Here’s Who Bought This 7,525-Carat Zambian Emerald
Eshed-Gemstar was the winning bidder for the “Chipembele” during Gemfields’ latest Zambian emerald auction.
The 7,525-carat rough stone was discovered in July by geologists Manas Banerjee and Richard Kapeta and his team.
At the time of discovery, Kapeta shouted, “Look at this rhino horn!” in excitement, Gemfields said, which led them to name the large piece “Chipembele,” which means “rhino” in the local indigenous dialect, Bemba.
Gemfields said it is the largest significant gemstone discovered at Kagem.
Eshed-Gemstar is now the owner of the Chipembele after winning the rough stone during Gemfields’ recent emerald auction.
Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
A portion of the sale’s proceeds will support the North Luangwa Conservation Programme in Zambia, which aids black rhinoceros conservation efforts.
Chipembele features DNA nanoparticle tagging developed by Gübelin Gem Labs as part of its Provenance Proof program, which ensures the resulting cut and polished gems can be identified and certified as having originated from the big piece of rough and the Kagem emerald mine.
Eshed-Gemstar said it also won an “ultra-fine” 935-carat emerald crystal at the auction, which is expected to yield “notable” gems.
Gemfields’ recent emerald sale was comprised of a series of five mini-auctions held from Nov. 1-Dec. 6, which totaled $37.8 million—a record for Kagem auctions—and was 100 percent sold by lot.
The discovery of Chipembele follows two other notable Kagem finds: Insofu, a 6,225-carat emerald discovered in 2010, and Inkalamu, a 5,655-carat emerald found in 2018.
The emerald mine is owned by Gemfields in partnership with the Zambian government’s Industrial Development Corporation.
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