Emeralds from Ethiopia

Posted on April 30, 2020 by Roland Schluessel and Naryratha Heng Schuessel

Emeralds are a welcome business for Ethiopia. The recently discovered gemstone deposits in Ethiopia contribute to the utterly needed economic growth of this East African nation.


A few years ago, during an interview on international TV, a member of the Ethiopian government was asked about the repeated assistance supplied by the international community to overcome poverty and food shortage. His answer was as follows. “Ethiopia has all the resources to become self-sufficient; the best way to achieve it is by not begging for foreign aid.” After quartz, feldspar, opal, garnet, peridot and sapphire, it is now mining and trading of emeralds that creates new jobs for thousands of Ethiopians.


The emerald deposit discovered in 2016 is located in the south-central part of Ethiopia, 20 km south of Shakiso town. This whole region is situated within the northern portion of an orogenic belt known as the Mozambique Metamorphic Belt (MMB) extending from the Red Sea all the way to Mozambique and as far as eastern and southern Madagascar. The belt is a major suture that formed during the late Neoproterozoic, with main metamorphic events occurring between 500 and 650 million years ago; mafic and ultramafic rocks were compressed and uplifted as a result of the extensive Pan-African geologic event, where several continents and terranes amalgamated to form the supercontinent Gondwana.

In the uplift areas, relatively high pressure and temperatures re-organized the composition and texture of pre-existing….

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