A 5,655-carat emerald described as having “remarkable clarity and a perfectly balanced golden green hue” was discovered in Zambia in early October.
The gem was unearthed at the Kagem mine, the world’s largest emerald mine, which is 75% owned by Gemfields Group, a London-based supplier of responsibly sourced colored gemstones, with the remaining stake in the mine owned by the Government of the Republic of Zambia. Gemfields specializes in the mining, processing, marketing and sale of colored gemstones, in particular emeralds and rubies.
The emerald was discovered in the eastern part of Kagem’s largest open-pit mine on October 2 by geologist Debapriya Rakshit and veteran emerald miner Richard Kapeta, Gemfields said in a statement, adding that “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 this emerald.
In a rare honor, Gemfields chose to name the gem. In this case, “Inkalamu,” which means “lion” in the Zambian Bemba language. The company says the name is in honor of the work carried out by two of Gemfields’ conservation partners, the Zambian Carnivore Program and the Niassa Carnivore Project in Mozambique. Gemfields has three-year philanthropic sponsorships with each organization in order to aid them in wildlife conservation, promote community development and stem the problem of poaching by developing alternative livelihoods. The company further said it will donate 10% of the sale proceeds of the emerald to the two organizations.
“These partners work tirelessly to smooth the relationship between Africa’s carnivores and local communities across vast, remote and challenging areas,” the company said.