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Trip to the Eastern Emerald Belt, Colombia - (24)
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Fiebre Verde




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PostPosted: Dec 22, 2018 10:19    Post subject: Re: Trip to the Eastern Emerald Belt, Colombia - (24)  

At dawn we set off from Bogotá.
We had planned to have a couple of stops on the way to the Chivor mining area,
First stop was in Guateque for a well deserved breakfast.
Next planned stop was the town of Macanal to meet a retired emerald miner.



LocationMap.jpg
 Description:
Location map of the major emerald deposits in the Chivor, Macanal, and Gachalá districts. After Google Maps; the towns or villages, the major emerald mines, some of the rivers, and the labeling were added.
The left inset shows the location of the capital Bogotá in relation to the two major emerald mining districts in Colombia, as well as the route taken by the Spanish conquistadores under the command of Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada in 1538. After Sinkankas (1981)
 Viewed:  1131 Time(s)

LocationMap.jpg



map_chivor.jpg
 Description:
Topographic map of the Chivor area. Town of Chivor is in the upper center of the map. Most of the historic mines of Chivor can be seen in the lower left corner.
 Viewed:  1133 Time(s)

map_chivor.jpg



IMG_9609.JPG
 Description:
Market day in Guateque. Only organic products!
 Viewed:  1127 Time(s)

IMG_9609.JPG



IMG_9610.JPG
 Description:
A lady selling all kind of breads made of wheat flour. Wheat flour is the only imported food product used by the inhabitants of this area.
 Viewed:  1127 Time(s)

IMG_9610.JPG



IMG_9606.JPG
 Description:
The people in Guateque are very proud of their 'arepas'. 'Arepa' has several meanings in Colombia but to make a long story short, it describes one of the most important things you could eat in the country. Arepa is a relatively flat disc made from corn flour. It's grilled and comes usually stuffed with cheese or/and ham. And yes, the people of this town have the right to be proud of their arepas - they are excellent!
 Viewed:  1125 Time(s)

IMG_9606.JPG



IMG_9620.JPG
 Description:
On market day, some people are very elegantly dressed. The hat is an important accessory in this region of Colombia.
 Viewed:  1124 Time(s)

IMG_9620.JPG



IMG_9634.JPG
 Description:
We passed the town of Garagoa on our way to Macanal.
 Viewed:  1126 Time(s)

IMG_9634.JPG



DEC 2018 IMG_9621.JPG
 Description:
In Macanal we met a retired emerald miner and his dog. Don Alfonso started working in the Chivor mines in 1948 at the tender age of 12. He had many stories to share.
 Viewed:  1125 Time(s)

DEC 2018 IMG_9621.JPG



IMG_9658nb.JPG
 Description:
Somewhere on the way from Macanal to Chivor, along the Chivor lake dam.
 Viewed:  1123 Time(s)

IMG_9658nb.JPG



IMG_9772.JPG
 Description:
Chivor, destino verde de Colombia. Well said!
 Viewed:  1123 Time(s)

IMG_9772.JPG



IMG_9768.JPG
 Description:
Chivor is a small laid-back town like most of the towns in the mountainous department of Boyacá.
 Viewed:  1128 Time(s)

IMG_9768.JPG



IMG_9770.JPG
 Description:
A day after listening Don Alfonso talking about his mining days in the 50s and 60s, we bumped into this miner who had just finished his day. He told us they hadn't found anything. There are many days like these.
 Viewed:  1124 Time(s)

IMG_9770.JPG



IMG_9664.JPG
 Mineral: Pyrite
 Dimensions: 3cm across
 Description:
The news spread fast in Chivor. We were the only potential buyers in town and were shown this incredible pyrite specimen.
 Viewed:  1125 Time(s)

IMG_9664.JPG



IMG_9663.JPG
 Mineral: Pyrite
 Dimensions: 3cm across
 Description:
Opposite side.
 Viewed:  1125 Time(s)

IMG_9663.JPG



IMG_9673nb.JPG
 Description:
The next day we crossed the Río Rucio which forms the administrative boundary between the departments of Boyacá and Cundinamarca.
 Viewed:  1125 Time(s)

IMG_9673nb.JPG


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Pierre Joubert




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PostPosted: Dec 23, 2018 01:28    Post subject: Re: Trip to the Eastern Emerald Belt, Colombia - (24)  

Thank you Gerard for this most entertaining thread:-) I am looking forward to some more.
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Tobi




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PostPosted: Dec 23, 2018 02:00    Post subject: Re: Trip to the Eastern Emerald Belt, Colombia - (24)  

Pierre Joubert wrote:
I am looking forward to some more.
Me too, Gérard, this is so informative, thanks again!
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Fiebre Verde




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PostPosted: Dec 23, 2018 05:22    Post subject: Re: Trip to the Eastern Emerald Belt, Colombia - (24)  

Tobi wrote:
Pierre Joubert wrote:
I am looking forward to some more.
Me too, Gérard, this is so informative, thanks again!


