- Posted by Colombia
- On Monday May 20th, 2019
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Emerald stones are a sought-after precious gem, traditionally associated with Colombia. Colombia is one of the main producers and exporters of emerald stones. Today, Colombia is the third largest producer, after Zambia and Brazil, but remains the leader in terms of export sales.
Most of the production of Colombian emeralds comes from the department of Boyacá. There are two belts where most of the mines from which the ore is extracted are found and because of the particular geographical and geological conditions the rocks formed there crystallize through hydrothermal processes. Because of the special conditions Colombian emeralds have a special proportion of chromium, vanadium and iron, giving it a particular coloration and transparency. In turn Colombian emeralds are unique in the eyes of international buyers and are considered higher quality to those produced by its main competitors. In fact, researchers like Raquel Alonso, curator of the Museum of Mineralogy and Geology at Harvard University, classified Colombian gems as unique and their extractive processes as one of the best in the world.
Following trade agreements with countries such as India and China, exports reached the sum of USD $140 million in 2018. While there have been a number of fluctuations in the levels of global production of emeralds through over the years, the value received as a result of Colombian exports, has continued to increase, at a rate between 4% and 5% per year, which means that the income of this market remains solid and upwards.
Additionally, it is estimated that there is still a large number of emeralds that have not been discovered and therefore have not yet been extracted. According to estimates from the Colombian Geological Service, a governmental entity in charge of evaluating the state of the geological resources of Colombia, there are more than 100,000 productive hectares of which only about 10,000 have been explored, that is, one tenth. These figures show that the production of emeralds in Colombia is far from suffering a lack of raw material, on the contrary it is healthy and growing.
To encourage and accelerate the growth of the extraction of emeralds in Colombia, the National Federation of Esmeraldas of Colombia (Fedesmeraldas) has begun to act to increase the visibility of the Colombian emeralds. Currently Fedesmeraldas is working towards hosting a symposium in Colombia and inviting worldwide emerald producers.
The extraction of emeralds is one of the main engines of growth in the regions where gem extraction is concentrated. Emeralds generate an estimate of close to 3,000 direct jobs and more than 12,000 indirect jobs. Similarly, based on infrastructure investments made by the main players in the sector, in coordination with Colombian state entities, high-impact social projects have broken ground.
Colombian emeralds are a sector Colombia is very proud of and generates a positive image of the country’s economy at an international level. It is also an attraction for foreign tourists who come to find most beautiful emeralds in the world at excellent prices.
SRS Colombia offers destination services throughout the country with specialized consultants in each region, including the emerald producing department of Boyacá and its capital, Tunja.
Colprensa. (2018, September 9). Colombia exporta US$140.000 millones en esmeraldas a todo el mundo. Retrieved April 23, 2019, from https://www.larepublica.co/economia/colombia-exporta-us140000-millones-en-esmeraldas-a-todo-el-mundo-2768922
EFE. (2019, March 19). Las alianzas comerciales impulsan la exportación de esmeraldas. Retrieved April 23, 2019, from https://www.eje21.com.co/2019/03/las-alianzas-comerciales-impulsan-la-exportacion-de-esmeraldas-colombianas/
EFE. (2019, March 13). Esmeraldas colombianas son analizadas en Harvard. Retrieved April 23, 2019, from https://www.laopinion.com.co/economia/esmeraldas-colombianas-son-analizadas-en-harvard-175048#OP
Fedesmeraldas. (2018, October 5). ¿Prospera el negocio de las esmeraldas en Colombia? Retrieved April 23, 2019, from http://www.fedesmeraldas.org/prospera-el-negocio-de-las-esmeraldas-en-colombia-2/
Portafolio. (2018, September 12). Las esmeraldas mueven US$ 150 millones al año. Retrieved April 23, 2019, from https://www.portafolio.co/economia/las-esmeraldas-mueven-us-150-millones-al-ano-521100
Unidad de Planeación Minero-Energética. (2018, December 21). Esmeraldas Caracterización y análisis de mercado internacional de minerales en el corto, mediano, y largo plazo con vigencia al año 2035. Retrieved April 23, 2019, from http://www1.upme.gov.co/simco/Cifras-Sectoriales/Datos/mercado-inter/Producto4_Esmeraldas_final_v2.pdf