Partnership with the Gem Research Swiss Lab
A Golden Influence

In contemporary news, the word “disruptive” refers to technology or systems that change an industry radically, exponentially and usually in a positive manner. In Colombia it can be said that Clayhands, GRS and Muzo mine have shown positive influences that can be described as disruptive. The arrival in the Muzo region of the Muzo mine companies (MTC and CTT) has been disruptive in a very positive way; breaking old traditions and giving salaries and steady employment to hundreds of workers, affecting thousands in the region. The Clayhands foundation, partnered with GRS is bringing employment, education and habitat to the region and has shown great local knowledge and clear accomplishments.

The Millennium Development Goals established by the United Nations are:

  1. To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  2. To achieve universal primary education
  3. To promote gender equality and empower women
  4. To reduce child mortality
  5. To improve maternal health
  6. To combat HIV/AIDSmalaria, and other diseases
  7. To ensure environmental sustainability[1]
  8. To develop a global partnership for development[2]

In Colombia, a salary of $800,000 per month ($285 US) is a minimum salary although many people receive less. Clayhands employs workers at over twice that amount and the Muzo mine underground workers begin new employees at $2,000,000 per month; a disruptive salary in an industry that often only gave room and board and small emerald moralla as salary, with no guarantees of steady work.

Now with a partnership between Clayhands of Colombia and GRS Laboratories and its founder Adolf Peretti, the wave of positive change in rural Colombia will continue its golden influence.

We are happy to announce that the prestigious international gem lab GRS, led by Mr. Adolf Peretti, has made a generous donation allowing us to purchase land in the Andes Mountains near Muzo. GRS will build a school of gemology and gem cutting for local young talent and Clayhands will have a base of operations for the whole region.

The future of any country belongs to the youth. Any investment made to education will be paid back in the future, decade after decade. The establishment of a GRS Gemology School will be the bridge that is needed between the bright young men and women of the region and their future as emerald exporters, dealers, and cutters. The influence of the GRS School will be felt not only in the emerald region of Boyacá but also Bogotá and the world.

In the mountains above Muzo a site has been selected for the creation of this school. For international students of gemology the school will be a destination so that emerald studies can be done first hand. Gemology students from the US, Asia, and Europe will come to the GRS Outpost at Muzo in order to complete and add perspective to their studies. They will spend time underground in the mines, cutting rough emeralds acquired at the Muzo town square and volunteering in the many social programs operated by the GRS partner Clayhands.

Situated in the Andes Mountains of Colombia the site for the GRS School for Young Talents is on a sloping semi-tropical parcel with a view of the town of Muzo and the Muzo mine in the distance.

The Clayhands and GRS area will be on land that has water and electricity but both need to be brought the final 50 meters to our locations. Bathrooms will be built, fences erected and lighting will be strung. In the Clayhands area, one or two cabañas will be built so that we (Clayhands and GRS) can invite visiting donors, partners or dignitaries.

There is an area on the land that has the best view of the surrounding landscape (on a clear day can be seen Muzo town, Muzo mine, Cunas Mine, the Minero River and the Fura Tena) from a lookout structure built there.

If Clayhands can do all of the above in the year 2018 it will be considered a great success. In 2019 Clayhands will want to increase the number of cabañas from two to eight or ten. From all over the world, there are museum groups and gem adventurers who want an exotic visit to somewhere that no other tours go to. When they visit, they will be inspired to donate or volunteer.


All of 2018 will be a thrill to the local population as Clayhands and GRS build and grow. The Mayor’s office and the emerald community will want to watch as well as participate. A number of deserving young people will become trained and trusted members of the GRS/Clayhands project. Some will become gemologists, some will become builders and some will be builder/gemologists!

Visits and cooperation from the local emerald mines, the Mayor (and perhaps the Governor of the state) will add to our presence and prestige. Partnerships with the Mayors of Muzo and Borbur will give great breadth to the extension and magnitude of GRS and Clayhands. As news of our success in supporting the UN Millennium Development Goals circulates the world, many donations from bighearted people will come in and inspire us to more achievement.