The famous emerald deposits of the Cordillera Oriental were mined by local natives long before the invasive campaings of the conquistadors. They have been intensely exploited since that time and have produced more high-quality gemstones, than the combined production of all other deposits in the world. The deposits are in Boyaca and Kudinamarka Departments, 75 to 150 km north and northeast of Bogota. In the 1970s a large placer emerald deposit was discovered near the settlement of Yacopi. The emerald-bearing belt of the Cordillera Oriental can be traced north-northwesterly for more than 100 km from Chivor to Penas Blancas.

All Colombian emerald deposits are similar in structure and are characterized by vein-veinlet mineralized zones and stockworks in the Lower Cretaceous carbonate-shale sequence.

Ref: E.Ya. Kievlenko (2003) Geology of gems, p. 99

Gemstone List

Gem list contains entries from all listed localities in region.

Gemstones from Colombia by Colour

Click on a photo for more information.

Localities in this Region

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