Gemfields has announced the discovery of ‘Inkalamu’ – the ‘Lion Emerald’ – a 5,655 carat Zambian emerald crystal with remarkable clarity and a perfectly balanced golden green hue. Inkalamu was discovered at Kagem, the world’s largest emerald mine, which is 75% owned by Gemfields and 25% by the Industrial Development Corporation of Zambia (which belongs in turn to the Government of the Republic of Zambia).
“The discovery of this exceptional gemstone is such an important moment both for us and for the emerald world in general,” commented Elena Basaglia, Gemfields’ dynamic London-based gemmologist. “We are experiencing strikingly increased demand for high-quality Zambian emeralds from the major brands, particularly in Europe, all of whom admire the rich colour and unique transparency of our gems – qualities that make them unique among emeralds. It’s difficult to estimate how many individual gems will be cut from Inkalamu, but the cutting expertise of Gemfields’ auction partners will mean that this gemstone will make its mark in the history books of exceptional gemstones. This lion’s resulting offspring – ‘The Pride of Inkalamu’ so to speak – will continue the legacy for generations to come!”.
The Lion Emerald will be offered for sale at Gemfields’ next auction in Singapore in November 2018 to approximately 45 approved auction partners, chosen by Gemfields for their shared values in responsible practices. Given the value placed by end consumers on understanding the origin and journey of their gemstones, the Lion Emerald will benefit from the Gübelin Gem Lab’s ‘Provenance Proof’ nanotechnology, whereby nano-sized particles encoded with the mine-of-origin will allow identification of the gemstone’s birthplace for decades to come. Gemfields adds that the naming of uncut emeralds is a tradition reserved for the rarest and most remarkable gems. While no official records exist, perhaps two dozen have merited their own name and with the majority weighing less than 1,000 carats. Gemfields last named an emerald in 2010 when it unveiled the ‘Insofu’ or ‘elephant’ emerald.