Emerald mining in Colombia

Muzo, Boyacá Department, Colombia – April 2006

Despite of a persisting civil war conflict and related difficulties Colombia still produces 60 percent of world emerald production. Due to the special clarity and deep vivid green color, gemstones from Muzo are considered the most beautiful emeralds in the world. There have been thousands of treasure hunters coming to Muzo during last decades. They have been searching for a fortune, infatuated by so-callled green fever. Obviously - there have been very few of those who succeed. The major part of guaqueros (emerald miners) spent long years in the hot and wet unhospitable jungle working hard, they contracted malaria or tropical diseases but they still kept their dream about magic green stone alive. The rich gemstone collectors from the US and Europe often call emeralds “green fire”. With no doubt the places of emerald mining may be called a green hell.

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Copyright © 2014 Jan Sochor. No photographs and text may be used or reproduced in any form.