Where To Buy Emeralds In Colombia?

credit: Peter Parker

Colombia’s mesmerizing green emeralds are famous around the four corners of the earth. They make perfect anniversary or wedding gifts and boast an impressive array of greens. The best places to buy are not always easy to find, so let’s cover where to buy emeralds in Colombia!

Colombia’s best places to buy emeralds are the Emerald District (Distrito de Esmeralda) and the Emerald Trade Center of Bogotá (Centro de Comercio de Esmeraldas de Bogotá) in Bogotà. Other towns and cities that sell emeralds include Cartagena, Villa de Leyva, Muzo, Medellín, and Chivor.

Which Places In Colombia Are Ideal For Buying Emeralds?

Bogotà, Cartagena, Villa de Leyva, Muzo, Medellín, and Chivor are all viable destinations for someone looking for exquisite quality emeralds.

Bogotà is Colombia’s capital and houses a sizeable emerald trade. Many establishments have the best facilities and emerald experts to advise sellers or buyers on quality and price.

Its Emerald District (Distrito de Esmeralda) is famous for its precious emerald jewelry. At the same time, the Emerald Trade Center of Bogotá (Centro de Comercio de Esmeraldas de Bogotá) is the best place to find high-quality emeralds in Colombia.

Both places are in the historic district of La Candelaria. Emerald District is between  6th Avenue and 12th Street, while the Emerald Trade Center rests on Avenida Jiménez, near the Gold Museum and  Emerald Museum.  

Is The Emerald District The Only Viable Place For Emeralds?

The Emerald District is the best for multiple reasons, but it’s not the only viable option. Here are a few other alternatives to consider:

  • Cartagena – The large tourist population means many jewelry stores and boutiques stock exquisite emerald pieces, especially near the port and historic center. Caribe Jewelry is a fantastic store that offers a variety of emerald, silver, gold, and even custom pieces!  
  • Villa de Leyva – The charming little town is home to various emerald shops, including Emerald Elegance. They offer a wide range of emerald gemmed accessories, including singular stones. The store has a certificate of authenticity for all their emeralds. 
  • Muzo – Muzo is a famous mining town that produces some of the most beautiful emeralds in the world. Their deep-green hue and large size make them a favorite among buyers. They are available directly from the miners or local sellers like Muzo Emerald Colombia.

Muzo guarantees high standards, getting involved with all the processes, from mining to distribution. They can also provide the origin of every emerald they trade.

  • Medellín – This city has a good selection of emerald shops, especially downtown and near the Plaza Botero. Joyangel is a great local jeweler that stocks many emerald accessories and silver, gold, and diamond rings or necklaces.
  • Chivor – Home to the Chivor mine, this town produces unique emeralds with a clear, blue tint. Visitors can buy emeralds from miners or reputable companies with a local presence, like Mensal Emeralds.  

What Makes The Emerald Trade Center The Best?

Capital cities like Bogotà offer the highest level of service possible in the emerald trade. Authenticity, safety, and expert advice are often invaluable to those looking to make an honest transaction.  


The Emerald District and Emerald Trade Center are home to many experts in the emerald industry. Professional dealers, appraisers, gemologists, and jewelers can help people with advice about emerald quality.

The option to have an emerald evaluated or certified immediately is a fantastic boon for traders who want to avoid scams and other unpleasant transactions. Lastly, knowledge is power among the experts, and people learn about the latest emerald trends from the best sources.


Emeralds can sell for thousands of dollars, so safety must be paramount. Both venues have strict security regulations to protect sellers and buyers from malicious activity.

Quality checks guarantee that the merchandise sellers and buyers have are legal and authentic and that the transaction follows ethical guidelines. Scammers and fraudsters receive harsh punishments, even facing potential legal action.


When it comes to authenticity, the old cartoons where characters paint gemstones to look superficial are not far off the mark. The Emerald District and Emerald Trade Center adhere to the highest quality to ensure every emerald that exchanges hands has its original cut, weight, color, and value.

They encourage buyers to request a certificate of authenticity with all the proof necessary to validate their purchase. High-tech instruments like refractometers, UV lamps, microscopes, spectrometers, and magnifying glasses are also available in case someone needs them.

Where In Colombia Should Someone Not Buy Emeralds?

There’s a reason why certain establishments have regulations on top of regulations regarding emeralds: because people are not always honest. It’s wise to spend money in controlled environments and never on impulsive decisions on the street. Here’s why:

  • Some street vendors will try to trick an inexperienced buyer into buying a poor quality or superficial emerald made from plastic, dyed stones, or glass.
  • Buyers may unknowingly support illegal practices. Some street vendors may get their merchandise from unregulated mines and relate to human rights violations.
  • There are criminals who partner with street vendors and steal their money or rob them.

As such, it’s better in every regard for buyers and sellers to conduct their transactions through reputable channels and dealers who can verify the quality and origin of their stones.

Other ill-advised places to buy emeralds include:

  • Online stores without an online presence or physical address. There’s no way to guarantee the authenticity or value of emeralds, and returning them is next to impossible.
  • Some trading establishments charge exorbitant prices for emeralds. Buyers will pay much more for poorer-quality emeralds in these scenarios.
  • Avoid markets that cannot produce a certificate of authenticity or origin for their emeralds. It’s challenging to prove ownership of these emeralds, which may result in issues when traveling through customs.

What Should Emerald Buyers Consider Before Buying?

Emeralds contain chromium that gives it its green sheen. However, that alone is not enough to validate its authenticity. Let’s look at some of the most important factors that prove an emerald’s identity.

Buyers should always feel comfortable with their sellers. Research the seller, ensuring they are reputable and have a record of reliable experiences. Otherwise, call them directly and ask them questions that will clear the air.

Factors like pricing, color, clarity, and imperfections also play a significant role in determining emeralds’ authenticity. Experts call imperfections “Jardins,” which is the French word for garden.

It represents the life inside an emerald, like the scuffs, fractures, carbon spots, and bubbles. These should all be visible when you raise the emerald up to a light; it indicates that the emerald is natural.

However, criminals are making emeralds with imperfections. This makes it very hard to tell from a genuine stone, meaning the best option is to have it certified by the seller or a secondary lab.

When looking at the inside of the emerald, and the outside appears to have cracks and zebra stripes, it’s likely ingenuine. For instance, if a vendor were to sell such a gem for one hundred or a thousand dollars, it would be an immediate red flag indicating it’s not real.

An emerald with those kinds of cracks and zebra-stripe imperfections should cost five thousand dollars or more per carat. Therefore, someone who buys it for a thousand dollars or less is not buying a genuine emerald.


Places to buy emeralds in Colombia: