Sourcing

Gemfields’ High-Quality Emerald Auction Earns $35M

SourcingJun 04, 2024

Gemfields’ High-Quality Emerald Auction Earns $35M

Its May sale of gemstones from the Kagem mine in Zambia was strong despite a softening market.

Gemfields rough emerald
Gemfields reported strong results at its recent emerald auction, including a new record price-per-carat average.
London—Gemfields reported that its latest high-quality emerald auction brought in $35 million and that more than 90 percent of the lots found buyers.

Last year, the mining company, which owns the Kagem emerald mine in Zambia in partnership with the Industrial Development Corporation of Zambia, announced it had canceled its November 2023 auction of high-quality emeralds citing lower quality and quantity of emerald production at Kagem. 

It said any high-quality stones would carry over to its 2024 auction. 

The company’s recent sale, comprised of five mini-auctions, took place from May 13-30 via an online auction platform specifically adapted for the miner that permits customers from multiple jurisdictions to participate in a sealed-bid process. 

Gemfields offered 240,000 carats of higher quality rough emerald from Kagem in 46 lots. Lots were available for private, in-person viewings by customers in Bangkok prior to the sale. 

It was 93 percent sold by lot and 87 percent sold by weight.  

“We are very pleased to report robust auction results despite slightly softer market conditions. Today’s result demonstrates that both demand and willingness to pay premium prices for fine-quality Zambian emeralds remain at healthy levels,” Gemfields Managing Director of Product and Sales Adrian Banks said.  

 Related stories will be right here … 

In its May 2023 sale, the miner offered 264,132 carats in 35 lots and sold all of them, garnering a total of $43.7 million. 

The miner notes that auction results are “not always directly comparable,” as the lots offered vary in size, color, and clarity on account of variations in mined production and market demand. 

This year, 60 companies placed bids, compared with 69 bidders in 2023. 

The 2024 sale achieved an average price per carat of $167.51, slightly higher than last year’s average of $165.55. 

“The overall price per carat for the lots sold echoes the record figure achieved in Kagem’s preceding high- quality auction of May 2023,” said Banks.  

“It should however be noted that today’s figure has been skewed by the fact that two of the unsold lots were among the lower qualities offered at the auction.” 

Auction proceeds will be fully repatriated to Kagem in Zambia, with all royalties owed to the Zambian government being paid on the full sales prices achieved at the auction, Gemfields said. 

The 48 auctions of Kagem gemstones held since July 2009 have generated more than $1 billion in revenue. 

Next month, Gemfields will host a mixed-quality ruby auction.  

Its next commercial-quality emerald auction will take place in September. 

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