(IDEX Online) – Gemfields said it has discovered a 5,655-carat emerald crystal which it says has "remarkable clarity and a perfectly balanced golden green hue" which it has named the ‘Inkalamu’, the Lion Emerald.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
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 to the government 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’ London-based gemologist.
“We are experiencing strikingly increased demand for high-quality Zambian emeralds from the major brands, particularly in Europe, all of whom admire the rich color and unique transparency of our gems - qualities that make them unique among emeralds," she said. "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!”
Inkalamu was discovered in the eastern part of Kagem’s largest open-pit mine on 2 October 2018 by geologist Debapriya Rakshit and veteran emerald miner Richard Kapeta, who has more than a decade of experience mining Zambian emeralds for Gemfields. This area of the mine has proven to be particularly fertile in recent months with the Kagem team recovering several significant crystals there, but none with the combined size, color and clarity of the Lion Emerald, the miner said....