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Town and municipality
Chivor is world-famous for its emeralds
Chivor is world-famous for its emeralds
Flag of Chivor
Location of the town and municipality of Chivor in Boyacá Department
Location of the town and municipality of Chivor in Boyacá Department
Chivor is located in Colombia
Location in Colombia
Coordinates: 4°53′N 73°22′W / 4.883°N 73.367°W / 4.883; -73.367Coordinates: 4°53′N 73°22′W / 4.883°N 73.367°W / 4.883; -73.367
Country Colombia
ProvinceEastern Boyacá Province
Founded16 December 1930
Founded byFlorencio Novoa
 • TypeMunicipality
 • MayorCarlos Hernando Perilla Aldana
 • Town and municipality108.36 km2 (41.84 sq mi)
 • Urban
9.9 km2 (3.8 sq mi)
1,800 m (5,900 ft)
 • Town and municipality1,795
 • Density17/km2 (43/sq mi)
 • Urban
WebsiteOfficial website

Chivor is a town and municipality in the Eastern Boyacá Province, part of the Colombian department of Boyacá. The mean temperature of the village in the Tenza Valley is 18 °C (64 °F) and Chivor is located at 215 kilometres (134 mi) from the department capital Tunja.[1] Chivor is world-famous for its emeralds.


Bordered to the north with the municipality of Macanal; to the south with Ubalá, Cundinamarca, on the east with the municipality of Santa María, and the west by the municipality of Almeida.[1]


Chivor comes from Chibcha and means "Our farmfields - our mother" or "Green and rich land". The latter refers to the rich emerald deposits.[2]


Chivor was inhabited by the Muisca in the times before the Spanish conquest. The Muisca were organized in their loose Muisca Confederation with northern ruler the zaque of Hunza and the southern zipa in Bacatá. Already in those times the rich emerald deposits were known and mined by the Muisca. The emeralds functioned as offer pieces in the Muisca religion, as decoration and as money.

The emerald deposits of Chivor were discovered by Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada in 1537 but the mines were abandoned until 1886.[3]

Modern Chivor was not founded until December 16, 1930 by Florencio Novoa.[1]


Main economical activities of Chivor are agriculture (maize, yuca, bananas, sugarcane, beans, guatilla, coffee and fruits such as papayas, blackberries and the typical Colombian fruits lulo and tree tomatoes) and especially the emerald mining.[1] Only in 2014 emeralds worth 30 million US dollars were extracted in Boyacá. The rich deposists have led to numerous conflicts in the region, including in Chivor.[4]

The Gran Esmeralda de Moctezuma ("Great Emerald of Moctezuma") is a mineral of 21 centimetres (8.3 in) high, 17 centimetres (6.7 in) long and 16 centimetres (6.3 in) thick and has been found in Chivor. Currently the emerald is in Vienna, Austria. Other grand emeralds from Chivor are Patricia weighing 632 carats (126.4 grams (4.46 oz)), and La Magnífica of 1225 carats (245 grams (8.6 oz)).[5]

The Embalse la Esmeralda ("Emerald reservoir") producing hydroelectric energy is governed from Chivor, Macanal and Almeida.


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