Welcome to the Gemstones & Collectibles Blog

This blog will be dedicated to all aspects of high value gemstones, art, antiques, coins and gold pocket watches. It will also include stories and insights about the gem miners in Colombia, Brazil, Thailand and Zambia.


If a rare piece of art is found in a garage sale this will be written about! A rare coin cache find in a field in the United Kingdom will be news too. The sunken shipwrecks with emeralds, coins and art will be researched. As will the largest gems ever found and dealers in the industry will be news too.

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  • Colombia To Host World Emerald Symposium in October


    Colombia is to hold the first gathering of the world emerald industry, and is inviting all emerald producing countries to take part in the event in Bogota from October 13 to 15. The conference will be followed by a visit to the famous Muzo emerald mine.

    The countries invited to attend the conference include Zambia, Brazil, Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Madagascar. In addition, all relevant players are being invited, including governments, the private sector, civil society and all sectors of the emerald mining and manufacturing industry.

    The conference will provide a comprehensive analysis of all elements of the emerald industry, including geology, mining, resource management, laws and regulations, manufacturing, treatments, marketing, nomenclature, labs and certification, education, origin and traceability, harmonization of the sector at the global level, relations with consumers, jewelry, branding and overall supply chain integration from mine to market.

    The issues will be addressed by high-level experts from governments and the gemstone industry from a range of relevant countries, and there will also be discussions and working groups looking at the promotion of emeralds and addressing industry challenges.

    The official program of events, debates and discussions is due to be released shortly. The overall aim of the conference is to boost the image of emeralds as a valuable stone and to deal with a wide range of issues, including safety in mine production and transport and emeralds as a leading global precious gemstone and store of value and to enable the global emerald industry to have a common language and unified approach.

    An organized visit of delegates to the emerald mine in Muzo and surrounding area will take place on October 16.

    The official organizers of the conference are: the Ministry of Mines of Colombia; Agencias Nacional e Mineria ANM (National Mining Agency); Fedesmeraldas (the Colombian Emerald Federation); ACODES (the Emerald Exporters Association); APRECOL (the Colombian Emerald Miners Association); and ASOCOESMERAL (the Colombia Emerald Dealers Association).

    Source : gemstone.org/

  • 180,000-karat gem sparks international debate

    March 30, 2015, 7:07 AM

    One of the largest and rarest gems in the world is at the center of a court battle in Los Angeles. Several people are staking a claim to the 840-pound emerald, but they’re taking on an entire country, reports CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy.

    Kit Morrison said the Bahia belongs to him and two of his associates.

    “We’ve beaten six people,” Morrison said. “We’ve either settled with them or beaten them in court to show that we are the bonafide purchaser of this emerald. We are the last man standing, if you will.”

    The emerald was first discovered in Brazil’s Bahia mines in 2001. It was reportedly shipped from São Paulo to northern California, then bought, sold and allegedly stolen several times in several locations. Then in 2008, a man named Larry Biegler reported it stolen from his California warehouse. Police found the emerald in Las Vegas in the possession of Morrison, who said he bought it from Biegler.

    Morrison said he paid seven figures for the emerald and has proof.

    “We have a purchase and sale agreement we have a lot of documentation,” he said.

    But the stone’s story isn’t that crystal clear.

    “It belongs to Brazil and we are going to fight for it,” Brazilian government representative Marconi Melo said.

    The government claims in court documents that the emerald was “illegally mined, illegally transported, illegally exported to the United States.”

    When asked if they would even care if the emerald weren’t worth so much money, Melo said, “We care that no gem or stone or mineral of Brazil could be taken out of the country without the correct authorization.”

    He sees it as an exploitation of Brazil’s resources.

    In court Monday morning, Brazil will ask a judge to dismiss Morrison’s claim to the gem. Attorney John Nadolenco is representing Brazil and said the case against Morrison is clear.

    “The emerald was never theirs to buy, trade, sell, or invest in,” Nadolenco said. “The second it came out of the ground, it belonged to Brazil and it still does.”

    If it succeeds, the Brazilian government says the Bahia Emerald’s new home would be in a museum.

    © 2015 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved

  • A look at the emerald trade from rough crystals to gemstones and how the offices work in Colombia



    An exceptionally large, finest rough emerald crystal from Muzo. This was offered at $45,000 wholesale price in Bogota’ in 2004. It cut two stone (match pair) of squares 7 cts. each.


    Viewing an emerald rough with loupe on the famous Catorce or emerald market in Bogota.

    Emerald Buying

    Many of the brokers are women. My best stone during that trip, an exceptionally clean Muzo stone, heart shape of 5.65 ct. was purchased from a beautiful, female broker…nothing new about this selling tactic…except that it works well for the seller.

    Emerald check

    Checking emeralds. To know emeralds quality and price takes a lot, lot of experience. Checking emeralds under special loupe. A careful, close-up examination is very important. There are many synthetics offered to foreign buyers.

    Sorting emerald clean parcel

    A fine parcel of emerald crystals is examined. Technician checking more emeralds at a typical office. A master cutter, initializing the cutting process of an exceptional emerald crystal. This process is thought through very carefully before the cutting begins.

    Emerald cutter

    The master cutter’s wheel and examining the emerald crystal and try to decide how to get rid of the included section (whitish portion in the emerald crystal). Probably that occurred when the crystal was broken away from the rock host (matrix).

    Muzo pair fine gota de aceite 8.50 cttw

    Here is the final result: Finest color, top clarity and awesome cutting for this finest match pair, 8.5 cttw. from the Muzo crystal seen previously. In Colombia, top emeralds are called “gota de aceite”, that means “oil drop”. Were offered for sale in November 2004 in Bogota for several thousands of USD per carat.

One thought on “Welcome to the Gemstones & Collectibles Blog”

  1. Excellent posts and presentation with the video link and pictures on the gold coins being found. The fact is the government tried to claim them as being stolen but lost the case. If they had been found prior to 1930’s they most likely would have been melted down when it became illegal to own gold in the USA. Well history shows that rare gold coins and colored gems like emeralds and rubies of gem quality are the best investment vehicles to surpass time and governments that come and go.

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