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Here are exerpts taken from letters by the 2005 tour group participants:

"On tour with emerald expert Ron Ringsrud you will likely experience the passionate side of Colombia." - Robert Weldon


I am still assimilating the trip; there is a lot to digest.   I have to compliment you on the outstanding experience that you provided to this group that was lucky enough to be there.   

I have served for one year on the GIA Global Events committee that Suzanne is chair of, and was involved in planning the mechanics of the last GIA tour to Europe.  Because of a lack of timely input from the travel agent regarding costs, the trip became expensive and the sales stalled.   I came up with a slogan to help market the trip, "GIA opens the door."    That was based on my prior two trips, where we were able to get in places the public would never get to see.

You have gone so beyond that, because what you gave to us was something that even professionals may never get to see.    Your relationship with the people and the country is very special.   You can be very, very proud.

I have much more I would like to say, but for now I really wanted to say thank you very much.


The attached image represents "Super Ron."  He jumps higher and runs farther for his group to make the most incredible experience possible. 

Ron, I want you to know how honored I feel to be your friend.  You are truly a renaissance man with a breadth of understanding that I wish more people had.  Our world would be a better place with more people like you.  Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to share your world in Colombia.  I will never forget the experience.


I just wanted to thank you for a fantastic trip.  You provided an experience that was simply unbelievable.  I'm sad to have missed the last wonderful days, but alas I needed to be there for my friend (This person left the tour a day early).  If I had of stayed, I wouldn't have broken my leg in two places in my game on Sunday.  The silver lining is I don't need surgery and pins.  Some days....

Thanks again Ron, unforgetable.


Dear Ron

The jungle; the mountains; my new friends. I know what we witnessed will never be experienced again on the same level. Sr. Yesid's (mine owner) passion in his heartfelt tale of romancing the stones was my personal highlight. Few people will ever GET IT. Mother earth has amazing gifts to offer indeed. You hear about peoople with vision but rarely do you see the results. I had an incredible time. You orchestrated the trip brilliantly. I know it wasn't easy.



I had a great time and I think the article expresses that. I went down there thinking the story was drugs and violence. However, I came back feeling that I had learned how to love a little better. These people are passionate about their emeralds and that rubbed off on me. The story is about a bright future.

Thanks for the opportunity,



Dear Ron,

Both got home safely.
In New Zealand folklore suggests that if you leave New Zealand with a piece of greenstone (jade) then you are bound to return one day, I feel the exact same sentiments about leaving Colombia with some emeralds.
We missed out on seeing Muzo from the air but Audry and I were duly compensated on Monday 31st with a 4 wheel drive trip to the Chivor Mine, via Chivor, and again taken right to the face of a working adit. We were given the opportunity to have a go with chisel and hammer but the emeralds decided to play shy again. Amazingly Audry was given a couple of mineral specimens (including emerald) by the principal mine shareholder at the site office. Both specimens would grace any natural history museum. The larger of the two weighed over 4 kg.

Our entire stay was one of enlightenment, particularly with respect to the people (generous beyond measure) and to an environment and culture that remains unique and unspoilt, yes we shall return.

Your hospitality was wonderful, I hope we can do the same for you if you decide to visit England.

Take care for now,

Ian Lamont


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