How are emeralds mined?
Emerald mines are owned by the state of Colombia and are given in concession to private companies which at the same time give sub-concessions to other investors. A large percentage of the emerald mining process is developed and done by Colombian people.
Mining is done in two ways: a process called open pit which is not used very often due to environmental problems; and the other process is through tunneling following the white calcite veins with possible emerald crystallization. Gem mining is very difficult, but Emerald mining is even more difficult because contrary to others, which are also found in the river beds, emeralds are found only in their original growth pockets.