22 Nov 2018
High-quality Zambian emeralds, including the rare 5,655 carat Inkalamu emerald, were sold in an auction in Singapore last week. The emeralds brought in US$28.4 million in foreign exchange earnings.
Sean Gilbertson, Chief Executive Officer of Kagem and Gemfields, confirmed that all profits will be returned to Zambia.
The Lusaka Times reports that according to Adrian Banks, Gemfields’ Managing Director of Product and Sales, 40 companies placed bids in the auction – generating an overall average value of US$68.03. Mr. Banks accredited improved liquidity in the trade customers for 74% of the offered carats having been sold – marking an increase from the 56% generated from the last auction of high-quality emeralds, which was held in Lusaka in May 2018. This positive result signified a recuperation of trade customers.
Mr. Banks said, “Of the number of lots offered, 77% were sold (versus 59% in the May 2018 auction). Gemfields’ 30 auctions of emeralds and beryl mined at Kagem since July 2009 have generated USD 556 million in total revenues.”
The gemstone had been excavated in the eastern part of Kagem’s open-pit mine, being the world’s largest emerald mine and one that is 75% owned by Gemfields Group, on October 2nd of 2018.
In a statement, Gemfields had said that the area of the mine in which this emerald was discovered in had been especially active in recent months, with several significant crystals having been discovered – but none with the combined features of this particular emerald.