Emeralds in Bogotá/ Travel / Bogotá, emeralds
If you’re wanting the best emeralds money can buy then don’t bother looking anywhere else other than Bogotá.
Columbia provides more than 90% of the highest quality emeralds worldwide and with Bogotá located next to the two regions with the best emerald mines, Boyacá and Cundinamarca, you really will be spoilt for choice when it comes to shopping for emeralds.
A real emerald can range in price from $10 to $4,000,000 USD, depending on its size and with so many emeralds to choose from it is important that you know what to look for so you don’t end up parting with your money for anything less than the real deal.
So we’ve got three top tips to ensure that you can spot the real from the fake and get the most for your money.
- You want a brightly colored stone, bright is the best.
- The quality of the emerald is important, the darker the color, the better the quality.
- Look at the purity. According to experts you want ‘inclusions’ (tiny little impurities) in the stone, for example small natural holes, little scratches and irregular patterns. Fake emeralds will look too perfect and neat. But fewer inclusions mean a higher price point for the emerald.
However the most important thing to take into consideration when buying emeralds is light. The only light that can really be trusted when buying emeralds is daylight, as indoor lighting can be deceiving. This is the reason why the dealers have such short working hours (10am – 4pm, lucky for some), why none of their offices have curtains or blinds and why most of the dealing is done on the street or next to a window.
We’ve given you all you need to know on how to spot a real emerald, now we just need to tell you where to find the best ones.
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The Emerald District
Bogotá has its own emerald district in the heart of downtown on Jimenez Avenue between 6th and 7th street. All emeralds come straight here after they have been mined and cut and then make their debut in the emerald market. The district consists of dealers, cutters, international traders, as well as small shopping centers with jewellery stores.
Jimenez Avenue between 6th and 7th street
Emerald Trade Center
The Emerald Trade Center contains a number of different stores where you can buy lots of lovely emeralds.
Av. Jimenez No 5 – 43, Bogotá, Colombia
Known for their good quality emeralds and competitive prices. There are three Sterling Joyeros stores in Bogotá.
Centro Andino, Unicentro, and Santa Ana shopping malls
Good priced, reliable quality emeralds.
Cra 15 with Calle 88
Pineda Hermanos don’t have an emerald store; instead they are wholesalers who deal in emeralds and diamonds. If you are interested in buying from them you can call to set up an appointment.