Bogota Travel Blog› entry 19 of 27 › view all entries
Emeralds - one of the major exports of Colombia!
Willy, Janneth´s soon-to-be-step-father (wedding Saturday) is friends with everybody and knows somebody in every possible trade. This includes two friends who have businesses processing, cutting, selling, setting and selling emeralds. We visited one of these families who live in a neighbourhood that looks like any other neighbourhood in Bogota, with all the effort as usual being focused on the inside of the house. The house was quite open plan - unusual over here - and beautifully furnished. The parents obviously have a fondness for Lladro-type statues as there were many on display, including some with gold finishing and inset emeralds.
Raoul brought out some cut emeralds that he had already cut and which were finished processing and polished them for us. His 6-or-7 year old son was playing with handfuls of emeralds and scattered a few in teh carpet. It was mindboggling to sit looking at easily several hundred thousand dollars worth of emeralds, both cut and uncut and to watch the casual way they handled them.
Emeralds are much cheaper here than in New Zealand but for good quality you still pay a lot. I was hoping I might be able to afford to buy a little emerald something to bring home as a souvenir but it looks unlikely unless Willy can cut me a really good deal (he is an excellent negotiator)!