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Gem Buying Trips: Thailand and Colombia |

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View of a Buddish temple ("Wat" in Thai language) on the Chao Phraya, the river running through Bangkok. Just a tad south of the city, it flows in the Gulf of Thailand.

View of the South side of Bangkok from the Naraj Hotel. Bangkok is one of the most beautiful metropolis in South East Asia,

A section of Wat Po, one of the most famous Wats in Bangkok. Thailand is predominantly Buddhist.

One of the innumerable Buddha shrines in Chantaburi, a famous gem cutting center on the Thailand-Cambodia border.


Colombia holds the tradition of producing the world's finest emeralds. In the 1500, as the Spaniards arrived in the New World, realized that they had a valuable gem resource to exploit. The Muzo and Muisca Indians, the Colombian natives of the northern regions of Bogota', fought fiercely the Spanish Conquistadores to protect their heritage and the location of the emerald mines. Nonetheless, The Spaniards took control and began to bring the green gems back to Europe. The rest is history.
Today, Colombia still accounts for more than half of the world's emerald production, and its emeralds are considered the finest.

Bogota', also Santa Fe' de Bogota', city in central Colombia, capital of the country, coextensive with Bogota' Capital District. It is located at an elevation of about 2640 m (about 8660 ft) on a mountain-rimmed plateau high in the Cordillera Oriental of the Andes Mountains.

Governmental building in downtown Bogota'. The "emerald street" (Avenida De Jimenez) is nearby.

I still dream of this. Emerald crystal specimen in calcite from Muzo. These are called "gangas" among Colombian emerald dealers. This particular exceptional specimen was approx. 7" long x4" wide, with top colored, perfectly formed crystals. The center crystal was approx. 2 1/4" long. Note that Muzo material is a gorgeous, dark bluish green, and it is usually very flawed. This specimen was for sale in downtown Bogota' back in 1998 for $70,000 USD. 

Small piece of emerald crystal. This shot was taken in a bar on a Friday, late afternoon. Note the bottles of empty beer on the background...After a long period of hard work in the mining areas, time for the miners to celebrate. Usually independent miners and Guaqueros (illegal miners) come down to the capital, once every two-three weeks to sell their finds. The superb specimen on the left was also seen in the same bar. But do not worry... There is not fear of being robbed, as almost everyone is carrying a revolver

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