The extraordinary stone was named „Inkalamu“ meaning ,lion’ in the local Bemba language
In October 2018, a green emerald of unusual size has been discovered in Zambia by Gemfields company: it had 5,655 carat or more than 1,1 kg weight. It was named „Inkalamu“ meaning ,lion’ in the local Bemba language and has a „remarkable clarity and a perfectly balanced golden green hue“, as said on the company webpage. It was auctioned in Singapore in November to Rajkumar and Rishabh Tongya of Dia‐Color, specialists in high‐value gems, for an undisclosed amount.
Inkalamu was discovered at Kagem, the world’s largest emerald mine, which is 75% owned by Gemfields and 25% by the Government of the Republic 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’ dynamic London-based gemmologist. „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.“
Inkalamu was discovered by geologist Debapriya Rakshit and veteran emerald miner Richard Kapeta, who has more than a decade of experience mining Zambian emeralds for the Gemfields group. 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 Inkalamu.
„We expect a number of large, fine-quality cut emeralds to be borne of the Inkalamu crystal,” said Adrian Banks, Gemfields’ Managing Director for Product and Sales. „These important pieces are what return value to the buyer, and there might be hundreds of offcuts that are fashioned into smaller gems, cabochons and beads, but the key lies in recovering the fine quality pieces. Given this emerald is such a rare find, it is also perfectly conceivable that the buyer will choose to purchase it as an investment.”
The emeralds found in Gemfields’ Kagem mine were formed more than 450 million years ago when a rare combination of in situ minerals and surging magma from deep within the Earth’s crust encountered one another and supported just the right conditions for emerald crystal growth.
(25.11.2018, USA: 11.25.2018)