The Muzo ABC


The emerald is a precious gift of nature, prized as one of four mythical gemstones along with the rubies of Mogok, the sapphires of Kashmir and the diamonds of Golconda. The emerald transcended earthly forces and time itself to come into existence through a geological miracle over 65 million years ago, when volcanic forces brought beryllium into contact with chromium and vanadium from ancient seabeds. Thus the elements of fire and water achieved an impossible alchemy that crystallized into a legendary gemstone.


The MUZO emerald dazzles in its rough state with impressive dimensions and an almost perfect hexagonal geometry. Its powerful and intense green color is lit by a streak of fluorescence. At first glance the effect is mesmerizing. The color – almost surreal, silky smooth, neither too yellowish nor too bluish– takes the breath away. The sparkle of the emerald’s vibrant fire casts a velvety soft light. In the skillful hands of gem-cutters, the stone is carved into a multitude of facets to reveal a dazzling radiance that captivates the gaze, shimmering and flickering from within in a never-ending dance of light.


ALLURE - In viewing a colored stone your approach should be effortless appreciation and non-verbal enjoyment – that is the approach that will bring to your awareness the allure of an emerald. Not only the color but the way the color is communicated are what you are looking for. Moving and rocking the stone slightly will bring out the play of internally reflected light and all of its nuances of green. This is when Allure takes hold of your attention.

BEAUTY - In emeralds Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. No gemological training is necessary to know if one stone is more beautiful than another. Look at several emeralds and choose the one that you feel is more beautiful. Only then should you discuss it with the seller. He or she may help you put into words the beauty that you see and it is here that you may begin to discuss the faceting or cut of the emerald.

CHARM - Emerald connoisseurs always go first to beauty, allure and charm.  These are the highest considerations. Muzo emeralds have a hidden element to their color – and it is red! Though invisible to the eye, all emeralds from Colombia have a natural red fluorescence due to the very low concentration of chemical impurities in the geologic makeup of the emerald. The word Charm is the only word to describe this subtle but real effect: the red fluorescence, though invisible, charms your eye and is the reason the world comes to Muzo and Colombia for the finest emeralds.


We are the only gem producer in the world equipped to issue the ISO 9000 certificate of origin and traceability in-house. This 'passport' for the stone comes complete with photographs. We use integrated IT systems in the mines to track the date, place and time of extraction and the shape and weight of each crystal.
The certificate also provides details of the rough and the final carved state of the emerald and indicates whether it has been treated with natural cedar oil.
The MUZO certificate is supported by certification from Gemtech, SSEF, GRS, AGL, Gübelin, and other international laboratories.


EXCLUSIVE SOURCING - Muzo International, as of 2014, has 100% control of the historic and venerable Muzo mine in Boyacá Colombia. With close work with the miners and community as well as investment in mining technology the Muzo mine will be an example of modern ethical mining for all other colored stone mines, in Colombia and the world. The provenance of an emerald from Muzo mine stands at the pinnacle of refinement along with rubies from Burma, diamonds from Golconda and sapphires from Kashmir. 

PREMIER CUTTING - Muzo International has a policy of continuous visits from expert emerald cutters from not only Colombia but from all parts of the world. This enables our cutting facility in Bogotá to operate at high level of gem cutting: symmetry, brilliance and perfection.

CEDARWOOD OIL ONLY ENHANCEMENT POLICY - Connoisseurs appreciate our efforts to preserve the integrity of our emeralds. Emeralds have fissures due to their geochemical makeup and the nature of their crystal. We cut the stones to position most fissures on the pavilion, sacrificing a small amount of weight in order to leave the face more clean. Then we use cedarwood oil, a traditional and industry-accepted liquid, to reduce the visibility of those remaining fissures. Because we only cut emeralds that we mine, we control the whole process and guarantee the nature of the emeralds’ enhancement. The resulting emeralds are not only sought after by collectors but also pass the rigorous NGTC* laboratory tests in Beijing. 

COMMUNITY AND STATE - For the first time ever in a Colombian emerald mine, Muzo miners and workers are receiving salaries, with health care and benefits organized and paid for by the individuals, our company and the Colombian government. The social contributions and payroll taxes that our company pays on a monthly basis are destined to the Social Security System which includes Labor Risks, Health System, Severance and Pension funds, Compensation Funds, the Colombian Family Institute and the Governmental Learning Service (SENA). 

CERTIFICATION OF PEOPLE AND PROCESS - Every year our cutting and enhancement facility receives analysis and certifications granted by Bureau Veritas. This recognizes our attention to quality control. Our processes are under continuing review as we endeavor to refine and perfect our approach to cutting, polishing and enhancing emeralds. Since 2011 we have achieved the Quality Systems Management ISO 9001:2008 granted by Bureau Veritas with accreditation from ANAB (USA) and UKAS (United Kingdom).