CONTENTS: Chivor crystal pictures, Robb Report Article, Bogotá news and more...

  main page . . . emeralds. . . poetry & Amor . . . mineral specimens . . . charities . . .dealer info. . . NEWS

<> News Item from Associated Press explains why Colombians are "just so darn happy"! Details Here >>

<> Wall Street Journal confounds everyone with front-page article! RR's stern reply here >>

Charitable activities in Boyaca: After distributing rocket stoves for two years it became obvious that more needed to be done. In the emerald mining region there are houses constructed with earth that are 150 years old. These old skills have been forgotten in the last decades. The need for dwellings is growing fast as the region gets new highways and infastructure. A school for alternative construction is now being planned. The house pictured above is made from pressed earth. This house in Guasca, near Bogotá is owned by José Antonio and Cristina Carbonel. Tapia pisada or pressed earth is 60% cheaper than conventional frame or cement construction - the raw material, earth, is free. The artisan, Oliverio Roa, added color to the earth and left it partially exposed. He will be teaching his skills in the emerald mining region next year. The same schools created to teach alternative construction methods will also make and distribute rocket stoves.

Highlites from the December trip to Colombia
On a visit to the Muzo emerald mining region we learned that the La Pita mine had just produced a wealth of emeralds: over two million dollars worth! Later that week I was fortunate to see the production on the desk of a friend.

Approximate weight is 1700 carats and all of the stones are fine. Two were quickly chosen for their small size and were cut to stones in the $5000 to 10,000 dollar per carat range! During the cutting, Richard Wise and I were able to hear stories from Master emerald cutter and facet artist Adolfo Argotty.

Consorcio mine in the La Pita mining area - this photo was taken 400 meters in and 140 meters down.

RR speaks with the Mayor of Maripí about combining an agriculture school with a school for alternative construction that would create housing and employment for many families in the region. The region's mine owners and the emerald exporting association in Bogotá want to promote such programs. The emerald mines provide good employment but it is not always steady. As the population of the area increases, more houses need to be built. The Mayor, Sextosilberio Reyes, is concerned about these issues as well as the rising cost of cement in the last two years. More information about this project will be reported later.

Emerald specimen in limestone shale from Chivor mine.




On August 5th, the directors of FEDESMERALDAS, the umbrella organization that oversees not only the exporters but also the miners and brokers of Colombian emeralds, voted to install Oscar Manuel Baquero (seated, in the white shirt) as the new President. Oscar Manuel, 32, had served three years as the head of ACODES, the exporters association, and demonstrated his prowess and vision. The son of exporter and connoisseur, Oscar Baquero, Oscar Manuel has a plan to implement the pursuit of Fair Trade standards, create better name recognition of Colombian emeralds in the world, and to develop and refine the new gemological laboratory in Bogotá. Taking his place in the directorship of ACODES is Fernando Angarita, 29 (not pictured), son of exporter Guillermo Angarita.

Seated next to him in the blue shirt is 24-year old Warne 'Memo' Chitty, GG and FGA. Chitty is currently studying advanced gemological instrumentation and techniques in London and will join the other young lions next year in Bogotá.

This influx of young blood in the top organizational levels of the emerald industry in Colombia is very good news for all involved, from the professional buyer or exporter to the consumer. Hearty congradulations to Oscar Manuel, Fernando and Warne.


Many of you are familiar of photos of my house in Bogotá, Colombia, but my other residence in the heart of Silicon Valley has different pecularities and attributes. Saratoga's main street, called big Basin Way, is home to some of the region's finest restaurants. On any weekend, it is easy to see exotic cars like Bentleys or Ferraris tooling around (the dealerships for these cars are just five minutes away in Los Gatos). Even the rare Lamborghini, Bugatti or Ford GT40 can be spotted. Just yesterday, parked in front of the Plumed Horse restaurant was the first ever Tesla sighting (almost as cool as Bill Larson selling minerals from the trunk of G.Emringer's Ferrari at <<Link>>
There is one thing that is well understood in Silicon Valley: management of batteries in laptops. Martin Eberhard, founder and former CEO of Tesla Motors, applied that knowledge to its fullest extent in order to power an automobile: the Tesla. Assembled in San Jose, 5 miles away, these all-electric cars have microprocessor-controlled lithium ion battery packs and go from 0-60 in 4 seconds. The Tesla can travel 200 miles on a charge. The 2008 model has sold out and this one might be one of the first deliveries made to local customers. Or it might be that Eberhard himself was having dinner, or current CEO Zeev Drori. The 2009 model is ramping up production as they already have over 1000 reservations for new models. An emerald hood ornament would complete the cars' cutting edge appearance.



<>   R.R. gives well-reasoned and sober presentation at the G.I.A. International Gemological Symposium Poster Session - Read the Fascinating Details>>

Ronald Ringsrud Company now has a selection of emerald rings with white gold and micropavé.


Bogota, Colombia - Jairo Sarmiento (L) teaches emerald conoisseurship to Luis Alberto Melo while a commisionista (emerald broker) looks on.  Like many difficult things, a mentor is needed when learning the intricacies of becoming an emerald dealer.


 Ronald Ringsrud publishes an article about a trip to the historic Peñas Blancas mine in Boyacá, Colombia. The February issue of IDEX Magazine - see the full text here:


 La Pita Mine, 2004

News! RR is quoted extensively in the prestigious Robb Report!!

I am happy the say the above photo (in the center) came out. It is showing a 38 calibre Police Special handgun with the (Nephrite) Jade handle, passport, bullets and emeralds. I took the photo after the magazine interviewed me and submitted it, never having published my photography in a national magazine before. It ended up being the Lead Photo for the article! The necklace photo is a Van Pelt image of a $600,000 piece. The large rough emerald below the gun is 443 carats from Coscuez mine - the finest example to come out in years.



Click Here for the text of the article.


Here is the original, unposed photo taken in Bogota that inspired the "magazine version" of it.

AUGUST, 2004, Ron Ringsrud and Edward Boehm visit Peñas Blancas mine.


Sept, 2002 Flash! Six Emeralds and Specimens from my inventory are photographed for the new ExtraLapis Magazine on Emeralds [origially published in German, now available in english] Get your copy HERE

See another extraordinary RR appearance in the G.I.A. World News [aka The Loupe] HERE