Thanks for your appreciation Pierre and Tobi!
Some more then...



IMG_9697.JPG
 Description:
Two proud FMF members in the mountains...
 Viewed:  1048 Time(s)

IMG_9697.JPG



IMG_9703.JPG
 Description:
Same mountain with an unspoiled view this time.
 Viewed:  1045 Time(s)

IMG_9703.JPG



IMG_9755.JPG
 Description:
This is an interesting viewpoint which I always wanted to have.
It’s showing the location of the ancient mines of Somondoco, in the Boyacá department.
So on this trip I decided to cross the Rio Rucio (flowing down that mountain) and find a viewpoint from the opposite hill to face the mines.
The day I was there, there was mist and clouds everywhere so I had to be a bit patient before I could have a clear view and see the mining areas, easily spotted thanks to the excavated black material – the infamous black shale.
The area we are looking has about 10 ‘cortes’ (tunnels), still operated today by a private company. There are more tunnels on the other flanks of the mountain. All these tunnels communicate with vertical shafts, a situation which sometimes causes problems between the mine owners.
 Viewed:  1048 Time(s)

IMG_9755.JPG



IMG_9727.JPG
 Dimensions: 2cm long
 Description:
We then went down to a place called ‘La Playa’. Although La Playa is located next to the river, it’s not exactly a beach.
While we were waiting for our lunch, some people came to show us their treasures.
The specimens shown to us are all extracted by ‘guaqueros’ – the unofficial miners. They are very reluctant to unveil the location, which is understandable.
Here is an aquamarine, found only in the Eastern Belt, location undisclosed.
According to some publications, aquamarines occur in the localities of Palo Arañado and El Toro. La Playa being very close from the El Toro mine, who knows…
 Viewed:  1043 Time(s)

IMG_9727.JPG



IMG_9736.JPG
 Mineral: Beryl (variety emerald)
 Description:
Some emerald specimens from El Toro with the characteristic limonite rock – a trademark of that locality.
Note here are two localities in the area called ‘El Toro’.
This material is not from the El Toro locality of Gachalá but the one next to Chivor.
 Viewed:  1042 Time(s)

IMG_9736.JPG



IMG_9726.JPG
 Mineral: Beryl (variety emerald)
 Description:
Still from El Toro, next to Chivor.
The smallest crystal of this lot is spectacular – so glowing.
 Viewed:  1044 Time(s)

IMG_9726.JPG



IMG_9737.JPG
 Description:
Another spectacular specimen from the area - locality undisclosed.
Hard to believe that this elongated crystal is still intact (and not repaired).
 Viewed:  1044 Time(s)

IMG_9737.JPG



IMG_9720.JPG
 Description:
A ‘trophy specimen’.
The woman who showed us this beautiful piece from an undisclosed locality wasn't interested to sell.
This is just to make a point – not all Colombian specimens fly to Paris.
 Viewed:  1043 Time(s)

IMG_9720.JPG



IMG_9716.JPG
 Description:
The man who showed us this lot was a bit shy.
But he eventually admitted this was from the San Gregorio mine, on the opposite mountain.
 Viewed:  1044 Time(s)

IMG_9716.JPG



IMG_9815.JPG
 Description:
Back to the big city. Bogotá by night.
 Viewed:  1045 Time(s)

IMG_9815.JPG


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Bergur_E_Sigurdarson




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PostPosted: Dec 23, 2018 07:35    Post subject: Re: Trip to the Eastern Emerald Belt, Colombia - (24)  

It was a pleasure to join in on this little trip.
Thank you so much for the invite Gerard :-D
I'm still here in Colombia, about to celebrate xmas amd the new year with my "family" here.
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Fiebre Verde




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PostPosted: Dec 23, 2018 07:36    Post subject: Re: Trip to the Eastern Emerald Belt, Colombia - (24)  

The following images give some insight on the variety of Colombian minerals (with obviously an emphasis on the green variety of beryl).
They are all taken from the same place in Bogotá.
The dealer makes a living by trading ‘morralla’ – the low-grade opaque emerald.
Despite appearances, minerals are clearly a side business.

Having all these mineral specimens displayed side by side gives an idea on the richness and diversity of geological environments, mineralization styles, and parageneses associated to the Colombian hydrothermal deposits.



