these, the hills of Fura and Tena (known as the emerald hills) are the greatest tourist attraction, for their lush beauty and vegetation.

The local economy is based especially on the emerald exploitation of the mines, Coscuez, Calcetero, Peñas Blancas and Chizo Cuepar, by companies such as Esmeracol, Coesminas, Tecminas and others made up of different partners.

  • Coscuez:

The beauty of Coscuez and its unique nature have made it one of the mines of extraction of favorite emeralds for the miners, own and foreigners from this area of Boyacá in Colombia.

Located in the lush and green mountainous department of Boyacá, the Coscuez emerald mine covers an area of 46 hectares and is about 228 kilometers from Bogotá.

The Coscuez mine is historically one of the world's most important emerald mines, has been in operation for more than 400 years and has produced some of Colombia's finest emeralds.

  • Chivor:

Chivor, Green and rich land in the indigenous language, is a flagship municipality of the Tenza Valley, Boyacá and Colombia, known for its unparalleled emerald mines. Located southeast of the department of Boyacá, it extends 35 km northeast of Gachalá, another important Colombian mine.

It is believed that the mines located in Chivor were discovered in 1537 in one of the explorations sent by the conqueror, Gonzálo Jiménez de Quesada, to Somondoco (now Chivor).

The emeralds extracted in Chivor represent the second line of the economy for this municipality, since the emeralds of this region are appreced at the national and international levels.

The emeralds of this area of the country stand out for having a bluish, 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.

  • Quipama:

Quípama is a municipality located in the department of Boyacá, in the province of the West.

It borders the municipalities of Muzo, Otanche and La Victoria (Boyacá)), and Paime and Yacopí (Cundinamarca). It is located 170 km from Tunja, the capital of the department.

It has one of the few operational airports in the department and unique in the emerald area. This municipality is characterized by the predominance of informal emerald mining, the so-called guaqueros.

Minas Cundinamarca  

Gachetá and Gachalá, two municipalities in the north-east of Cundinamarca, complete the most important area of emerald exploitation in the country.

  • Gachetá:

Gachetá in the Chibcha language means behind our tillage, referring to his dependence on Guatavitá and being behind it. The primitive inhabitants were the Chios of the Chibcha Nation.

Although it does not have great recognition as famous or large emeralds, certain areas and land within this municipality have a good production of emeralds.


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, in addition to its color, this town is recognized for producing the raw stones of better and large size of the country.

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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