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Inca's Emeralds

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posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 04:01 PM
We've been reading a lot about lost Inca's treasures and all the gold that is probably still hidden somewhere, waiting to be found.

But what about the emeralds? Incas considered emeralds as an important part of their treasures. Where did they acquired them? Seems like there is not an answer to that question yet, just some theories. One of them says the emeralds came from the northern side of Ecuador, close to Colombia.

The province of Quito has a "river of emeralds" from quarries on whose banks the Incas acquired some of their gems but, generally speaking, the mines from which the ancient Peruvians wrested their most beautiful precious stones are unknown today The Incas had a source of emeralds in the Province of Esmeraldas north of Quito and many of today's emeralds are said to have come from this area..

This is important for more than one reason. Possibly the Inca's Empire reached further territories than the "Tahuantinsuyo" territorial limits we know, also may represent evidence of an unknown commercial exchange with other cultures.

In that map, you can see how far is Colombia from the limits of the Inca's empire. It just doesn't make sense to go straight to Colombia from Peru, without passing by Ecuador. The Pacific coast, was a reference for the exploration of new lands to the north, going thru all that jungle wasn't an option.

If consider how the emeralds are created, we will have to pin point all volcanic areas associated with the empire. By other hand, it's probably that the incas obtained them by commercial exchange, they never knew where the mines were located.

Volcanoes are an incubator for many of the World’s treasures. Other gems commonly associated with volcanic

The volcanoes included in the Tawantinsuyo territories are located in the north (Ecuador) and in the southern Peru, Chile and Argentina.

According to the history, the spaniards tortured to death the incas, trying to find out the source of the gems.

The mines of Colombia has a history similar to that of the deposits in Egypt. When the Spanish conquered the Inca empire, were astonished by the emeralds that these people had in their possession, but even under torture, the Incas did not reveal their sources. Years later, a mine in the region of Chivor, Colombia, was discovered accidentally.

Confirming same info by other source :

The history of the Colombian emerald with the discovery of America in 1492 gives a historical turning on the presence of the emerald in the world, when in the sixteenth century Spanish outpost comes to Peru and meets the Incas and their ornaments of gold and large emeralds of very good quality, this draws the attention of the Spanish who undergo the Incas to severe punishment and torture for them reveal the location of the emerald mines. The Incas were unable to indicate location within their territories because there were no deposits and emeralds were obtained by trade with the tribes that inhabited Colombian territory. In 1537, Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada gets the first real indication of the source of the emeralds to reach Guachetá,

In my opinion, the location of the Inca's emeralds source is not confirmed yet.

Sources :

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