Gemfields' auction of mostly higher quality rough emeralds from Kagem Mining Ltd from March 30 to April 3 in Lusaka, Zambia, posted auction revenues of $33.1 million, and a new record price per carat of $70.68 for higher quality auctions. Of the 558,000 carats offered for sale, 469,000 carats were sold (84%). The 21 Kagem auctions held since July 2009 have generated $412 million in total revenues. The $70.68 price is in stark contrast with the results of the first auction of Kagem goods of $4.40 per carat in July 2009. The product mix is different at each auction, making it difficult to strictly compare between auctions, nonetheless the Gemfields' grading system has contributed to a better understanding of emerald quality and thus raised demand and price dramatically.
Gemfields CEO Ian Harebottle said, "Our return to Lusaka has delivered another strong - and indeed record - result at a time when global commodity and diamond prices remain volatile and uncertain. Demand for - and prices of - emeralds clearly remain as robust as ever and gemstone mining represents one of the healthier segments of the sector." Gemfields' next auction is due to take place in May in Jaipur, India, and will be mostly comprised of lower quality emerald and beryl from the Kagem emerald mine in Zambia.