Pallinghurst has announced the results of an auction of higher quality rough emeralds held by Gemfields plc (“Gemfields”, which is 100% owned by Pallinghurst) - its first emerald auction since Pallinghurst took over the company - held in Lusaka, Zambia, from 2 – 5 October 2017. The emeralds were extracted by Kagem Mining Ltd (“Kagem”, which is 75% owned by Gemfields and 25% by the Government of the Republic of Zambia) in Zambia. 320,000 carats were on offer during the sale, and all of them were sold, yielding auction revenues of US$21.5 million, for an average price of US$66.21 per carat, the second highest price ever achieved. This was in part due to the sale of a rare, 6,100-carat high-quality Zambian emerald.
Sean Gilbertson, CEO of Gemfields, commented: “The extraordinary “Insofu” emerald, a 6,100 carat emerald mined by Kagem in 2010, and displaying wonderful colour and translucency, was purchased at the auction by Rajkumar Tongya of Dia-Color, specialists in high-value gems. The emerald is named “Insofu” (meaning “elephant” in the vernacular of the Bemba people indigenous to Zambia’s Copperbelt province in which Kagem is based) in consideration of its size and shape." On the overall results of the auction, he said, That outcome, and the fact that 100% of the gems offered were sold, underscores the enduring strength of market demand for responsibly sourced high quality emeralds from our Kagem mine.” It was the smallest auction of Kagem higher quality emeralds to date, as a result of reduced production at the mine over the past 12 months.
National Jeweler reports, "The auction also was used to launch the high-technology system to tag and trace emeralds developed by the Gübelin Gem Lab. The 'paternity test' involves applying DNA-based nanoparticles directly onto rough emerald crystals at mining sites, allowing for the traceability of the stones back to the mine of origin, date of mining and any other data requested. The particles, which leave no visible trace, were infused into five high-quality emeralds purchased at the sale by Zambian company Jewel of Africa. It was the first time nanotechnology has been used commercially in the gemstone sector, according to Gemfields. In the future, the technology will only be used at mining sites, Gübelin said, but an exception was made in this instance to demonstrate the process."