Colombian vs. African Emeralds: What’s the Difference?


Colombian vs. African Emeralds: What’s the Difference?

Most commodities have some versions that are superior and others that are inferior, whether it’s an automobile, a smart phone, a pair of shoes, or a precious gemstone. When it comes to beloved emeralds, it is the Colombian emerald that has the superior reputation. Are Colombian emeralds in fact better, in every instance, than emeralds sourced from other locations, like countries such as those in Africa? If so, what’s the difference between emeralds in Colombia and emeralds in Africa? In this short article we will answer this pressing question along with some others, including, where do emeralds come from? And, what are the benefits of a Colombian emerald stone? Keep reading to have Colombian emeralds explained once and for all.

The Difference Between Colombian and African Emeralds

In short, the difference between Colombian and African emeralds is the way they were created, which resulted in significant differences in terms of color, structure, and appearance. Unlike other types of gemstones, it takes a very specific collision of rock formations to create emeralds. Colombian emeralds have been well known and traded since the 16th century while most African emeralds have only been discovered in the last century. It is for this reason that the formation of Colombian emeralds was thought to be “the” way that emeralds were formed, and that their appearance and structure was ideal for emeralds. While the specific features of Colombian emeralds are certainly wonderful (deep grassy shade of green for example), there are advantages to some African emeralds as well, such as their bluish tint.

Where Do Emeralds Come From?

As mentioned earlier, emeralds have been mined in Colombia for centuries. However, they are also found in other parts of the world such as African counties like Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Ethiopia, as well as Brazil. Every location produces slightly different emeralds, because of the unique rock formations of each source.

Emerald bracelet
Emerald bracelet

The Benefits of a Colombian Emerald

Aside from the prestigious name that goes hand-in-hand with Colombian emeralds, there is a particular structure to Colombian emeralds, which no other emeralds possess. This is because of the very specific way in which these emeralds came to be. The result is a precious gemstone with a unique makeup that gives off a specific tone, as well as a stone that is especially durable for ranking 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, although this is already quite sturdy despite other precious gemstones ranking even higher (such as diamonds, rubies, and sapphires.)

While all emeralds are from the mineral family known as beryl, each variety can differ in terms of appearance, quality, price, and status. Colombian emeralds are found in sedimentary rock as opposed to others that are mined from igneous rock. A specific saline solution found in the sedimentary rock washes out some impurities from the stone, such as iron, resulting in a finer gemstone. Darker green hues are also considered more beautiful and valuable and these shades are more commonly found among Colombian emeralds, setting them apart from their counterparts, including some of the phenomenal African emeralds that are out there on the market.

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