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Exploring the Mines of Muzo

A reputation can be a difficult thing to change.  Even if you’re now a barely tolerable analyst, whose tenure as an NHL GM was somewhere between controversial and laughable, people will always just want to talk about that time you hit a guy with a shoe.  
As a country, Colombia is, and perhaps always will be, inextricably linked in the public consciousness to Pablo Escobar, the Cali Cartel, and the cocaine industry.  Admittedly, the topic makes for fascinating reading, and intermittently entertaining television, but it also provides an outdated impression of a country moving forward with new, profitable (and legal) industries. 
One of those industries is mining and, within that industry, the towns near the Muzo and Chivor regions are becoming more world renowned for their emeralds than ever before.    
Alongside our friend George Smith of @muzoemeralds, we first travelled (by helicopter, then jeep) about 7 hours north of Bogota to access the Muzo region, where some of the finest Colombian emeralds are mined.   
We saw first-hand what Muzo has to offer in terms of rough emeralds for sale and, just as importantly, what is being sent to Bogota before being cut, polished, and eventually exported to worldwide markets.  For us, the most rewarding part of the trip was our interactions with the locals – both those working the mines and those earning a living day-to-day.  Curious of our presence at first, they were simultaneously welcoming and appreciative when they learned of our interest in celebrating their livelihood.  
Did You Know? 
May is emerald month! Check out some more photos below from our trip to Muzo, the source of some beautiful pieces that you can now find at Cavalier, our shop in Vancouver’s Gastown neighborhood.