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Cruising to Sitka: Your Guide to a Day in Port
Cruise Tips
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Cruising to Sitka: Your Guide to a Day in Port

Porthole Cruise Magazine - February 19, 2020

Finding Your Emerald in Cartagena

Stopping in the beautiful port city of Cartagena, Colombia, cruisers often have one thing on their mind: find the perfect emerald. Shore excursions offer a limited time-period in which to view the sights, sounds and culture of Colombia’s premier seaside city, so knowing where to look first is smart for those looking for the best emerald jewelry in the city. The Port of Cartagena is only 20 minutes away from downtown by car, and all the shops recommended by the cruise line are located very close to one another.  Whether you are on a ship’s tour, on the hop-on hop-off bus, or on your own, the place to start is in the Plaza in front of the Church of San Pedro.

Start at Mister Emerald

One of the city’s most established emerald jewelry producers, Mister Emerald is located in the plaza on the street running along the right side of the Church. Why start here? The prices are firm and the stones are of the best quality. Haggling with lesser venders wastes your time and prevents you from seeing more of the city and it’s gems. At Mister Emerald, visitors discover they have no difficulty spotting pieces with top quality stones and can quickly figure out what sorts of pieces of jewelry are going to fit their budget.  With that information, you can conveniently canvass the other recommended stores to compare prices.Mister Emerald also backs that up with certifications and customer service with phone numbers in the U.S.A.

Insider Tips for Finding the Best Emeralds

emeralds

Insider Tip #1:  While the best emeralds are set in gold, there’s always a great selection of natural emeralds mounted in silver at prices that will allow you to buy impressive gifts for family members or for yourself. Emerald jewelry like rings, pendants and earrings can be made with gold or silver and which visitors choose depends entirely on their preference and budget.

In high quality emeralds set in 18K gold, notice emerald colors that range from very light to quite dark.  At Mister Emerald, all the emeralds are chosen for their brightness. You won’t find more opaque emeralds that have lots of inclusions or imperfections because those need to be improved using fillers. While even the highest quality emeralds will all have some imperfections, less means more from a value sense. After just a few minutes viewing the emeralds of Cartagena most begin to notice more quality stones compared to others.

emeraldsInsider Tip #2:  Always look for damage along the surfaces of the emerald.  Ask the staff for a 10-power loupe, and have them show you how to focus it in a way to observe not the inclusions inside, but rather the top surfaces of the stones.  Slight imperfections may be acceptable, but not broken stones, or those with chips or holes.

Exploring Cartagena isn’t complete without viewing the city’s incredible emerald jewelry. Every piece is unique and ready to keep for a lifetime. Cartagena is your opportunity to buy the most personal of gemstones: an emerald from Colombia.

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