AZGem Gems
October, 2003
The World's Most Useful
Gem & Jewelry Monthly Newsletter

Written by Carolyn Doyle for customers of
The Dorado Company
and other visitors to the website who subscribe.


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Usable Gems... and a little opinion.


Gem Origins - Colombia

Gem origins are of interest to many gem fanciers. This month we visit Colombia in our tour of important gem producing countries.

Colombia is another dangerous place to mine or deal in gem stones... but in the context of gem origins this country is a major player.

Colombia is where Central America joins South America. It is the only South American country with both a Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean coast.

Emerald is by far Colombia's most important gem, no matter which yardstick you use... number of gem stones, or dollar value.

Colombian emeralds are generally recognized as superior in color to those found in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Brazil, Zambia, or other African locations.

Individual gems of all origins vary in color and quality of course, but the typical Colombian emerald is judged better than typical emeralds of other origins by the gem world.

The country's emerald mines are clustered in a relatively small area in central Colombia, about 100 miles north and east of the capitol of Bogotá.

The best known mines (Muzo, Chivor, and Pena Blanca) are located in the rugged Andes mountain ranges.

Although near a huge city, the emerald mines are in another world. A hostile world of rugged terrain, high altitudes, harsh weather, bandits, drug lords, and communist rebels.

Colombia yields several other gems, including sapphire, ruby, amethyst and other quartz gems, apatite, and amber. Although I'm not aware of any aquamarine production, I would think it exists since much of the country's emeralds exhibit a bluish-green color, and both gems are members of the beryl family.

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Industry News

Industry news sources report that "Jewelers of America strongly supports a bill being considered in the U.S. Congress that would require mail-order, telephone, and Internet merchants to collect sales tax on transactions conducted with out-of-state purchasers."

Jewelers of America is a trade group representing retail jewelry stores. They just don't like competition from internet merchants. Congress has declared the internet off-limits to states looking for more tax money... but tax-hungry state governments and local retailers badly want to force internet merchants to charge taxes.


Jewelry Dealers

Now is the time to build your inventory for the coming season.

You should be buying...

  • finished jewelry pieces
  • loose gems
  • mountings
  • gold chain

You can buy some finished pieces from us or one of the other suppliers listed in your dealer information.

You know how to buy a loose gem from us and a compatible mounting from a listed manufacturer and have your trade shop set the gem to make a custom piece.

You should also have a few gold chains in stock. Look in your dealer info for a supplier... or check with me. Send an e-mail to

P.S. If you want to build a profitable website for your jewelry business (or any other local, small business), I recommend SBI!

There's a lot of exciting new things happening on the web to make it local businesses friendly.


Jewelry Dealers Program

Do you enjoy jewelry and gems?

Do you enjoy talking with friends and co-workers?

Take a look at our great Jewelry Dealers Program.

Carolyn Doyle

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The Dorado Company
P.O. Box 8232
Scottsdale, AZ 85252-8232