African Miner Finds 1.1-Kilogram Emerald in Zambia

The world’s biggest emerald miner has found a gem that weighs more than 1.1 kilograms at its mine in Zambia.

Miners at Zambia’s Kagem mine, in the north of the country, have discovered a rare high quality 5,655 carat (1.13kg) emerald crystal.

The emerald – dubbed “Inkalamu” (meaning lion) – “shows remarkable clarity with a perfectly balanced golden green colour,” according to a statement released by Kagem Mining Ltd.

The emerald is already creating a buzz in the global gemstone industry ahead of its auction in Singapore next month, the statement added.

“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.

The huge gemstone will be cut into smaller stones to be sold.

The stone is almost twice the size of the world’s biggest ever rough diamond, the Cullinan, discovered near Pretoria in South Africa in 1905. Still, it’s unlikely to be worth anywhere near as much since large emeralds are far more common and are hard to value. For years, Gemfields had a pineapple-sized emerald locked in a safe as it didn’t know how much it was worth.

Inkalamu was discovered in the eastern part of Kagem’s largest open-pit mine on 2 October.

Kagem is 75% owned by London-based Gemfields and 25% by the Zambian government through its investment wing, the Industrial Development Corporation of Zambia.

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