Though emeralds can be mined all over the world, Colombia, Zambia and Brazil are 3 major Emerald sources. Other countries which have abundant Emerald deposits are Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Madagascar and Russia.
Colombia is one of the largest producers of fine Emeralds which are highly regarded for their excellent color. Geologically, Colombian emeralds are said to be one of the purest emeralds in the world because Colombian emerald deposits are the only ones on earth found in sedimentary host rock rather than in Igneous rock. Most of Colombia's emerald deposits are located on the eastern ridge of the Andes Mountains that run northeast-southwest through the country.
The three main mining areas are Chivor (located in the eastern part of Boyacá Department), Muzo and Coscuez in the western part of the province.
Emeralds from Zambia can be of the same quality as their counterparts from other world-famous sources like Colombia, but they formed in quite different rock types. Unlike Colombian emeralds, emeralds from Zambia are rich in iron and have higher refractive index and specific gravity. Gem-quality emeralds are found in north-central Zambia, near the Kafubu River and about 45 km southwest of Kitwe, a town considered the hub of the famous Zambian Copperbelt Province. Zambia’s Kagem mine is located in the southern part of the Copperbelt Province, in the emerald mining area south of Kitwe. The Kagem emerald mine (Zambia) is the world’s single largest producer of emeralds and accounts for approximately 25% of global emerald production. It covers an area of approximately 41 square kilometres. It is 75% owned by Gemfields and 25% owned by the Government of the Republic of Zambia. The mine comprises three open pits.
Gems Park (specialises in Zambian emeralds) sourcing Zambian emerald rough from Gemfields owned Kagem Mines at India Rough Gemstones Sourcing Show-2020
Brazil became the breadbasket for affordable emerald in the early 1960s. Brazilian Emerald Gemstone was first discovered in Brazil around 1920. Brazil has upgraded its image as an emerald mining center. Brazilian emeralds are exceptional with their vibrant rich green color. A good quality Brazil emerald will display a natural glow, rich color, and good transparency which adds to the value of this gemstone. Brazil also produces the rare cat’s eye emerald and very rare six-spoke star emeralds. The finding has made since 1980 at Itabera in Minais Gerais, Santa Teresinha in Goias, and Nova Era near Itabera are supplying the best emerald Brazil has ever produced. Indeed, top stones from these mines beg comparison to Colombian emerald.
Sandawana (Zimbabwean) emeralds are characterized by their intense color, small size, and highly included state. Sandawana emeralds are well known internationally for their splendid vivid green colour. Sandawana (Zimbabwe) has been an important producer of emeralds for 40 years.The history of Sandawana dates back to 1955 when emeralds were first discovered here. The mine changed hands over the years and currently ZMDC has a majority shareholding at Sandawana Mines. Emeralds have been found at several locations in Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia). One important source of superb quality emeralds, usually small in size, is the Sandawana mine field.
Pakistan emerald is a rare and highly precious variety of the natural emerald gemstone, recognised for its lively deep green hue, distinctive smoothness and unblemished transparency. It is counted amongst the world’s most beautiful emerald gemstones. Emeralds mines are located in the northern region of Pakistan. There are three major mines present in the Shamozai, Mingora and Gujjar Killi of Swat Valley. The emerald mine of Swat was first discovered in 1958 - the era of Wali-e-Swat, Prince Miangul Jahanzeb (the princely Swat State) - and became the livelihood of thousands during that time. Later, in 1968, the mine became the property of the Government of Pakistan.
Panjshir Emerald is one of the finest varieties of emeralds. These gems boast a unique bluish-green color that can rival the emeralds from any other popular origin. Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley, an hour's drive north of the capital city Kabul, now has commercial emerald production. The Panjshir Valley, located north of Afghanistan's capital Kabul, is an area rich with more than 172 emerald mines.
The Madagascar Emerald's color, luster and clarity is exceptional. Mananjary emeralds usually can be separated from emeralds from other localities by means of associations of certain mineral inclusions (especially talc, carbonates, amphiboles, and quartz) with specific types of fluid inclusions. Inclusions in emeralds from the Mananjary of Madagascar are reported and compared with inclusions in emeralds from other mines. Although most of these internal features are similar to those found in emeralds from other schist-type deposits. Significant quantities of fine emeralds have been found in schists in the Mananjary region of Madagascar, a large island nation off the southeast coast of Africa.
Russia is regarded as an important source of the fine quality emeralds. Although, it contributes only 1% to the world’s total emerald production but the quality is phenomenal. Russia became an important source of emerald following the discovery in 1830 of the famous emerald deposits in the Tokovaya River area around Malysheva. Russian emerald is chiefly resourced from the Ural emerald mines (also called Malysheva deposit) of the Russian province. It is extracted from the Ekaterinburg region near Russia’s Ural Mountains. The Malysheva mine is developed on one of the world’s most significant emerald deposits – a 1.4 kilometer-long schist-type ore-body.
The emerald deposits of the Malysheva mine lie within the northern portion of the Ural Emerald Field, which stretches generally north-south for a total distance of 25 kilometers. The Malysheva mine is believed to contain 80 percent of the known emerald reserves of the Ural Emerald Field.