A large African emerald will be put up for auction in Singapore next month by London-based gem company Gemfields, which discovered the jewel in the Kagem mine – the world’s largest emerald mine – in Zambia on Oct 2.
The 5,655-carat gem was named the Lion Emerald, or ‘Inkalamu’ in the Zambian Bemba language. Gemfields described it as possessing “remarkable clarity and a perfectly balanced golden green hue”.
Miners have found several significant gems in the mine in recent months, but none paralleled the Inkalamu in size, color and clarity, Forbes reported.
The jewel’s auction will be open to only 45 approved auction partners known for responsible practices.
According to Zambian news site Zambia Watchdog, the giant jewel was discovered in the mine’s eastern region by geologist Debapriya Rakshit and veteran miner Richard Kapeta. The mine is jointly-owned by Gemfields and the Zambian government, and emeralds found within it date back 450 million years.
Gemfields, which mines and sells responsibly-sourced emeralds and rubies, named the Inkalamu in honour of its two conservation partners, the Zambian Carnivore Program and the Niassa Carnivore Project. Both organisations work to help African communities live alongside carnivores, like lions, in remote areas.
The company said it would donate 10 per cent of the emerald’s sale proceeds to these organisations, but added it was hard to predict the jewel’s final sale value.