Gemfields Cancels Upcoming High-Quality Emerald Auction
Lower quality and quantity drove the decision to withdraw the sale.
The mining company, which owns the Kagem emerald mine in Zambia, released an auction update with the cancellation news on Sept. 13, while its last auction of commercial-quality emeralds was underway.
“Gemfields has [made] this decision as a result of the generally lower quality and quantity of emerald production at Kagem in recent months … which would result in a suboptimal auction offering,” the company said.
Any high-quality stones the miner already has will carry over into 2024.
“Emeralds are a natural product and the variability in quality and quantity of production is a characteristic feature of colored gemstone deposits,” said Gemfields’ Managing Director of Product & Sales Adrian Banks.
“We have seen such periods in the past and always wish to ensure that we only proceed with an auction where we can table an industry leading offering for our clients.”
Gemfields said its most recent auction of commercial-quality emeralds, held Aug. 29 to Sept. 15, contained a “higher than usual proportion of lower-value grades.”
The sale yielded $25.5 million for 3.39 million carats, and all 43 lots offered were sold.
It was the third and final Kagem auction for the year.
“We are of course disappointed to withdraw our auction of higher-quality emeralds scheduled for November 2023,” Banks said.
The company’s auction revenues for 2023 totaled $90 million, down from $149 million in 2022 and $92.3 million in 2021.
Banks said the results, “demonstrate that the emerald market remains in excellent shape.”
Gemfields’ auction of mixed-quality rubies from its Montepuez mine in Mozambique is still expected to take place in December 2023.
Its previous ruby auction, held Sept. 11-13, featured commercial- and lower-quality rubies and saw revenues of $1.47 million. All eight lots, comprising 869,862 carats, were sold.
“The results from [the September] auction of commercial- and lower-quality ruby highlight again that the market remains very healthy,” Banks said.
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