The eastern side of the Cordillera of the Colombian Andes has revealed some of the world's finest emeralds. The fervour of Colombians for this gem does not date from yesterday. In the 13th century, the Colombian Incas mined the earth in search of emeralds to decorate their temples. The arrival of Spanish settlers marked the beginning of a more sustained rate of extraction, particularly in the Muzo Mine located north west of Bogota.
This small but fascinating museum invites you to go through a mine corridor, along which you learn the steps of the formation process and stone extraction, before admiring hundreds of rough and polished stones, some having passed through the hands of jewellers. You will want to pause in front of the most famous emerald in the world, the Devonshire, a jewel of over 1,380 carats offered by Emperor Pedro the First of Brazil to Lord Devonshire in 1830.
As a bonus, there is a spectacular panorama of the city on the 23rd floor.
Museo Internacional de la Esmeralda
Calle 16, 6-66
+57 (1) 286 42 59