Alumni Chapter

Seattle Chapter: In Rainier’s Footsteps with Robert Weldon


The Seattle chapter invites you to journey through the Colombian Andes to the legendary Chivor Mine with Robert Weldon as he shares his 2015 travel journey.

In 2015, Weldon retraced the steps of Peter Rainier – a brilliant mine engineer with a lust for travel and adventure who is credited with restarting Colombia’s Chivor emerald mine in the late 1920s and returning it to prominence. Rainier wrote a book in 1942 about his experiences, “Green Fire.”

By horse or mule, the epic journey through the mountainous terrain of the Chivor region (for both Rainier and Weldon) is one of note. Weldon’s story will enlighten and educate all to the historical significance of Chivor, the mine that was the first to produce emeralds in South America, and the first to export them to Europe and beyond.

Weldon, GIA’s manager of photography and visual communications, is a noted expert on colored gems whose passion and talent have led him on gem research excursions and speaking engagements around the world. His photographs have appeared in scores of international gemological, jewelry and consumer publications, and in several books.