While we are in the neighbourhood, a brief look at the different displays of the emerald vendors is required. From 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., the Esmeralderos discuss and bargain with potential buyers. The gemstone comes in all forms, sizes, and colours, in the rough or finely cut, unassembled or set, but always of a dreamlike green.
Once you have haggled and are ready to buy your emerald (should you be so bold, as one really needs to know one's way around here), claim an authenticity certificate filled out by the seller, in order to establish the actual value. For quality emeralds, count on prices 10-50% lower than the prices charged in Europe. Today, emeralds mined in the Colombian provinces are transported by helicopter to Bogotá, where they are assigned a market value. It is believed that 60% of the emeralds on the gem markets come from Colombian mines.