Emerald Origin & Colors
Emeralds have various sources, but one of the oldest continuing suppliers is the Muzo mine in Colombia. Natives of this area had been collecting emeralds from this source for a long time before the area was abandoned and eventually rediscovered in the 1700s by the Spanish conquistadors. Muzo is known for having perfectly green colors, however this is not ideal emerald color.
Chivor, Colombia is known for emeralds with a bluish component, which is the ideal emerald color. The third large emerald mining district is Cozcuez (also in Colombia), which is known for a more yellowish color. However, these are only guidelines for the colors of emeralds from these locations, though they are used to compare the color of emeralds from all other mines in Colombia.
Much like the various mines of Colombia, Brazil and Zambia have certain colors attributed to their emeralds (yellowish and bluish emeralds respectively). However, these are only generalities for these sources. Not strict rules, since various emerald sources have colors that frequently overlap. Brazil can produce bluish emeralds, and Zambia can produce yellowish ones.
Emerald ID: E1403 – Weight: 4.56 Carats – Origin: Zambia
Emerald ID: E1107 – Weight: 6.53 Carats – Origin: Ethiopia
Emerald ID: E1356 – Weight: 3.85 Carats – Origin: Brazil
See how similar all the colors are? Under no circumstances can color alone be used to determine an emerald’s origin. This is true of nearly every other gemstone, with the one exception of Kashmir sapphires. Unless the viewer can recognize the inclusions inside to verify a specific origin (which is not always possible), do not even try to guess the origin.
Out of all the deposits, the trapiche emeralds only come from the Colombian mines (specifically Muzo) in any stable supply, and sporadically from Brazilian sources. Often they do not come in high quality.
Other Emerald Deposits
Emeralds can be found in many, many other locations including, but not limited to, Ethiopia, Russia, Australia, and even North Carolina in the United States of America, but these are not gem-quality suppliers. Gem-quality material can come from these sources very rarely, but most of it cannot be faceted or is not consistently produced.