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Travelogue

The Emeralds of Chivor

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

On Thursday, our 6th day in Colombia, we got up early with the intention of managing the drive from Muzo to Chivor in a single day.  According to my GPS, the trip was about seven hours long with good road conditions for at least the first five hours. The locals in Muzo had given us some suggestions about which roads were best for the first part of the drive and I adjusted my map accordingly. Filled with a solid breakfast of coffee, tamales made of cornmeal, egg, and chicken, and some arepas with cherry jam (my personal twist on what’s...

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In the Muzo Emerald Mines: Getting Down and Dirty

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

Yvonne heads straight to the source for her latest emerald acquisitions: see the mines up close and learn how emeralds are mined, processed and brought to market.

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Colombia Part I. Bogota and Muzo

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

Colombia Part I. Bogota and Muzo

A lush countryside, a rich history of gold and conquest, delicate indiginous art, well-preserved ancient Spanish towns, and the lure of going treasure hunting for emeralds in Muzo and Chivor: who wouldn’t want to go to Colombia for all that?  Boyaca Region Colombia Looking for emeralds in Colombia had been a dream of mine for some years. But it didn’t become a reality until my travel buddy, Jochen Hintze from Jentsch Minerals did a scouting trip in November 2018, pronouncing it safe and accessible, all the way to the mining towns themselves. The guerrilla movement of the FARC (Revolutionary Armed...

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New Travels Ahead: Emerald Hunting in Colombia

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

New Travels Ahead: Emerald Hunting in Colombia

It's summer again and I am ready to explore a new location for gems: Colombia.  On Saturday July 13th, I am flying out to Bogota to meet my travel buddy Jochen from Jentsch Minerals and his friend Klaus, who also collects minerals as a hobby.  Jochen lived in Colombia when he geological surveys from 1968-1970 and speaks Spanish well enough to keep us all afloat.  (My Spanish is fairly non-existent, except what I picked up by osmosis from living in downtown Jersey City). My Travel Buddy Jochen on his last trip to Colombia Emeralds have been mined in Colombia for...

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Finding New Minerals in Kongwa

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

Finding New Minerals in Kongwa

So this is going to be a longer story, and it starts a few billion years ago.  As my geologist friends tell me, when you have a flat plateau and there’s a hill on it, you have two possible explanations.  Either there’s a young volcano on the plateau – where the word “young” has to be taken within a certain context - or there’s very hard rock underneath, rock that refused to erode over the last few million years.  In either case, if you are a geologist, this is interesting.  Fast forward to the late 1950s when a few British...

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