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.

California couple finds $10 million in rare coins while out walking dog


A Rare Coin Find

Story highlights

A highlight is an 1866-S No Motto Double Eagle valued at close to $1 million The coins, in $5, $10 and $20 denominations, are dated from 1847 to 1894 They have a combined face value of about $27,000 but could fetch $10 million or more The discovery is thought to be the largest of its kind in U.S. history Eureka!

A husband and wife are reveling in their good fortune after finding $10 million in rare gold coins buried on their property in Northern California. The gold country discovery is thought to be the largest of its kind in U.S. history, according to David Hall, co-founder of Professional Coin Grading Service, which authenticated the find. It’s quite a story. People were walking along on their property in Northern California, noticed something, began digging and they found cans of gold coins, Hall said. It should have happened to you and me. The incredible find. The coins were unearthed in February 2013 by the husband and wife, who wish to remain anonymous.

They were walking their dog when they spotted something shiny on the ground. The couple dug and eventually discovered eight metal cans, containing more than 1,400 gold coins. No one knows how they got there, or whom the coins might have belonged to. Somebody could have buried them and then died before they let anybody know where they were, Hall said. Believe it or not, I know cases where they forgot they had something, or they moved or whatever … It could have been some kind of robbery deal … Who knows?

The treasure is known as the “Saddle Ridge Hoard” because it was discovered near a hill the couple called Saddle Ridge. In their effort to stay anonymous, the husband and wife aren’t saying exactly where the fortune was found. These coins could change history The coins, in $5, $10 and $20 denominations, date from 1847 to 1894. Most were minted in San Francisco. They have a combined face value of about $27,000, but experts believe they could fetch $10 million or more. Many are in pristine condition, including at least 14 coins that are considered the finest known for their date and mint mark.

A highlight from the hoard is an 1866-S No Motto Double Eagle, valued at close to $1 million.  The couple is planning to sell much of the collection. Approximately 90% of the coins will go up on Amazon.com’s “Collectibles” site, according to Don Kagin, of Kagin’s, Inc., who is assisting the anonymous owners. He told CNN the couple wants to donate some of the proceeds to charity. “Basically they’re thankful and they think it’s wonderful that they’re going to be able to save their property that they thought they might lose and, again, they want to give back to the community and to needy people,” he said.

Collectors wanting a sneak peek can see some of the coins at the American Numismatic Association’s 2014 National Money Show in Atlanta, which opens Thble Eagle Rare Gold Coins $20 Morgan Double Eagles $10 Gold $5 Goldursday. “Unlike other hoards and treasures, this one includes a great variety of coins struck over many different years, and many of the coins are still in pristine condition,” Kagin said. “And add to that a wonderful human interest story: this family literally found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”


Top Emerald Mining Countries of the World



Emeralds are gemstones from the beryl family. Rough emerald deposits are typically found in metamorphic rocks, and their unique greenish hue attracts people from all walks of life. There was once even an ancient decree passed that only royalty and nobles were allowed to wear such an extravagant jewel.

Fortunately, times have changed. These days, anyone can freely purchase and enjoy quality emeralds from any number of countries.

Rough Emeralds, Then & Now

In ancient days, rough emeralds came from Egypt. Queen Cleopatra, the last Pharaoh of Egypt, was a true devotee of this precious stone. Mines near the Red Sea were even named after the captivating queen, because of her intense love for this rare and beautiful jewel.

During the mid-1600’s, Spain discovered Muzo, the Indian’s secret mine for rough emeralds. The largest mines of rough emeralds were found hidden deep in the Andes mountain ranges.

What are the Top Emerald Mining Countries of the World?


Rough emeralds out in the production of these stones. Here is a look at the top mining countries for rough emeralds:

  1. Colombia. The mountain ranges of the Andes are located in Colombia. There are three major mines in this region: Muzo, Chivor and Coscuez. Two of these mines are leased by the government to private companies.
  2. Brazil. The emerald mines of Brazil are located in the states of Bahia, Minas Gerais and Goias. Some say they are now producing rough emeralds that well rival the ones mined in Colombia.
  3. Zambia. The majority of the gems produced in Zambia are found in the Kamakanga and Kagem mines. Both are found in the northeastern region of the country.
  4. Zimbabwe. This country produces rough emeralds from the Sandawana mine, located in the southwest of the country. Emerald production here is not as high compared to some other countries.
  5. United States. Beaver County, Utah is home of rough emerald production in the US. The mines are located in the eastern slopes of the Wah Wah Mountains.

What are the Distinguishing Characteristics of Emeralds from Different Countries?

Colombian  rough emeralds are highly prized because of their deep green color. Emeralds of dark green are generally much rarer. These emeralds are found only in the deepest part of the Andes ranges.

Brazil produces rare cat’s-eye emeralds and very rare six-spoke star emeralds. No other country has ever produced such a magnificent type of rough emerald.

Zambia is known for mining deep green rough emeralds, similar to those found in Colombian mines. The finest stones they have are clear, grass-green in color but somewhat smaller than the darker ones.

Zimbabwe’s rough emeralds are small in size, but are some of the finest. Their color is bright green, with warm yellowish undertones.

The United States is the only country to produce one of the world rarest gemstones: the Red Emerald. These are only four carats, but more rare and more expensive than diamonds.

If you have the same passion for rough emeralds as Queen Cleopatra, you should take care to purchase stones that are highly graded. When it comes to emeralds, the world is your oyster. So to speak!

Emerald Gems Good for Investment?


Is your birthday in May? If so, lucky you the stunning green emerald is your birthstone! A scarce gem, the emerald is a symbol of beauty, status and power, valued particularly for its rich color.

Many people purchase emerald gems and emerald jewellery simply for their beauty and appeal perhaps as a romantic keepsake or special gift for a loved one without even considering their value as an investment. How many people do you know who buy emeralds for their cash value?

Although emerald gems are not as popular as stock investments, there are savvy jewelers and investors who consider acquiring emerald gems as assets a serious business, and one that rivals the difficulties of many conventional investment vehicles.

There are many things to consider when purchasing an emerald for its investment value. First, let answer one very important question:

Are Emeralds Good for Investments?

The answer is a big YES! Here are some solid reasons why emerald gems could make a great contribution to anyone investment portfolio:

Emeralds Investments

  1. They’re small and easy to store unlike stocks, cash, or real estate and other traditional forms of investment; valuable emerald gems are conveniently small in relation to their cash value. Just imagine: a gem worth $10 million could fit in the palm of your hand! This makes emerald gems the ultimate investment vehicle for non-detectable and easily kept assets. You don’t need a big bank vault or an army of accountants to keep track of them for you!
  2. Private and anonymous investments currently, transactions related to emerald gems and other precious stones do not require reporting to government agencies, as long as you’re a private owner and not an emerald dealer. This means you can invest in emerald gems without having them listed as part of your public records. Private investors can store emerald gems wherever they wish, be it a bank vault or a personal safe. This is ideal for investors who want to keep their assets safe from prying eyes.
  3. Emeralds gems don’t easily fluctuate in value unlike stocks and mutual funds that require regular checking to keep your money afloat and earning, emerald gems command a stable value in the market, and can save you the hassle of constantly checking the stock market and moving your funds from one stock to another.

As we know, today economy is facing high levels of inflation, and this trend is expected to continue. For this reason, investing in emerald gems is a good idea, since their values don’t plummet like stocks and other traditional investments. Even when the price of high quality diamonds fell by 20%, emerald gems held their value some even saw a price increase.

If you want to start buying emerald gems as an investment, be careful about where you get your emeralds. Be diligent in researching information before making a purchase. Check the emerald’s color, clarity, carat and weight. Emerald gems hold their value over time and their price is expected to go up as time goes by. Choose your emeralds carefully who knows how much your wise investment could be worth after a few years!