Emerald exports tripled in the last year

If the pandemic in 2020 affected the foreign sales of Colombian emeralds, the other side of the coin is 2021, the year in which exports of gems set a record in their commercialization in the world’s markets.

Thus, thanks to the international price of stones in several corners of the globe, which registered an increase above 35 percent, it allowed exports of national emeralds to triple in the last year.

Dane’s records indicate that in 2021 more than 129 million dollars in gems were sold abroad, a figure that is three times more than that reported in the immediately previous year, which was only 42 million dollars.

Although 2020 was an atypical year for the marketing of emeralds abroad due to the closure of skies internationally derived from COVID-19, the sales figure of 2021 represented a growth of more than 300 percent.

The percentage is striking when compared to the last record of reported increase (2018 to 2019), which was 6.8 percent. Likewise, the rise in the price of gems in international markets represented new buyers to Colombia.

In this regard, Dane’s records indicate that 10 countries acquired the raw national emeralds in 2021, with revenues of 20 million dollars. In the same sense, 26 nations bought worked gems from the country that left more than 109 million dollars.

In comparison, Colombia in 2019 sold raw gems to eight countries and worked to 24, and in 2020 the figure was nine nations to which raw stones were sold and 20 worked.

Colombia is the largest producer of high-quality emeralds in the world. Thanks to its hydrothermal sedimentary origin, it provides unique characteristics such as brightness, transparency, color, play of light and optimal hardness, which makes them the most desirable in the markets of the United States, Europe and Asia,” said Oscar Baquero, president of Fedesmeraldas.

The revenues from the sale of the gems in international markets allowed the emerald projects in the country to optimize operating costs, which helped them increase production.

Although there are no consolidated records of emerald production in 2021, technicians from the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) estimate that the extraction volume would be at 1.7 million carats, a figure higher than that of 2020 which was 1.5 million carats in 2020 and 0.5 million carats in 2019.

“The growing demand for luxury products at a global level that has come hand in hand with the reopening of economies (such as the issue of jewelry), has allowed the emerald sector to go through a good time in the last year, which is being driven by high levels of consumption, where auctions of these stones have been seen again and where the appetite for them has resurfaced in Asian countries.