The inaugural International Emerald Symposium in Colombia took place from October 13 to 15, with a wide range of local and overseas emerald experts from government and the private sector providing input regarding the current state of the global emerald business and the challenges it faces.

The conference was attended by 320 representatives from across the globe with the conference venue hotel full to capacity. The meeting was organized by Fedesmeraldas, the Colombian Emerald Federation, and supported by all the country's emerald-related bodies and the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

The Symposium addressed the challenges and opportunities faced by the emerald industry including resource management, manufacturing, treatments, certification, nomenclature, technology, consumer education and branding.

It was the first time that producer countries had come together at a high-level international gathering to address issues relating to the emerald business in the same way that diamond industry representatives have done in the past for their trade. The Symposium organizers said they expected the conference to lead to a harmonization of the global emerald industry along the lines of that achieved by the global diamond business at a time when demand for emeralds worldwide is strong.

Dr Isabel Ulloa, Colombia's Vice Minister of Mines, addressing the opening session of the Symposium