Emeralds from the Kagem mine in Lufwanyama

JOHANNESBURG - Emeralds from Zambia’s Kagem mine have captured the eye of some of the foremost gemstone buyers and jewellers around the world, helping boost revenue for the southern African country, parent company Gemfields has said.

“We are excited because appreciation of Zambian emeralds is gaining momentum internationally given the uniqueness, clarity and transparency that is characteristic of the gemstones,” Gemfields’ gemmologist Elena Basaglia said in a statement.

To date, Kagem has contributed approximately US$107 million to the Zambian government in cumulative corporation taxes, mineral royalties and dividends. This means almost 20 percent of Kagem’s revenue has flowed to Lusaka in the last decade.

Kagem, which is 75 percent owned by Gemfields while the Industrial Development Corporation of Zambia has a 25 percent stake, is the world’s largest emerald mine and source of ‘Inkalamu’ – the ‘Lion Emerald’ – a 5,655 carat emerald crystal and one of the most unique stones to have come from the mine.

Inkalamu, the ‘Lion Emerald’ -- a 5,655 carat Zambian emerald crystal and one of the most unique stones to have come from the Kagem mine. It is pictured with Fabergé’s Lady Libertine II timepiece made with Zambian emeralds. PHOTO: Supplied

Jewellery featuring Zambian emeralds includes Fabergé’s  Lady Libertine II timepiece presenting a dial set with a central cabochon Kagem emerald, surrounded by hand-carved Kagem emeralds.

- African News Agency (ANA)