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The treasures of the Chivor Emerald Mine to be disclosed April 14 at free program held by Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society

Program to showcase brilliantly beautiful findings in Columbia

FALLBROOK – The Fallbrook Gem and Mineral Society (FGMS) invites the public to a presentation on Thursday, April 14, by renowned gemological historian and photojournalist, Robert Weldon, G.G. (Graduate Gemologist), who will share his personal adventures rediscovering the famous Chivor Emerald Mine in Colombia. The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. at the FGMS building, 123 W. Alvarado Street.

Weldon followed in the footsteps of Peter W. Rainier, an engineer who ran the mine in the 1930s, fought bandits, took the mine into peak production and introduced the famed bluish-green emeralds to the international marketplace.

Rainier went on to chronicle his exploits in a book, Green Fire, which was made into a movie of the same name in 1954, starring Stuart Granger, Grace Kelly and Paul Douglas.

Weldon read the book in the 1990s, thinking it was fiction until a Colombian friend set him straight and promised to take him to all the Rainier locations.

As manager of photography and visual communications at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in Carlsbad, Weldon discovered another link to Rainier, as a historic photo album from Rainier’s late wife’s estate had made its way into the GIA library archives.

An official GIA field expedition was undertaken in 2015 that also included a group of Colombian experts. Having forged a 25 year career out of the things he loves doing – writing, researching, traveling, photography and public speaking – Robert Weldon always shines a light on fascinating and unusual subjects associated with gems, jewelry, history and the people and places involved in the trade.

Attendees will be able to hear about the adventure to Chivor, the source of the finest emeralds in the world, from a mine reputedly exploited at least 1000 years before Christ by indigenous tribes of South America.

There is plenty of free parking for the program in the parking lot across from the building and light refreshments will be served. For more information, visit or call (760) 728-1130.


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