IMG_9301.JPG
 Description:
A partial view of the upper shelf with many specimens (outside the two artworks in the upper right corner).
A nice matrix specimen of baryte from Muzo can be seen in the lower right center.
On the lower left – the blue mineral is euclase (photo is a bit too blurry to figure out).
 Viewed:  1017 Time(s)

IMG_9301.JPG



IMG_9309.JPG
 Description:
Two extra artworks can be seen on the left side of the middle shelf: a caiman and the back of a what looks like a puma or a jaguar.
The blue mineral in the upper left corner is blue dolomite from Coscuez.
The set of thick pale green prisms are from Muzo.
 Viewed:  1016 Time(s)

IMG_9309.JPG



IMG_9307.JPG
 Description:
Right side of the middle shelf.
I believe the white acicular mineral in that large specimen is aragonite.
 Viewed:  1017 Time(s)

IMG_9307.JPG



IMG_9302.JPG
 Description:
Back to the other side with a better view of the puma (jaguar?) sculpted in black shale.
Must be a black jaguar...
Better view of the blue dolomite specimen from Coscuez.
The black rock with a green core (emeralds and pyrite) is from the Matecaña mine, in the Gachalá district, the same locality where the emerald gastropods were found 20 years ago.
 Viewed:  1015 Time(s)

IMG_9302.JPG



IMG_9305.JPG
 Description:
Quartz, Calcite, Dolomite, and Pyrite specimens among other things.
Note the artwork in the upper left corner.
 Viewed:  1018 Time(s)

IMG_9305.JPG



IMG_9303.JPG
 Description:
Close-up of the previous image.
The two pyrite + calcite specimens are from Chivor.
On the lower left, a “green fluorite” from Peñas Blancas.
 Viewed:  1013 Time(s)

IMG_9303.JPG



IMG_9306.JPG
 Description:
This is a nightmare scenario where shipping costs exceed the purchase price. For serious buyers only.
 Viewed:  1016 Time(s)

IMG_9306.JPG



IMG_9820.JPG
 Description:
Very sad to leave so many friends behind.
I promised I would come back.
 Viewed:  1021 Time(s)

IMG_9820.JPG



IMG_9840.JPG
 Description:
 Viewed:  1016 Time(s)

IMG_9840.JPG


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Fiebre Verde




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PostPosted: Dec 23, 2018 07:52    Post subject: Re: Trip to the Eastern Emerald Belt, Colombia - (24)  

Bergur_E_Sigurdarson wrote:
It was a pleasure to join in on this little trip.
Thank you so much for the invite Gerard :-D
I'm still here in Colombia, about to celebrate xmas amd the new year with my "family" here.

Chivor is the land of unexpected experience. This is where I got acquainted... with Icelandic minerals!
Many thanks to you Bergur - it was a real pleasure to wander across the lush Andean mountains together.
Enjoy your stay with your Colombian family.
Gérard
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Don Lum




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PostPosted: Dec 23, 2018 15:41    Post subject: Re: Trip to the Eastern Emerald Belt, Colombia - (24)  

Gerard, thank you for taking us with you on your trip to Colombia.

Merry Christmas.

Don

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Fiebre Verde




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PostPosted: Dec 23, 2018 16:00    Post subject: Re: Trip to the Eastern Emerald Belt, Colombia - (24)  

Don Lum wrote:
Gerard, thank you for taking us with you on your trip to Colombia.

Merry Christmas.

Don

Thanks Don!
It is a real pleasure to share a bit of Colombia with the FMF community.
Merry Christmas
Gérard
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Fiebre Verde




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PostPosted: Jan 02, 2019 15:31    Post subject: Re: Trip to the Eastern Emerald Belt, Colombia - (24)  

For the German speakers interested in the early history of the Chivor emerald mine, here is the reference to a paper recently issued in a German gemological publication

Smaragde aus Kolumbien - Fritz Klein und sein Traum 1905 - 1925
Mitteilungen des Vereins für Heimatkunde im Landkreis Birkenfeld, 92. Jahrgang (2018) S. 55-142

At the turn of the 20th century, Fritz Klein, a gem merchant from Idar-Oberstein, had the dream to revive the ancient emerald mines of Somondoco located 80 km northeast of Bogotá.
This article which is based on contemporaneous sources, describes Klein's journey in the rugged Andean highlands of eastern Boyacá.

I can send the pdf file (less than 5 Mb) to anyone interested in the story (in German language). Please send me a PM.

An extended version of the history of Chivor should be available soon for the English speakers - stay tuned!

Gérard
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Fiebre Verde




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PostPosted: Jan 11, 2019 02:28    Post subject: Re: Trip to the Eastern Emerald Belt, Colombia - (24)  

As mentioned in my previous post, an extended version of the history of Chivor is now available for the English speakers in the InColor journal, special issue from the 2nd Emerald Symposium held in Bogota in October 2018 (pp. 58-63).
There are many interesting papers from the symposium published in this issue.
https://www.gemstone.org/incolor/40/62
(link normalized by FMF)

Gérard
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Fiebre Verde




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PostPosted: Jan 11, 2019 07:36    Post subject: Re: Trip to the Eastern Emerald Belt, Colombia - (24)  

Fiebre Verde wrote:
As mentioned in my previous post, an extended version of the history of Chivor is now available for the English speakers in the InColor journal, special issue from the 2nd Emerald Symposium held in Bogota in October 2018 (pp. 58-63).
There are many interesting papers from the symposium published in this issue.
https://www.gemstone.org/incolor/40/62
(link normalized by FMF)

Gérard

Actually it does not require the last term '62'. Many thanks!
https://www.gemstone.org/incolor/40
(link normalized by FMF)
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