These days, we often hear lip service paid to the need for corporate social responsibility (CSR) and ethics in the gemstone industry. During the Second World Emerald Symposium (2WES), however, the focus was on concrete actions being taken in Colombia and around the world to improve the lives of those in mining communities.
Early Indian legends offer one explanation for the creation of emeralds. It is embodied in the story of Fura and Tena, two humans created by the god, Ares, to populate the earth. As the story goes, Fura’s disobedience angered Ares and he turned them both into two steep cliffs, said today to stand as symbolic guardians of Colombia’s emerald region. Saddened by what she had done, Fura sobbed uncontrollably, her tears turning into emeralds in the depths of the mountain.
Organized by Fedesmeraldas—the Colombian Emerald Federation—with support from the country’s emerald-related bodies, including the governmental Ministry of Mines and Energy, the First International Emerald Symposium was held Oct. 13 to 15 in the nation’s capital city of BogotÃ¡.