• Precious find

    Precious find

    A massive emerald weighing more than 1.1 kg has been discovered in Zambia.

    The 5 665-carat stone was unearthed at Kagem mine – the world’s largest producer of emeralds, and which is 75% owned by Gemfields and 25% by the Industrial Development Corporation of Zambia. It will be auctioned in Singapore later this month, to approximately 45 approved auction partners, chosen by the miner ‘for their shared values in responsible practices’, according to a Gemfields statement.

    While pundits estimate the precious stone to be worth around GBP2 million, Gemfields notes that, in contrast to the diamond industry, the price for exceptionally large emeralds is difficult to predict. ‘We expect a number of large, fine-quality cut emeralds to be borne of the Inkalamu crystal,’ says Adrian Banks, Gemfields’ MD for product and sales.

    Nearly twice the size of the Cullinan (the world’s biggest rough diamond, the emerald was found by Kagem geologist Debapriya Rakshit and miner Richard Kapeta in an open-pit mine. The gem has been dubbed ‘Inkalamu’ (meaning ‘lion’ in Bemba) in honour of two of Gemfields’ conservation partners, namely the Zambian Carnivore Programme and the Niassa Carnivore Project in Mozambique.

    The emerald also will benefit from nanotechnology, whereby nano-sized particles encoded with the mine-of-origin will allow identification of the gemstone’s origin, showing that it was responsibly sourced.

    6 November 2018
    Image: Gemfields